Wildcats ready to defend 2A state title | Football
Last updated 11/3/2017 at Noon
Archbishop Murphy heads into the postseason on a roll.
The Wildcats closed out the regular season with a 54-0 rout of Cedarcrest in a Cascade Conference football game Friday, Oct. 27, at Archbishop Murphy High School’s Terry Ennis Stadium.
The Wildcats also dispatched Olympic 56-21 in a non-conference contest Friday, Oct. 20, at Olympic High School.
“I think we’re starting to clean up some things that we knew we needed to,” Archbishop Murphy coach Jerry Jensen said. “There’s an urgency with the postseason right around the corner. Our attention to detail got better.”
The Wildcats (5-0 in the league, 8-1 overall) host a familiar foe from the past in Lakewood in a district playoff game at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 3, at Terry Ennis Stadium.
“It’ll be a good test out of the gate,” Jensen said. “They have a four-year starter at quarterback. He’s going to have some of that savvy play that you get with that kind of experience. We’re going to have to contain him as best we can.”
The defending 2A state champions graduated some key players from a year ago and have done well with a number of younger starters, including sophomore quarterback Victor Gabalis.
“He’s still a sophomore and he’s still going to make some mistakes,” Jensen said. “We try not to feed him too much and use what he can do.”
The Wildcats continue to focus on getting all of the players workable reps and comfortable in their roles, whether they are juniors or seniors, Jensen added.
“We just need to have them playing fast at this time of the year,” he said.
Senior Kyler Gordon, who was held out three weeks due to a leg injury, returned to the lineup and showed he’s back in top form.
Gordon caught three passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 32 yards on three carries against the Red Wolves. Gordon
caught TD passes of 60 and 90 yards from Gabalis and also returned an interception 36 yards for a score. Gabalis completed 4 of 5 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns.
Senior running back Ray Pimentel rushed for 186 yards on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns.
Against Olympic, Gordon rushed for 110 yards on seven carries and scored two touchdowns. He caught four passes for 95 yards and two scores. Pimentel ran for 156 yards on 18 carries and scored two TDs. Gabalis completed 5 of 6 passes for 134 yards. and three touchdowns.
The Wildcats are ready to defend their state crown.
“It’s kind of an exciting time for everybody to get into the postseason,” Jensen said. “It’s tests you to see how much you’re grown as a team.”