Glacier Peak beats Meadowdale for division title, 25-7
The seventh-ranked Grizzlies completed an unbeaten run through the WesCo 3A North for the division title by beating their nemesis.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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EDMONDS — All of Glacier Peak's coaches and players understood the magnitude of Friday's game against Meadowdale.
With the WesCo 3A South football title on the line and playoff seeds at stake, it would have been hard not to. So when No. 7 Glacier Peak knocked off No. 6 Meadowdale 25-7, the Grizzlies didn't hesitate to take a few moments to celebrate.
"We've been able to get after some other teams in this league, but these guys we've only gotten one time in five years before now," Glacier Peak coach Rory Rosenbach said. "This is a huge step. The goal was to be WesCo South champs. The guys get to check one off their list."
Short-handed Meadowdale (6-2 overall, 3-1) actually jumped out to an early lead when sophomore running back Malik Braxton took a direct snap 41 yards for a touchdown.
Glacier Peak (7-1, 4-0) quickly responded with a 43-yard pass-and-catch from Chris Becerra to Austin Hines, who also ran in the two-point conversion.
But Glacier Peak grabbed momentum for good just minutes before halftime. Sean Elledge blocked a punt, and Josh Pinca returned it 20 yards for a touchdown, giving Glacier Peak a 15-7 lead.
The Grizzlies went into the locker room jumping and yelling to their crowd.
"That just ignited everybody, got everybody ready to go," Rosenbach said.
The Grizzlies added insurance just three minutes into the second half. After a short punt gave Glacier Peak the ball at the Meadowdale 39, Michael Palmer ran for a 21-yard touchdown that put Glacier Peak in front 22-7.
On the Grizzlies' next drive, Spencer Pettit took advantage of another short field by kicking a 41-yard field goal.
Glacier Peak will play Marysville-Pilchuck next week for the WesCo 3A title and top playoff seed. Meadowdale, still a playoff-bound team, will face Oak Harbor.
"We focused more on where we are now and what matters at the time," said Palmer, who topped 100 rushing yards. "But, yeah, we still talked about what's going to happen."
Meadowdale played without three of its biggest playmakers as starting running backs Giavani Shepard and Morgan Masanda and starting quarterback Brian Marty didn't play because of injuries.
The Mavericks had just 69 yards in the first half, including just one completion for one yard.
Meadowdale coach Mark Stewart stressed the importance of controlling the clock with the offense before the game, but the Mavericks couldn't sustain drives.
"We need to be able to complete more balls and sustain a drive," said Stewart, whose team lost its second straight game. "That's kind of been our deal the last couple weeks. Granted, we were missing people, but so are a lot of people."