The Wildcats, who have received five forfeits this season, kick two field goals of 50 yards or more in their first game since Sept. 16.
EVERETT — Two opening penalties for encroachment were the only noticeable signs of rust for Archbishop Thomas Murphy in its first football game since Sept. 16.
In most other facets, ATM was flawless, right down to senior kicker Ryan Henderson’s 50- and 54-yard field goals. The latter closed the scoring, Archbishop Murphy defeating Olympic 48-0 on Saturday.
“I was expecting us to miss some more tackles,” ATM coach Jerry Jensen said. “That’s usually a sign of having not played games. All in all, for having that many weeks off, we played pretty well.”
The Wildcats, who are ranked No. 1 in Class 2A, became international news after five of their six Cascade Conference opponents forfeited their games. Players and parents voted to forgo the matchups due to safety concerns.
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“None of us were scared,” said Olympic junior Mason Quitevis, of his Class 2A public school located in East Bremerton.
Trojans athletic director Nate Andrews scheduled the nonleaguer over the summer to avoid a bye week in his odd-numbered league. Olympic (4-4) hosts ATM in 2017.
That will be a different Wildcats squad. ATM has 16 seniors and only three weren’t part of the roster that struggled (going 3-6) against the Cascade Conference as freshmen.
The trio of quarterback Connor Johnson, Jesus Echevarria, a 330-pound lineman, and running back Collin Montez join running back Anfernee Gurley and lineman Abe Lucas, a Washington State commit, as ATM’s senior standouts.
Montez collected one interception and rushed for 85 yards on four carries with two touchdowns. He recently gave a verbal commitment to play baseball at WSU.
“It’s safer,” he said before noticing the irony.
Gurley opened the scoring with a 12-yard touchdown run. Kyler Gordon, a 5-foot-11 junior, followed it up with 33-yard touchdown run with 6:23 left in the first quarter.
The highlight was Henderson. He closed the first half with a 50-yard field goal. His second was 54 yards with 1:26 left in the game.
“He’s the best kicker in the state,” Johnson said. “Me being his holder, it’s magical just to see his foot sweep underneath the ball and just fly. I’m confused on why he doesn’t have any colleges talking to him.”
Before the mercy-rule running clock was initiated in the second half, the Trojans had just two first downs against ATM’s defense. One was off a penalty.
Olympic coach Sal Quitevis Jr. said statements about ATM were true, “talent-wise and size-wise.”
“But we knew in this game, it can happen at practice or in games where anybody can get a major injury,” he added. “Our guys played hard and they played with technique and that’s what keeps you safe and helps you compete out there.”
Archbishop Murphy (9-0) will sustain its final forfeit this week from Cedarcrest (3-6). Jensen said he met with Cascade Conference athletic directors on Thursday to begin discussions of how to proceed.
He declined further comment, wanting to relish the rare win.
“Everyone was waiting for this moment and excited,” Johnson said. “It’s a moment that can’t be relived.”