Tyson Lang tossed four touchdowns and led Glacier Peak (4A) to a 40-6 road win at Archbishop Murphy (2A) on Friday night.
The Grizzlies move to 3-0 on the condensed spring season — all by wide margins — and Archbishop Murphy to 1-2.
Here are four observations:
Crosstown rivalry had all the buildup, none of the flare
On paper, it was one of the games of the year in Snohomish County.
The schools are three miles away from one another, but had never played. They are in different leagues — GP the 4A Wesco and Archbishop the Northwest Conference — but because ATM was in a different region in the state reopening plan, it joined the Wesco for the shortened season.
And after all, stadium capacity was slightly expanded, allowing cheering parents and the pep band re-inject some of the pre-COVID flare into Friday night football. Fan contingents were audible.
“It was super awesome,” Keck said. “They had a few people on the home side and there was a ton of people lining the fence. It just felt like high school football again and I think at the end f the day, it was just good for kids to feel that energy again.”
The game, however, got out of hand quickly.
Let’s talk about that second quarter
Both teams struggled getting a first down early.
Once Glacier Peak started trying out Lang’s deep ball, the offensive was able to spread out the defense and make play downfield.
QB Tyson Lang took to the air to fuel Glacier peak’s first touchdown drive. He hit Matthew Torgeson for 29 yards in man coverage on the left side. The next play, he hit tight end Cooper Jensen for a 20-yard go-up-and-get-it touchdown.
Ryan Black scored on an 11-yard run not long after and Jadon Claps caught consecutive touchdown passes.
“It took us a little bit of time to figure out what we can do,” Keck said. “Once we did it, we started to go.”
The Grizzlies landed a safety with 16 seconds left in the half, as close to a nail-in-the-coffin moment a first half can muster.
Glacier Peak’s receiving corps shines
Archbishop Murphy coach Mark Leone had to pick his poison.
Does he play an extra safety back to try and limit the deep ball, and keep the Grizzlies’ receivers in check, or send an extra guy into the box in order to slow bruising back Ryan Black? It’s an either-or decision made with a tacit understanding of the risk of exposing the other facet of GP’s offense.
The Wildcats chose to crowd the box, and did an effective job at slowing Black’s production for most of the night.
“They were playing man,” Keck said. “Your jimmies better than the other joes, and I think we proved we’ve got some dang good receivers.”
Tyson’s Lang’s four touchdowns passes went to three different receivers. 6-5 tight end Cooper Jensen — son of former Archbishop Murphy coach Jerry Jensen — bodied a defensive back in man coverage and caught a 20-yarder, Jadon Claps caught two more (7, 25 yards) and Trevor Meldrom caught the first touchdown of the third quarter to push the lead at 37-0.
Credit to Lang, the steady-handed quarterback who is heading to Washington as a walk-on. His ability to put balls in places for his receivers to make plays helped open the game up for the Grizzlies.
“Real cool, calm, collected guy,” Leon said, “and he gives his receivers a chance on all his throws. He’s really accurate. Kudos to him.”
With Joe Ennis, it’s game recognize game
Shane Keck watched a lot of Joe Ennis on film preparing for the Wildcats this week.
He also watched a lot of Ennis playing other sports in middle school. And he’s excelled across the board for a long time in the area.
Ennis is being asked a lot by the Wildcats — and he’s largely risen to the task. He’s the leader of a secondary, which introduced three new starters at the beginning of the season and has been tested, especially since senior Keyshon Rife was sidelined with an injury.
(Editor’s note: The lead photo is an archive photo. It was taken before the pandemic.)