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Wildcats fall in divisional title game | Football
Marysville-Pilchuck High School’s football playbook centers around main character Austin Joyner, but the Tomahawks added another page – Killian Page – to the script to defeat Oak Harbor 39-21 Friday, Oct. 25, at Quil Ceda Stadium in Marysville.
For the second consecutive year, Marysville-Pilchuck clipped Oak Harbor in the last league game of the season to claim the Wesco 3A North title. Joyner did his thing, rushing for 148 yards on only six carries and scoring runs of 72 and 49 yards before leaving early in the third quarter with an injury. Page took over the leading role by rushing for 176 yards on 28 carries.
The Wildcats (3-1, 7-2) finished second in the North and will travel to Edmonds Stadium to meet Meadowdale, the second-place finisher in the Wesco 3A South, at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, in a seeding game.
If Oak Harbor wins, it will earn the third seed out of Wesco into the state playoffs. Division champions Marysville-Pilchuck and Glacier Peak meet Friday to determine the top two seeds.
If Oak Harbor loses to Meadowdale (3-1, 5-3), it will most likely be the fifth seed. Ferndale, the only 3A team in the Northwest Conference, is blended with the Wesco schools to determine its seeding in the playoffs. Ferndale’s position is determined by its winning percentage against the 2A teams in the Northwest Conference. Wesco team’s percentages are based on season records. The Golden Eagles are 4-2 in league and favored to win their final league game with Anacortes Friday. A Ferndale win and Oak Harbor loss will drop Oak Harbor to fifth in the postseason pecking order.
The top three Wesco seeds play at home in the first round of the playoffs.
Marysville-Pilchuck's ground game pounded the Wildcats for 410 yards, and the Tomahawks’ defense, except for two plays, kept Oak Harbor’s high-powered rushing attack in check.
The Wildcats came into the game averaging 365 rushing yards per contest and netted only 210 Friday, with 117 coming on a pair of plays.
On Marysville-Pilchuck’s second possession, Joyner bolted 72 yards for the game’s first score with 49 seconds left in the first quarter. The PAT kick hit the upright.
Oak Harbor responded immediately. After a 25-yard kickoff return by Dyllan Harris, Dejon Devroe raced 47 yards down the right sideline to the M-P 1. Sheyenne Sams ran it in from there and Mark Johnston kicked the extra point and Oak Harbor had its only lead, 7-6.
The Tomahawks drove 65 yards in 12 plays to go ahead on Jake Luton’s quarterback sneak. Luton threw for a two-point conversion, making it 14-7.
An Oak Harbor fumble gave Marysville-Pilchuck the ball at midfield. A Joyner run converted a fourth-and-three at the Oak Harbor 32-yard line, then several plays later Page scored from the 17.
After a promising Oak Harbor drive died on downs, Marysville took over at its own 42 with only 15 seconds left in the half. Joyner scampered 42 yards on the final play of the second quarter and the Tomahawks led 27-7 at the break.
Oak Harbor looked poised to get back into the game after halftime. Three big plays built up a bank of momentum. The Wildcats began the half by recovering an onside kick. Then, on fourth-and-seven, Clay Doughty connected with tight end Troy Sturdevant for 17 yards. And, finally, Julian Faralan scored from the 3. Johnston’s kick made it 27-14.
Marysville-Pilchuck, unfazed, went 54 yards in six plays to regain control.
It added another score with 6:17 remaining in the game.
Oak Harbor finished the scoring when Faralan zipped right up the middle for a 70-yard TD sprint late in the fourth quarter.
Faralan finished with 127 yards on 16 carries. Devroe added 68 on nine carries, and leading rusher Sheyenne Sams collected only 44 on 11.
Oak Harbor coach Jay Turner said, “They are a good team – very physical. They get after it. Joyner is playing at a whole different level.”
The Wildcats had trouble getting its wide running game going, Turner said, because the Tomahawks were “more physical on the outside than we were and we couldn’t get to the edge.”
In regard to Page’s success running in the interior, he said, “They are the best line we have seen all year.”
Now Oak Harbor takes on Meadowdale, which lost 20-17 to Glacier Peak Friday in a fight for the Wesco 3A A South title. The Mavericks defeated Oak Harbor 22-14 last year when the two teams met in the same game between second-place teams.
Meadowdale is led by senior twins Jeremiah and Josiah Evans.
Going into the Glacier Peak game, quarterback Jeremiah led the Wesco South in passing and was fourth in rushing. He has hit 59 of 115 passes for 882 yards and seven touchdowns, and rushed for 361 yards on 43 carries, an 8.4 average. Josiah, who is also a three-year starter in the defensive backfield, is Jeremiah’s top target, catching 15 passes for 280 yards, second best in the South.
Malik Baxter leads the team in rushing with 730 yards on 88 carries for an 8.3 average. He is also second on the team in receiving, 205 yards on nine catches.
The Mavericks' 5-3 record is deceiving. The losses came to sixth-ranked Glacier Peak, Edmonds-Woodway (undefeated and ranked eighth in 4A) and 4A Eastlake. Eastlake is 6-2 with losses to second-ranked 4A Skyline and Kingco divisional winner 4A Bothell. It also defeated Eastside Catholic, which is ranked seventh in the state 3A poll.