High School Sports

Week 5 high school football previews, predictions

Evergreen's Robert Akil runs the ball against Prairie in the second half at District Stadium on Friday September 20, 2013. (Zachary Kaufman/The Columbian)

Evergreen’s Robert Akil runs the ball against Prairie in the second half at District Stadium on Friday September 20, 2013. (Zachary Kaufman/The Columbian)

So is it wrong to feel bad about going 14-2 in our picks last week?

That’s our best week of the season picking winners, pushing our total to 44-11 (.800).

It’s just that every time I saw a score, it wasn’t what I expected.

We picked Stevenson to win, but not by 61 points.

We picked Woodland to win, but not by 45 points.

We picked Skyview to win, but not by 42 points.

We picked Heritage to win, but not by 40 points.

Luckily, our scores were all terrible.

We had La Center beating Castle Rock 48-6; the Wildcats won 48-14

We had Union over Bonney Lake 42-14; the Titans won 50-14.

It’s always nice to depend on Camas: predicted winner 48-6, actual 49-0.

And we had River Ridge beating Hockinson 21-14. It was 17-14.

Of course, the two teams we incorrectly picked to win were eventually shut out.

OK, so now it’s league play for the 4A, 3A and 2A GSHL. Time for games that really mean something.

FRIDAY’S GAMES

4A GREATER ST. HELENS LEAGUE

EVERGREEN (3-1) vs. BATTLE GROUND (2-2)

When, where: 7 p.m., District Stadium, Battle Ground HS

Last week: Evergreen beat Kelso 55-35; Battle Ground beat Auburn Mountainview 44-21

Last meeting: Battle Ground 40-6 on Sept. 28, 2012

Players to watch: Evergreen’s Justin Straup and Rey Green form a potent 1-2 punch. Straup runs between the tackles, while Green runs fly sweeps. Battle Ground had its best running game behind Justin Smalley last week, helping to take the pressure of QB Colston Vukanovich.

Game notes: The winner of this game likely will position itself nicely to claim one of the three playoff spots. The loser faces a long, uphill battle to the postseason. It would be easy to apply the common opponent and say Evergreen has the edge (Evergreen beat Prairie and Prairie beat Battle Ground). But it’s not that simple. The Tigers have made strides to show their attack is more balanced. Evergreen is not quite there yet.

The pick: Battle Ground 30-27

UNION (3-1) vs. HERITAGE (2-2)

When, where: 5 p.m., McKenzie Stadium

Internet broadcast: www.portlandsportsbeat.com

Last week: Union beat Bonney Lake 50-14; Heritage beat Decatur 40-0

Last meeting: Union won 56-19 on Sept. 28, 2012

Players to watch: Union’s Leon Siofele leads all Clark County rushers with 785 yards and 7 TDs. E’Lon Mack, who broken Heritage’s TD reception record last week, will surely draw the attention of the Union defense.

Game notes: Heritage’s confidence is high, coming off a lopsided win last week. However, the Timberwolves were aided by five fumble recoveries. They shouldn’t expect such charity from Union.

The pick: Union 38-14

CAMAS (4-0) vs. SKYVIEW (2-2)

When, where: 8 p.m., Kiggins Bowl

Live TV: Fort Sports, cable Ch. 29; live feed at www.360preps.com

Last week: Camas beat Lakes 49-0; Skyview beat Enumclaw 49-7

Last meeting: Camas won 42-17 on Sept. 28, 2012

Players to watch: The Camas offense runs through QB Reilly Hennessey, who has passed for an area-best 1,113 yards and 12 TDs. Skyview’s offense has made big improvements after stumbling to an 0-2 start. WR Jacob Dennis has 24 receptions for 319 yards.

Game notes: Skyview once ruled the 4A GSHL. But now, the road to the league title runs through Camas.

The pick: Camas 42-14

3A GREATER ST. HELENS LEAGUE

COLUMBIA RIVER (3-1) vs. FORT VANCOUVER (0-4)

When, where: 5 p.m., Kiggins Bowl

Live TV: Fort Sports, cable Ch. 29; live feed at www.360preps.com

Last week: Columbia River lost to W.F. West 36-13; Fort Vancouver lost to R.A. Long 42-13

Last meeting: Columbia River won 62-12 on Sept. 28, 2012

Players to watch: Columbia River’s Jonathan Branson is a threat to run (257 yards) or pass (454 yards). Fort QB Jordan Suell has found a favorite target in Marquis Taylor (12 catches, 250 yards, 1 TD).

Game notes: Columbia River is looking to regroup after a disappointing loss to W.F. West. That’s not good news for the Trappers.

The pick: Columbia River 48-6.

HUDSON’S BAY (1-3) vs. KELSO (0-4)

When, where: 7 p.m., Schroeder Field, Kelso HS

Internet broadcast: klog.com.

Last week: Hudson’s Bay beat Ridgefield 29-25; Kelso lost to Evergreen 55-35

Last meeting: Kelso won 40-0 on Sept. 28, 2012

Players to watch: Hudson’s Bay receiver Ayrrius Presley was a one-man scoring machine in last week’s comeback win over Ridgefield. Kelso found success running the ball with Lloyd Melone and Chauncy Goudy.

Game notes: Bay’s win last week snapped a 12-game skid and provided the Eagles with a big boost. But with Kelso at home and looking to build off successes last week vs. Evergreen, it might the Hilanders’ turn to get off the skid.

The pick: Kelso 26-13.

PRAIRIE (2-2) vs. MOUNTAIN VIEW (2-2)

When, where: 8 p.m., McKenzie Stadium

Internet broadcast: www.portlandsportsbeat.com

Last week: Prairie lost to Mark Morris 22-0; Mountain View lost to Peninsula 52-45

Last meeting: Mountain View won 49-21 on Sept. 28, 2012

Players to watch: The Falcons like to run the ball, even Ronnie Evenden carrying the load and Dallas Goodpaster pitching in. But Mountain View also has a potent 1-2 punch in the ground game with Preston Jones and Austin Mace.

Game notes: With two teams that like to run the ball, the big difference may come in each team’s ability to complete some big passes. And right now, Mountain View appears to have that edge.

The pick: Mountain View 34-21

2A GREATER ST. HELENS LEAGUE

RIDGEFIELD (0-4) vs. HOCKINSON (3-1)

When, where: 7 p.m. Nautilus Field, Hockinson HS

Last week: Ridgefield lost to Hudson’s Bay 29-25; Hockinson lost to River Ridge 17-14

Last meeting: Ridgefield won 42-18 on Sept. 28, 2012

Players to watch: Josh Mason had a solid game for Ridgefield last week with 93 yards rushing and a TD. Hockinson is led by senior QB Jess Krahn.

Game notes: Ridgefield held the lead late in the fourth quarter last week, and end lost it. Hockinson trailed late in the fourth quarter last week, and looked set to take the lead before turnovers did the Hawks in. The Spudders will need more of those Hockinson miscues — and perhaps another slow start by the Hawks — to stay close.

The pick: Hockinson 31-6

WASHOUGAL (3-1) vs. R.A. LONG (4-0)

When, where: 7 p.m. at Longview Memorial Stadium.

Last week: Washougal lost to Rainier (Ore.) 32-0; R.A. Long beat Fort Vancouver 42-13

Last meeting: R.A. Long won 34-31 on Sept. 28, 2012

Players to watch: Washougal’s Bobby Jacobs is having a solid season with 497 yards and 4 TDs. R.A. Long’s Jacob Yordy is a touchdown-scoring machine.

Game notes: The Panthers got off to a solid 3-0 start before things took a turn for the worse at Rainier last week. Washougal should have more success moving the ball this week, but keeping up the potent Lumberjacks will be a challenge.

The pick: R.A. Long 36-13

1A TRICO LEAGUE

LA CENTER (4-0, 4-0) vs. WHITE SALMON (3-1, 2-1)

When, where: 7 p.m., Columbia HS, White Salmon

Last week: La Center beat Castle Rock 48-14; White Salmon lost to Kalama 17-13

Last meeting: La Center won 36-7 on Sept. 28, 2012

Players to watch: La Center’s Connor Fulton and Max Hiller have scored 5 TDs each, while Fulton leads the team in rushing (430 yards). White Salmon QB Tanner Rabinowitz leads an offense that were prefer to run, but can throw it.

Game notes: White Salmon likes to grind out wins through ball control and defense. But the Bruins will be hard-pressed to contain and then keep up with the Wildcats.

The pick: La Center 34-13

WOODLAND (4-0, 3-0) vs. ILWACO (0-4, 0-4)

When, where: 7 p.m. at Ilwaco HS

Last week: Woodland beat Montesano 47-3; Ilwaco lost to Toledo 20-0

Last meeting: Woodland won 62-0 on Sept. 28, 2012

Players to watch: Eli Whitmire can score at any time, in any way: running, catching, returning and on defense. Tom Orneal did rush for 100 yards in a loss to Toledo.

Game notes: Ilwaco was been shutout by La Center and Toledo this season. Yeah, that’s about right.

The pick: Woodland 55-0

TOLEDO (2-2, 2-1) vs. SETON CATHOLIC (1-3, 1-3)

When, where: 7 p.m., Doc Harris Stadium, Camas

Last week: Toledo beat Ilwaco 20-0; Seton Catholic lost to Stevenson 61-0

Last meeting: Toledo won 60-13 on Sept. 28, 2012

Players to watch: Seton Catholic’s Will Noce-Sheldon has run for 300 yard and passed for 410. Toledo’s Taylor Hicks rushed eight times for 106 yards last week, and three of those runs ended with him in the end zone.

Game notes: After posting the second win program history, Seton Catholic has been outscored to the turn of 135-0 in the past two weeks. The Cougars could get nothing going through the air in rainy conditions last week. The forecast is better this week … at least as far as the weather is concerned.

The pick: Toledo 27-14

KALAMA (2-2, 1-2) vs. STEVENSON (1-3, 1-3)

When, where: 7 p.m. at Stevenson HS

Last week: Kalama beat White Salmon 17-13; Stevenson beat Seton Catholic 61-0.

Last meeting: Stevenson won 30-0 on Sept. 28, 2012

Players to watch: Stevenson’s Colton Van Pelt (288 yards passing) makes the Bulldogs’ offense go. QB Elijah Bannister leads the Kalama ground attack.

Game notes: After scoring only six points in each of its first three games (all losses), Stevenson broke through with 61 last week. Kalama, when not facing Woodland or La Center, plays pretty good defense.

The pick: Kalama 26-13

OTHER GAMES

Mark Morris (3-1) at Aberdeen (2-2), 7 p.m.

Hoquiam (0-4) at Castle Rock (2-2), 7 p.m.

Wishkah Valley (3-1) at King’s Way Christian (4-0), 6 p.m.

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