Washington’s Top 50 high school football teams: What will happen when No. 49 Archbishop Murphy fully ‘spreads’ new-offense wings?

SBLive is previewing the Top 50 high school teams in Washington ahead of the fall 2021 season. Here’s an inside look at the Archbishop Murphy Wildcats of the 3A/2A/1A Northwest Conference – the No. 49 team in our countdown.

SPRING 2021 IN REVIEW

2-3 in 3A/2A Wesco (second place).

COACH’S RESUMÉ

  • Josh Jansen, first season.
  • Overall record: 0-0.
  • Coordinators (base scheme): Offense – Tony Slater (spread). Defense – Quantez Gurley (4-3 multiple).

NOTABLE DEPARTURES

WR Austin Burns

RB/DB Joe Ennis

OL Marc Galvagno

OL Daniel Jenkins

TE/DL Josh McCarron

LB Matthew McFerran

RETURNING STARTERS

Offense – 9. Defense – 8.

TOP PLAYERS

LB/WR Tyreek Curley, 6-2, 245, sr.

OL Ashton Faller, 6-4, 340, sr.

LB/TE Colby Glennon, 6-3, 235, sr.

RB/DB Jelani Guerrero, 5-10, 180, sr.

QB Kal Lewis, 6-3, 185, jr.

DB/WR Kellen Mathis, 5-10, 170, sr.

LB Ethan Orona, 6-1, 205, sr.

OL/DL Isaiah Smith, 6-2, 305, jr.

THREE TO SEE

Colby Glennon, middle linebacker

Dissects plays pre-snap with ease – then all-2A Wesco first-teamer blows then up by charging into the middle of the trenches.

Kai Lewis, quarterback

Broke away from multi-layered quarterback battle at the start of spring and showed off his dual-threat skills; it’s now his offense.

Isaiah Smith, offensive guard

Team’s lone returning two-way 2A Wesco first-team performer is fast, physical and thumps rushers coming to the backfield.

FALL SEASON OUTLOOK

If you take their spring-season record at face value – you’d think the Wildcats had a lost a bit of gloss shining their perennial 2A supremacy.

The reality is, this group primarily made up of underclassmen challenged 4A Wesco powerhouses Lake Stevens and Glacier Peak as early litmus tests. By the time the Wildcats’ faced Lakewood in a late-season showdown, they were bruised and battered.

First-year coach Josh Jansen hopes there is a long-term payoff for that brutal schedule as the year-older Wildcats try and navigate the difficult Northwest District.

ATM has an interesting blend of 18 impact seniors and a talented class of juniors as it continues its second-year transition from the Wing-T to the spread offense.

“There was a buy-in and quick adoption to all of that,” Jansen said. “We’ve advanced a ton in that department.”

Quarterback Kai Lewis is one of the league’s exciting up-and-comers, and not only can make throws all over the field, he can escape pressure when plays break down.

“He has arm and leg talent you cannot coach,” Jansen said.

One thing Jansen likes about his group of skill-position players: Versatility.

All of the running backs – Jelani Guerrero, Christian Ayson and Junior Gates – can play in the backfield or out in space. And former tailback Matthias Wilson has settled in nicely as a move-around slot receiver.

If the offensive line’s new pieces settle, the Wildcats should have no problems putting up points – and winning games.

FALL 2021 SCHEDULE

  • Sept. 3 vs. Seattle Prep
  • Sept. 10 at Fife
  • Sept. 17 at Sehome
  • Sept. 24 at Lake Stevens
  • Oct. 1 vs. Sedro-Woolley
  • Oct. 8 at Squalcium
  • Oct. 15 vs. Burlington-Edison
  • Oct. 22 at Lynden
  • Oct. 29 vs. Lakewood

(Photo courtesy of Archbishop Murphy athletics)

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