Tomahawk football wins second straight over Snohomish

SNOHOMISH — The Tomahawk football team started their season with seven quarters of shutout defense, more than enough to pick up a league win against Snohomish at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Sept. 11.

After leading 22-0 at halftime, Marysville-Pilchuck picked up the 36-12 win, giving the school a key win in Wesco North competition and the school’s first back-to-back wins against the Panthers in school history. Senior running backs Austin Denton and A.J. Kvangnes had two touchdowns each and contributed 359 yards to the team’s 379 of total offense.

Tomahawk coach Brandon Carson credited his linemen on both sides of the ball for contributing to the win. Defensively, he credited the quartet of Brett Parsons, Robbie Fulilangi, Jarrett Finau and Brennen Steinbaugh for controlling the line of scrimmage and forcing Snohomish to go to the air.

“We knew we’d have to control the battle for the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball,” Carson said. “Our front four did an outstanding job controlling the line and stopping their run.”

The game started out slower and promised to be as closely matched as prognostications indicated. After punting on their opening drive, the Tomahawks got on the board in the first quarter thanks to a 32-yard field goal by Danny Stokes.

Late in the quarter, the running game started firing as Kvangnes came up with a 37-yard run for a first down.

Four minutes into the second quarter, Denton was driving when he was tackled and stripped of the ball. Refs called, then recalled, a fumble on the play giving M-P 12 yards on the carry and setting up first and goal. Denton charged into the end zone to put his team up 10-0.

It took about 45 seconds for M-P to add to their lead as the Tomahawks recovered their kickoff, taking over possession at the Snohomish 25-yard line. With just under seven minutes until the half, Denton had a 17-yard run for his second touchdown of the game. With 40 seconds left in the first half, Kvangnes gave the team their halftime score on a touchdown run starting at the Snohomish 34.

In a bid to put Snohomish on the board, quarterback Luke Perry put the ball in the air as time expired, a pass picked off by M-P linebacker Siti Tamaivena. The junior also had a sack in the third quarter.

“Defense-wise, we did really good,” Tamaivena said.

The Panthers avoided a shutout on a one-yard run in the early fourth quarter, a score answered by the combined efforts of Denton and Kvangnes, the latter going 33 yards to the end zone to put M-P up 28-6. A pick by Suli Tamaivena set up senior Chris Larson’s 16-yard touchdown run late in the game. Snohomish had a final score with less than two minutes to go.

Denton finished the game with 22 carries for 220 yards and Kvangnes turned in a higher average with 139 yards on nine carries.

“A.J. worked so hard and he gets everything he deserves,” Carson said. “He had a great night.”

The team follows their league win and 2-0 start with Skyview in the Nike CBA Football Classic, a team that has qualified for state two out of the past three seasons. The Tomahawks will host.

“They won their league last year,” Carson added of Skyview. “If we make it to state, that’s the kind of team we’ll have to play.”

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