Glacier Peak rebounds with key victory over Mariner | Football
Last updated 10/20/2017 at Noon
The ship has been righted.
Coming off tough back-to-back losses to Monroe and Lake Stevens, Glacier Peak was in need of a victory to maintain its playoffs standing and to boost its confidence.
The Grizzles accomplished both with a decisive 28-13 victory over Mariner in a key Wesco 4A football game Friday, Oct. 13, at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The Grizzlies (3-2 in the league, 4-3 overall) finished the week in a tie for third place in the league with Jackson (3-2, 3-3), but Glacier Peak holds the tiebreaker with its win over the Wolfpack earlier in the season.
“This was a huge game just for our standings in the playoffs and just to build our confidence,” junior quarterback Ayden Ziomas said. “I think we really rallied around each other. We bounced back and we came back even stronger.”
Glacier Peak coach Nick Bender was watching his team’s body language early in the contest.
“The main thing that I wanted to see if our kids rebounded,” Bender said. “That was the big part, seeing them rebound. Seeing them react. Wipe the slate clean from the last two weeks because you’re facing two truly good and tough teams.”
The Grizzlies came out with energy and enthusiasm, Bender added.
Ziomas completed 9 of 15 passes for 270 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. He also ran for 65 yards on eight carries with one touchdown.
One of the interceptions bounced off the hands of a Glacier Peak receiver and a player fell down on one of the other picks.
“His reads were correct,” Bender said. “One of them he was just a little bit late.”
Mariner senior running back Isaiah Harrison scored on a 34-yard run in the first quarter. The extra point was missed.
Ziomas connected on a 46-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Bo Burns and the Grizzlies made the extra point to head into the second quarter with a 7-6 lead.
Glacier Peak extended its advantage to 14-6 on a 15-yard pass from Ziomas to wide receiver Evan Mannes. The Grizzlies added to the lead with a late touchdown in the second quarter.
Ziomas connected with a wide-open Connor Stroup for a 53-yard touchdown that extended Glacier Peak’s advantage to 21-6 at halftime.
“I think that was big, separating ourselves by two scores,” Ziomas said. “I think that really gave us a lot of momentum.”
Ziomas had a 1-yard TD run in the third quarter.
One of the Grizzlies’ goals against Mariner was to build an early lead.
“It’s big, considering the kind of offense that Mariner runs,” Bender said. “They want to control the clock. They run the ball and that’s a great concept. But it’s tough once you’re down, so we knew that we had to build a lead and once we had a lead, we’d be fine.”
Mariner junior running back Josiah Pesterkoff scored on a 57-yard run to cut the deficit to 28-13 late in the fourth quarter.
Bender noted that he and his staff simplified the offensive game plan this week and got back to the base plays.
“Once we got into it, we kept picking on the safeties,” Bender said. “With all the passes that we were calling and giving them confusing reads that messed with all their zones and it worked out pretty well.”
Glacier Peak takes on Kamiak at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 20, at Goddard Stadium.
“We just need to keep on practicing hard,” Ziomas said. “We need to keep lifting hard and keep studying. I