EVERETT — The Archbishop Thomas Murphy football team has plenty of work to do.
One might not know that based on the final score of last week’s non-conference game in which the Wildcats prevailed 70-20 over Tacoma Baptist Sept. 13 at Archbishop Murphy High School.
But Wildcat coach Terry Ennis was by no means satisfied with all that transpired.
“We’re not going to feel bad about this kind of a win but we also really know that there’s a whole lot of things to work on,” he said.
Though Archbishop Murphy scored eight touchdowns on the ground, the running attack wasn’t all that it could be, according to Ennis.
“They weren’t quite as crisp as I thought they could be, both as linemen and backs,” he said.
In the first quarter, the Wildcat defense was backpedaling on Tacoma Baptist’s nine-play, 75-yard opening scoring drive. Successfully mixing the run and pass, the Crusaders took a 7-0 lead on a 14-yard run by running back Ryee Cline.
Archbishop Murphy responded on its opening drive with a 53-yard touchdown run by running back Jevon Butler. The senior standout rushed for 238 yards on 10 carries and scored three more touchdowns before heading to the sidelines in the second half.
A 17-yard run by Butler, his second touchdown of the day, gave the Wildcats a 14-7 lead midway through the second quarter. Junior quarterback Kyle Wilkins then scored on a 45-yard run with 3:28 remaining in the first half as Archbishop Murphy took a 21-7 halftime advantage.
The Wildcats did not make any adjustments defensively after the Crusaders’ opening drive.
“I think the first quarter they were playing real hard and we were a little slow to the ball and we couldn’t stop them,” Ennis said. “We saw a good team in the first quarter … we said we weren’t going to make any adjustments (at halftime). We were just trying to do what we were trying to do a little bit. That was really going to be the key.”
Archbishop Murphy was aided by some sloppy play on Tacoma Baptist’s part. The Crusaders had problems holding onto the ball in the second half, fumbling away the ball twice and also throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
“You really don’t want to score that many points because it’s not even a real reflection of the kind of game it was,” Ennis said. “But I think we’re in pretty good shape and we worked hard in the second half.”
Archbishop Murphy (2-0 overall) faces Omak in a non-conference game at 2 p.m. tomorrow (Sept. 20) at Cashmere High School.
Omak should be the stiffest challenge to date.
“I would have a hunch we’re going to have our hands full,” Ennis said. “That’s an aggressive football team. We’d better be ready to play the first quarter and for four full quarters.”