Preview and pick time….CHS football at Archbishop Murphy, MSHS girls’ soccer Kingco playoff opener at Inglemoor

It’s Thursday, and we have a pair of previews and picks for you this morning. We’ll start with football, as Cedarcrest wraps up Cascade Conference play with a meeting against league leader Archbishop Murphy, and then we’ll have the Mount Si girls’ soccer playoff opener against Inglemoor to discuss.

Football: Cedarcrest Red Wolves at Archbishop Murphy Wildcats, Archbishop Murphy HS, Mill Creek, 7:00 – The rather dim playoff hopes for Cedarcrest are on the line tonight as they meet undefeated ATM. To get into the postseason, CHS has to pull off the upset of the Wildcats and hope Granite Falls, who the Red Wolves beat handily last week and are 1-7, can upset Lakewood. A very, very tall order to be sure – and in fact, the league thinks it to be so, as such they’ve announced Cedarcrest’s Week 10 opponent already for next week, but we won’t do that here because while there is still a faint playoff hope as far as we are concerned, there’s still a chance for the Red Wolves.

The three-headed ground attack of RB’s Alex Parnell, Ryan Golden and Dave Boak will need to be all over things tonight for CHS to be successful; the three rushed for a combined nearly 500 yards and five touchdowns last week in the 57-29 throttling of GF on Cedarcrest’s Senior Night.

As for Murphy, they’re loaded. Under center tonight for the Wildcats will be junior QB Connor Johnson. Johnson completed eight of 12 passes last week for 176 yards, a touchdown and interception, as ATM rolled over King’s 49-7 in the battle of the conference’s top two teams overall. Johnson has thrown for over 1,000 yards this season, and his chief weapon through the air is junior Anfernee Gurley. Gurley caught three passes last week for 89 yards and a TD and has 15 total catches for 471 yards this fall. Gurley leads the team in all-purpose yardage, having recorded over 1,100 yards this fall all-purpose, as he also has nearly 300 yards on the ground and 350 on special teams as a punt and kick returner. Gurley will be the player to watch tonight. We watched a video clip of him against King’s last week on MaxPreps and came away impressed. The young man demonstrated good speed and athleticism, and also strong play on both sides of the ball. CHS will have its hands full with Mr. Gurley tonight.

On the ground, senior RB Kerry Jackson will also be a load for the Red Wolves’ defense. Jackson comes off his best game of the season, a 21-carry, 210-yard, four touchdown performance against the Knights in last week’s win for ATM. Jackson has almost 700 yards on the ground this fall, and we watched a highlight clip of him and also were impressed. Good speed and strength – there were several runs shown in the highlight package where he was able to work for extra yardage pulling defenders along for the ride. Red Wolve defenders will need to be extra physical to have success with this player.

So as you can see, it’s going to be a very, very tall order. The playoff dreams for CHS we feel will be done tonight, but they have had a successful first season under new head coach Billy Ojeda, keeping this dream alive until the bitter end. ATM moves on, and moves on big. ATM 41, Cedarcrest 14

Girls’ Soccer: Mount Si Wildcats at Inglemoor Vikings, Pop Keeney Stadium, Bothell, 7:00 (Kingco 4A playoffs, first round, loser out) – The Wildcats come into this game as the Kingco’s sixth overall seed, with a five-win, four loss, six-tie overall season record (2-3-3 league), meeting a Vikings squad that is 7-3-3 overall, 5-3-0 in league play, and which earned Kingco’s third seed.

The big question for MSHS will be secondary scoring. Yes, the team is led by junior MF/D Natalie Weidenbach, who has nine goals and four assists on the season, numbers that helped earn her a Kingco all-conference first-team honor. But Weidenbach, bound for the University of Texas come the fall of 2017, is just one girl, folks. She needs some extra help on offense, but for the most part this fall, that really hasn’t happened. Mount Si has only three goals scored in the last six games – 0-2-4 in that stretch – with Weidenbach having tallied the one last Thursday night in their 1-1 Senior Night tie with Eastlake.
Players such as senior Curstyn Willamson (3G, 1A) and junior Avery Lane (2G, 2A) have done their best to establish themselves in that role; coaches thought so, too, and gave both of them league honorable mentions, along with seniors Camryn Buck and Kelsey Willard, but Williamson is coming off an injury and Lane hasn’t been able to get much going offensively as of late. Both of them will need to step it up for the Wildcats to have a chance in this contest.

Of note for tonight as well is there is a change in the goalkeeping department for Mount Si. No, not with senior Nellie Joselyn, of course, as the Kingco first-team selection will get the start this evening in goal for the Wildcats, but with her backup. Sophomore Ruby Madrone, who has served as Joselyn’s varsity backup all season, was left off the roster as she is dealing with a back injury, according to coach Darren Brown. In Madrone’s place will be Renee Anderson, another sophomore, who was the starting junior varsity keeper. While it is not expected Anderson will see action in this game, the experience for her being in this environment will be valuable for her as she gets ready for the fall 2016 season competing to replace Joselyn as the starting varsity goalie.

Again, though, the main issue for the Wildcats will be secondary scoring. But really, it’s scoring in general, as we’ve discussed already. They’ve got to get it into the back of the net. Simple as that. Three total goals in the past six games? Yikes. The odds are not very good for playoff success in our view when the offense has been cold like that coming into the postseason. Mount Si is 0-1-1 against the Vikings and has not scored a goal against them this fall. This will be a tough one tonight. We’re taking Inglemoor. Inglemoor 2, Mount Si 0

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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