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Out of the murky preseason-no-favorite-in-3A-Wesco mess has emerged a familiar playoff contender.

The Marysville-Pilchuck High School Tomahawks.

Remember them, the team that reached the Class 3A state playoffs for three consecutive seasons (2012-14), including a trip to the state semifinals in 2014, losing a close game to powerhouse Bellevue (20-10)?

After that, longtime coach Brandon Carson's program hit a lull, missing the postseason for four years in a row - with losing records in three of those seasons (2015-17).

In his 13th season, Carson had a feeling this year's team could do some damage, especially with so many key three-year starting seniors.

But 8-0 - the first unbeaten run of its kind since 2013?

"If you'd told me that I would have said, 'Thanks for that,'" Carson said. "Here we are."

The Wesco North champion Tomahawks meet Snohomish, the Wesco South winner, for the league title Friday night. Marysville-Pilchuck edged the Panthers, 17-14, in an opening-week crossover game.

The Tomahawks, ranked No. 7 in Scorebook Live's latest 3A state rankings, don't have that one workhouse star to carry them, much like Gatorade state player of the year Austin Joyner did in 2014.

But they still want to run it right at defenses, led by near-1,000-yard senior tailback Jordan Justice and sophomore Dylan Carson. Both had 100-yard outings in the Tomahawks' 42-14 victory to clinch the divisional title.

The closest thing Marysville-Pilchuck has to a game-changer is senior wide receiver Dillon Kuk, who is also utilized in the run game.

Mauro Bejar, another senior, is a defensive leader at middle linebacker. And senior center Justin Albee has been the offensive line's most consistent performer.

"I had eight of these seniors who started as sophomores," Carson said. "And last year, we started to turn the corner (at 7-3), barely missing out on the playoffs.

"We had a bunch of starters coming back on both sides ... and I figured if we didn't make the playoffs this year, it was bad coaching on my part."


The injury bug has struck the Hockinson Hawks receiver corps once again. 

Senior wide receiver Peyton Brammer was carried off the field in the first quarter of the Hawks’ week eight 2A Greater St. Helens League title-clinching win over Washougal on Friday with a knee injury. 

The extent of Brammer’s injury is unknown, and he is set to go in for an MRI on Tuesday, leaving a potential timetable for the senior’s recovery up in the air.

Brammer, an Associated Press first team all-state selection at defensive back and honorable mention pick at receiver last season, had amassed 703 yards and 11 touchdowns through the air, per The Columbian, for the No. 2 Hawks. He became the team’s to-be top target after three-star receiver/LB Sawyer Racanelli tore his Anterior Cruciate Ligament and would miss his senior season.

Losing Brammer long-term just a week before the postseason would be a blow for a Hawks team that looks poised for another playoff run.

Brammer was the two-time 2A defending state champs’ top target out wide and top cover corner. The injury came just days after he received his first Big Sky offer for football from Montana. 

Brammer missed the end of Hockinson’s 2018 2A state championship run with a broken foot, which kept him out of most of the ensuing basketball season. He is also a standout basketball player for the Hawks.

Andy Buhler contributed to this report