Thrill of victory and agony of defeat for Glacier Peak | Football
Last updated 10/7/2016 at Noon
The Glacier Peak football team experienced some incredible highs and lows in its last two games.
The Grizzlies scored 16 unanswered points in the final four minutes to stun Jackson 37-31 in a Wesco 4A football game Sept. 23 at Everett Memorial Stadium.
Glacier Peak then traveled to Monroe in a battle for first place in the league and ended up on the losing end of a shocking 64-6 loss on Sept. 30.
Grizzlies coach Nick Bender attributed the loss to a combination of the Bearcats being a very good team and a rash of injuries that hit Glacier Peak before and during Friday’s contest.
Bender told his players that moving forward the Grizzlies have to concentrate on themselves.
“The problem isn’t the opponent,” he said. “We’ve just got to focus on us. We’ve got to get healthy. Our goals are still there. They are still reachable.”
Monroe (3-0 in the league, 5-0 overall) took a 14-0 lead into the second quarter. Glacier Peak (2-1, 3-2) then cut the lead to 14-6 on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Ayden Ziomas to Bo Burns.
The Bearcats then responded with 37 unanswered points to take a 51-6 lead into halftime.
“They’re well-balanced. They have a good quarterback, running backs and wide receivers,” Bender said of the Bearcats. “They have an aggressive offensive line and an aggressive defense. It all came to a perfect head.”
Monroe outgained Glacier Peak 485 yards to 171. The Grizzlies threw 3 interceptions and lost 1 fumble and were flagged for 6 penalties for 114 yards.
Glacier Peak is on the road again this week against Lake Stevens (3-0, 5-0), the only other undefeated team in the league, for a 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7 game.
We hope to have a few of the (injured) guys back,” Bender said. “Some of it will be a game-time situation.”
But if some of the starters are not healthy, “it’s next person up,” he added. “They’ve got to step up and do the job.”
As low as the Grizzlies were feeling last week, they were feeling quite the opposite after knocking off the Timberwolves.
Glacier Peak trailed Jackson 31-21 with about four minutes left in the game.
Grizzlies quarterback Ayden Ziomas led the comeback by throwing a pair of touchdown passes to Colton Bunt and Seiver Southard, as the Grizzlies took a 35-31 lead. The Glacier Peak defense also added a safety.
Bender liked the resolve and tenacity from his players in the face of a possible loss.
“It was almost a little too exciting,” Bender said of the finish. “You always like to see kids tested. You like to see teams tested. It’s nice to see the kids fighting back. But at the same, as a coach, you question how we got to that position in the first place.”
Part of the problems is that Grizzlies didn’t capitalize on earlier scoring opportunities, Bender said.
“We left some points on the board, whether it be special teams or too many penalties. We had way too many penalties,” he said. “A lot of times we stopped ourselves.”
The Grizzlies were flagged for 19 penalties that amounted to a staggering 164 yards.
Glacier Peak and Jackson were tied at 14 after the first quarter. Ziomas threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Bunt and Deven Kamihara scored on a 3-yard run.
Ziomas found Southard on an 11-yard scoring strike in the third quarter, as the Grizzlies took a 21-14 lead.
The Wolfpack then responded with two TDs and a field goal to take a 31-21 lead.
Ziomas completed 21 of 35 passes for 282 yards. His favorite target, Bunt, caught 8 passes for 134 yards. Running back Billy Lutali rushed for 96 yards on 18 carries.
Glacier Peak outgained Jackson 495 yards to 337 and had a 29-12 advantage in first downs.
The Grizzlies opened league play with a 42-7 rout of Cascade on Sept. 16 at Everett Memorial Stadium.
Ziomas completed 13 of 16 passes for 149 yards. The sophomore quarter threw TD passes to Bunt, Alex Garrett (2), Southard (2). Jaryd Tabobo also scored on a 1-yard run. Lutali rushed for 118 yards on 15 carries.
“It was all sides of the ball coming together for a complete game,” Bender said of his team’s performance.
Glacier Peak rushed for 224 total yards.
“The run game was open,” Bender said. “We showed a little bit of versatility. It was nice to see the ground game going.”
The Grizzlies’ defense shut down Cascade, which finished with 212 total yards.
“We were pretty successful in stopping what they like to do the best, which is running the ball,” Bender said.