EDMONDS — The Archbishop Thomas Murphy Wildcats used their trademark Wing-T offense and a stifling defense to roll to an impressive 41-14 victory over Lakeside Sept. 11 at Edmonds Stadium.
It was Archbishop Murphy’s 28th consecutive win.
Junior running back Shiloh Keo racked up 124 yards and one touchdown in just seven carries in the team’s second non-conference game of the year. Keo’s 57-yard touchdown carry, which gave the Wildcats a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter, was the longest play from scrimmage for either team.
Senior running back Craig Duncan ran 13 times for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Junior running back Stan Smith rushed 12 times for 84 yards and one touchdown.
The Wildcats (2-0 overall) punted only once — on their first possession — while racking up 353 yards on the ground.
“I thought they executed the Wing-T offense very well,” Class 3A Lakeside’s head coach Bill McMahon said. “They’re obviously well-prepared, very athletic and they execute well — they’re the whole package.”
Despite what seemed to be a nearly flawless game offensively, quarterback Kyle Wilkins, who scored the game’s first touchdown on an 8-yard quarterback keeper, said his team still has work to do.
“We had a lot of center-quarterback breakdowns, we’ve got to work on that,” he said.
Archbishop Murphy head coach Terry Ennis said that, while not perfect, the team’s play was developing.
“I don’t think you can be perfect in the second game of the season,” he said. “We just wanted to see some improvement over our first game.”
Archbishop Murphy beat 4A Bremerton 63-7 to open the season.
Lakeside (1-1) executed well and figured to be a good test for the Wildcats, said Ennis, who added that he thought the team responded well.
“This was a step forward for us,” Ennis said.
Archbishop Murphy’s defense was as stout as the offense was effective.
Wilkins, playing safety, provided what was easily the biggest hit of the night, knocking the helmet off Lakeside fullback Peter Overman, who took a screen pass from Garfield and scampered 11 yards to the Wildcat 48.
“With their kind of offense, it was going to be a physical game,” Ennis said.
Archbishop Murphy held Lakeside’s double-wing offense to 153 yards rushing and 256 yards overall. Senior wing back Sean Whitsitt led the Lions with 87 yards on 14 carries.
The Wildcats put in a new defense, employing a six-man defensive line to slow down the Lions’ double-wing offense.
“The double-wing is a tough offense to defend, so we needed a different defense,” said Archbishop Murphy assistant coach Roger Brodniak.
He said the Wildcats added an additional defensive lineman to match up better with the Lions’ tightly packed formations, which are designed to cut off outside pursuit.
The new schemes, and Archbishop Murphy’s early third quarter 27-0 lead, forced Lakeside to go to the air, a situation McMahon did not want to be in.
“We’re not geared up to throw the ball,” he said.
Quarterback Drew Garfield went 7-for-18 for 103 yards with one touchdown, a 17-yarder to tight end Eddie Carlson as time expired in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the teams traded rushing touchdowns. Archbishop Murphy junior running back Chris Hoerauf scored from five yards out. Lakeside’s Overman finished the scoring with a 7-yard touchdown run late.
Archbishop Murphy plays one more non-conference game, hosting Class 1A Orcas Island at 1 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 18) before beginning play in the new 3A/2A Cascade Conference against Cedarcrest on Sept. 24 at home.