“I bet you they make it to 100 points.” Although anyone knowledgeable enough about football would know no coach would let their starting players keep playing in a non-league game when the score is up 73 points in the first half, this bet was indeed made by an AMHS student. That’s how confident in the Wildcat offense he was. And truth be told, if star players Connor Johnson, Anfernee Gurley, and Collin Montez had been kept in all game, they might have made it to 100 points.
But before we get to the game, let’s set the scene. Archbishop Murphy High School, Everett. The sky is cloudy. A rainstorm and thunder shower earlier in the day brought the smell of rain to the air. Students flock to the student section, assuming their new hierarchical positions in the stands. A group of seniors, led by the ever spirited Lucas Dini and Danny Damitio, hold down the front section of the stands and lead the student body in chants and cheers. Everyone is decked out, excited that Friday night lights at Archbishop Murphy have started up again.
The Wildcats defer, and senior kicker Ryan Henderson takes to the field. Every single kickoff Henderson would kick that night would fall in the endzone. After the Wildcat defense holds Issaquah to a 4 and out, Anfernee Gurley takes the ball 55 yards on 1st down for a touchdown. The game continues in a similar pattern for the rest of the night.
Archbishop Murphy’s defense forces Issaquah to punt. Connor Johnson leads the offense onto the field. The Wildcats score. The fight song is played by the band. Henderson kicks the extra point, followed by performing his ritualistic handshake with Johnson, who is not only the quarterback but also the holder. And the cheerleaders do 7 kicks for 7 points. Repeat, more or less.
The first half seemed to go on for ages as the Archbishop Murphy offense typically only took the field for a single play. By the end of the first half, the score was 73-0, and the game was figuratively over. Second and third string players got their chance to touch the ball in the second half, and managed to keep Issaquah scoreless.
Many Archbishop Murphy senior players have already received offers to play college ball. DE and offensive tackle Abe Lucas has already verbally committed to play for Washington State and teammates Jackson Yost and Gurley have had offers from Central Washington University and Eastern Washington University, respectfully. There are surely many more to come before the end of the season.
It was a pretty good night to be a part of an “overrated 2A school”; wildcat pride seems to be in full effect already.
(TD: Gurley 3, Collin Montez 2, Aleks Hansen, Joey Groves, Keonie Hoxie)
(FR: Will Doud)