High hopes for Grizzlies | Football

By David Pan | Nov 02, 2018

Glacier Peak definitely finished the regular season strong.

The Grizzlies clinched the league’s No. 2 seed to the playoffs with convincing victories of Monroe and Mount Vernon in Wesco 4A football action.

Glacier Peak dominated the Bearcats 42-10 and then wrapped up the regular season with a 30-6 victory over the Bulldogs.

“There’s no doubt we finished the season strong offensively and defensively,” Grizzlies coach Nick Bender said. “A lot of the cylinders are starting to click at the perfect time heading into the playoffs.”

Glacier Peak (6-1 in the league, 8-1 overall) hosts Eastlake in a loser-out playoff game at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 3, at Veterans Memorial Stadium. The Wolves (4-1, 7-2) finished second in the Kingco Crest Division. Eastlake has outscored its last three opponents 170-27. The Wolves beat Monroe 35-19 in its season opener.

The Grizzlies have played on the road the last two seasons and lost both playoff games to Bothell and Sumner.

“One of the goals of the seniors was to be able to host a playoff game,” Bender said. “Now we have to take advantage of the opportunity.”

Bender expects a tough game against Eastlake.

“They run a defense similar to one we used to run,” he said. “They’re pretty close to the same kind of offense. It should be a good matchup. They’re coming from a tough league.”

Glacier Peak started out fast against the Bearcats, scoring four straight touchdowns in the first half to take a 28-3 lead. Senior quarterback Ayden Ziomas completed 27 of 31 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns. Running Corbin Ferrie rushed for 75 yards on 10 carries.

The Grizzly defense limited the Bulldogs to a season-low six points – two field goals. Bender credited a solid game plan and perfect execution by the players for the dominant performance.

“The kids were ready for it,” he said.

The offense produced balanced numbers with Ziomas completing 14 of 21 passes for 175 yards and one touchdown. The Grizzlies rushed for 158 yards with Ferrie running for

53 yards on nine carries with one touchdown. Ziomas also had five carries for 36 yards.

“What the difference is, is that we have a running game now,” Bender said. “It opens a lot of things up. For the defense, it’s hard to key on one aspect. It’s definitely makes it easier on a play caller.”

Ziomas’ numbers are impressive with 2,500 yards of combined running and passing.

“He’s definitely a dual threat guy,” Bender said. “He’s able to diagnose defenses and make them pay really well.”

Glacier Peak was 9 of 13 on third down attempts against Mount Vernon.

Part of that success is because the Grizzlies have no qualms about going for it on fourth down.

“I argue we have a four-down offense,” Bender said. “We’re not afraid to go for it at different times. It makes it easier on players. They are relaxed. They have four downs to get a first down. Everyone else is a three-down philosophy.”

The Grizzlies made four of their five fourth down attempts in the Monroe contest.

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