The coaching staff of the Mountlake Terrace Hawks knew going into Friday’s match-up with Snohomish that slowing down the Panthers’ powerful running game would be vital. But keying in on one particular aspect of your opponent’s game plan is one thing – actually executing a defensive resistance is another.
The Panthers churned out 385 rushing yards against Terrace and rolled to a 55-20 victory at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Snohomish.
Snohomish ended each of their eight first-half offensive possessions with touchdown plays; Panther junior Keegan Stich accounted for five of those scores with touchdown runs of 7, 33, 37, 42 and 50 yards.
Mountlake Terrace Coach Kelly Dougan was impressed with Stich and the ability of Snohomish to run the football. “Those guys have a tremendous running game,” he said. “Their linemen are excellent blockers, their receivers are excellent blockers, and (Keegan Stich) doesn’t go down. You have to hit him several times and wrap him up. They’re very good.”
“It’s just eleven guys on that offensive unit all doing a great job at what they do best, which is run the ball. We knew it was going to be tough to stop them,” Dougan added.
Snohomish quarterback Brandon Jodock added to the Panthers’ first-half offensive clout by completing nine of 11 pass attempts, three of which went for scores. Snohomish gained 472 total yards against the Hawks, 383 yards in the first half.
With a 55-14 lead at halftime, Snohomish (3-2 in 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference, 4-3 overall) pulled Jocock, Stich and many of their starters for the second half, played with a “mercy rule” running clock that ultimately limited the Panthers to just two second-half possessions.
After falling behind 48-0 midway through the second quarter, Terrace got on the scoreboard with two big plays. With 4:39 to go before halftime, Nick Fisher found a hole in the middle of the line and scampered 35-yards for a touchdown. Less than two minutes later, Terrace quarterback Jesse James Martineau found a wide open Brandon Bach along the left sidelines and completed a 71-yard touchdown pass to the Hawk sophomore.
The Terrace scoring plays gave Hawk fans something to cheer about but never threaten the Panthers big lead. Both Terrace touchdowns were quickly answered with Snohomish scores on their next possession.
The Hawks added a fourth quarter touchdown on a Martineau 1-yard scoring run with 5:20 to go.
Martineau was called upon to lead the Hawk offense after starter Andrew Blair had to be assisted to the sidelines with just over a minute-to-go in the first quarter. Blair suffered a right arm stinger and did not return to the game after being hit by two Panthers just after releasing a pass attempt.
“I think he’s fine,” Dougan said of Blair after the game. “I think if we were in a really tight, competitive game he probably would have played in the second half.”
The Hawks were hampered by two other key first-half injuries on Friday. Middle linebacker Connor Loyles came out of the game early due to a thigh contusion; running back/linebacker Anthony Gomez sat after being knocked in the head on a second quarter rushing attempt. Loyles did not return to game action; Gomez did get cleared by the training staff and returned in the fourth quarter.
“Those guys will all be back next week,” Dougan said of Blair, Loyles and Gomez.
Terrace (1-4 in 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference, 2-5 overall) will return to Edmonds Stadium on Friday, Oct. 21 for an 8:00 p.m. matchup with the Lynnwood Royals (3-2 in 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference, 5-2 overall).
Prep Football: Mountlake Terrace at Snohomish, Oct. 14
Terrace 0 14 0 6 — 20
Snohomish 28 27 0 0 — 55
9:44 Keegan Stich (Snohomish) 37-yard TD run; two-point conversion attempt failed
7:10 Keegan Stich (Snohomish) 7-yard TD run; two-point conversion good
2:52 Brandon Jodock (Snohomish) 1-yard TD pass to Jess Harris; PAT kick good
:46 Keegan Stich (Snohomish) 33-yard TD run; PAT kick good
9:59 Keegan Stich (Snohomish) 42-yard TD run; PAT kick good
6:04 Brandon Jodock (Snohomish) 3-yard TD pass to Josh Johnston; PAT kick good
4:39 Nick Fisher (Mountlake Terrace) 35-yard TD run; two-point conversion good
3:30 Brandon Jodock (Snohomish) 7-yard TD pass to Kole Bride; PAT kick failed
2:52 Jesse James Martineau (Mountlake Terrace) 71-yard TD pass to Brandon Bach; two-point conversion attempt failed
1:50 Keegan Stich (Snohomish) 50-yard TD run; PAT kick good
7:30 Jesse James Martineau (Mountlake Terrace) 1-yard TD run; two-point conversion attempt failed
Records: Mountlake Terrace 1-4 in 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference, 2-5 overall; Snohomish 3-2 in 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference, 4-3 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Lynnwood, Friday, Oct. 21, 8 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium
–By Doug Petrowski