Wildcats advance to 2A state quarterfinals | Football

By David Pan | Nov 17, 2017

Archbishop Murphy opened the postseason with two decisive victories.

The Wildcats dispatched Lakewood 43-7 in a district playoff game Friday, Nov. 3, and then defeated River Ridge 47-7 in a first round 2A state playoff game Friday, Nov. 10, at Goddard Stadium in Everett.

Archbishop Murphy faces North Kitsap in a state quarterfinal game at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 17, at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Snohomish.

The Wildcats eliminated the Vikings in each of the last two years, so Archbishop Murphy coach Jerry Jensen is preparing his squad for a tough game.

“This has been a difficult game for each of the last two years,” he said. “The boys are really focused. … We know each other. We ended their season twice. They are going to be extremely motivated. We have to match that intensity level.”

With 20 seniors, North Kitsap is likely one of the more experienced teams the Wildcats (10-1) have faced this season. The Vikings’ offense revolves around a big running back and a solid offensive line, Jensen said.

The Archbishop Murphy offensive is coming off a strong performance against River Ridge. Senior running back Ray Pimentel rushed for 276 yards on 14 carries and scored four touchdowns.

“I think we came off the ball well. Our pad level was good. We sustained our blocks,” Jensen said. “Ray did a good job of reading the field.”

Sophomore quarterback Victor Gabalis completed 6 of 18 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns.

“We were trying to work that part of the offense (passing),” Jensen said. “You’ve got to be able to spread the field at times.”

Wide receiver Kyler Gordon caught four passes for 145 yards and one TD.

The Wildcats’ defense asserted itself by intercepting four River Ridge passes.

“I think we had a good defensive game plan,” Jensen said. “We provided some pressure up front and made the quarterback uncomfortable.”

Pimentel and Gordon also played key roles in the victory over Lakewood. Pimentel rushed for 188 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns. Gordon caught three passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns.

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