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By David Pan
Sports editor 

Wildcats secure playoff bye with win over Cubs | Football

Archbishop Murphy closes out regular season with two key victories over Burlington-Edison and Sedro-Woolley

 

Last updated 11/1/2019 at 11:05am

David R Pan

Archbishop Murphy's Nicholas Rodabaugh (18) avoids a Burlington-Edison defender during a Northwest Conference 2A Sky Division game Friday, Oct. 18, at Archbishop Murphy High School.

Archbishop Murphy's hard work paid off with an extra week to rest and prepare for a Bi-District playoff.

Senior quarterback Victor Gabalis completed eight of 14 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns to help lead the Wildcats to a 27-14 victory over Sedro-Woolley in a Northwest Conference 2A Sky Division football game Friday, Oct. 25, at Sedro-Woolley High School.

The victory means that Archbishop Murphy (3-2 in the league, 6-2 overall) earned a first-round playoff bye. The Wildcats will host a yet-to-be-determined opponent at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 8, at Archbishop Murphy High School.

"It was a big win," Archbishop Murphy coach Mark Leone said. "I'm proud of the work we did. We had a good week of focused practice. We were going up there with a disciplined attitude. We were trying to win as a team, not as individuals."

Archbishop Murphy was coming off another strong performance in a 28-13 victory over Burlington-Edison on Friday, Oct. 18, at Archbishop Murphy High School. Gabalis completed nine of 15 passes for 170 yards and three scores against the Tigers.

"Victor is throwing the ball really well," Leone said.

Wide receiver Josiah Santiago was Gabalis' favorite target in the Sedro-Woolley contest. Santiago caught five passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns of 73 and 16 yards.

"He ran really good routes," Leone said. "He's been capable all year. This game he was able to shine a little bit."

Joe Ennis caught four passes for 79 yards and one touchdown of 35 yards and also scored on a 4-yard run.

The defensive game plan against the Cubs was to avoid the big plays.

"We knew we needed to stop the run," Leone added. "We made it a priority to have good pass coverage. I thought the effort was all around."

Josh McCarron had the hot hands against Burlington-Edison, catching four passes for 115 yards and one touchdown. Ennis caught five passes for 55 yards and two scores. Running back Mason Mathis ran for 140 yards on 12 carries.

The back-to-back wins followed to tough losses to Lynden (Sept. 27) and Lakewood (Oct. 11).

"Anytime you are able to put a couple of wins together, it can boost your confidence," Leone said.

Leone hopes the Wildcats keep the momentum during the bye week.

"A bye week is not an advantage if we don't get better," Leone said.

 

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