High School Sports

Week 9 high school football previews and predictions

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If you looked at every league in Southwest Washington — 4A Greater St. Helens League, 3A GSHL, 2A GSHL and 1A Trico League — you divide each league in three tiers: The league title contenders, playoff contenders and non-playoff contenders.

Because of that, it made actually really easy to pick winners once league play started for all the leagues.

In October, I went 45-3 during October. Pretty good, right? Absolutely. But most of those right picks came in games between teams in different tiers in their league. All three of the losses came in intra-tier games.

Well, in Week 9, we have seven intra-tier games. So this week will really test our prognosticating ability.

You may have noticed that our default blowout score in 48-6. I don’t like to predict 70-0 wins, so 48-6 is the default score for a game I think we go to a running clock.

This week, you’ll notice I have no 48-6 predicted scores. There’s really only one game I think could go to a running clock, and that’s Camas game. Of course, Camas has put the clock in motion in every game this season in which a running clock was possible.

Last week’s 11-2 mark actually dropped my season percentage for the first time since September. It now sits at 86.4 percent (89-14).

4A GREATER ST. HELENS LEAGUE

HERITAGE (2-6, 0-4) vs. EVERGREEN (3-5, 0-4)

When, where: 5 p.m., McKenzie Stadium

Internet broadcast: www.portlandsportsbeat.com

Playoff ramifications: None. Both teams have been eliminated.

Game notes: This is a game to salvage a season that began with high hopes for both teams. Evergreen came into the season with high hopes under first-year coach Don Johnson Jr., and opened the season 3-1. Heritage had the senior seasons of QB Loren Standiford, WR E’Lon Mack and others. But league play has been rough with a lot of lopsided losses for both teams. Now, both teams are looking for something positive to end the season.

The pick: Heritage 26-20

CAMAS (8-0, 4-0) vs. BATTLE GROUND (4-4, 2-2)

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

Playoff ramifications: Camas has clinched No. 1 seed to next week’s state preliminary round. Camas will host the Cascade-Monroe on Nov. 9. Battle Ground has been eliminated.

Game notes: Camas has been rolling over all comers this season — ranked teams and sub .500 teams alike. The Papermakers looked primed for a deep playoff run. Battle Ground set a school record for points in a season in a disappointing loss to Skyview last week that end the Tigers’ postseason hopes. Now, they have the ultimate challenge to finish the season strong.

The pick: Camas 48-14

SKYVIEW (5-3, 3-1) vs. UNION (6-2, 3-1)

When, where: 8 p.m., McKenzie Stadium

Internet broadcast: www.portlandsportsbeat.com

Playoff ramifications: Both teams have clinched playoff berths. The winner will be the No. 2 seed to the state preliminary round and will travel to play the KingCo No. 3 team. The loser is the No. 3 seed and will travel to play the Curtis-Federal Way winner.

Game notes: There were a couple of bumps along the way, but this is how we expected the 4A GSHL season to end: with the Titans and Storm playing for No. 2. Skyview, behind QB Zac Shomler, showed they can win without RB Nate Arriola, who has missed the past two weeks with a hamstring injury. Union’s defense will bring another challenge. The Storm will need everyone playing their best against the Titans.

The pick: Union 31-21

3A GREATER ST. HELENS LEAGUE

MOUNTAIN VIEW (6-2, 4-0) vs. COLUMBIA RIVER (7-1, 4-0)

When, where: 5 p.m., Kiggins Bowl

TV and webcast: Cable Channel 29 and www.360preps.com

Playoff ramifications: Both teams have clinched playoff berths. Winner is 3A GSHL champion, No. 1 seed to state preliminary round and will host the Stanwood-Mountlake Terrace winner next week. Loser is No. 2 seed and will travel to play the Eastside Catholic-Cleveland loser next week.

Game notes: Another season, another Week 9 game between the Thunder and Chieftains with the league title at stake. It’s turned into a great rivalry which got another log added to the fire when River moved the game from their usual home field to Kiggins Bowl. The game figures to match River’s speed and against the Thunder’s strength up front.

The pick: Mountain View 27-23

PRAIRIE (4-4, 2-2) vs. KELSO (2-6, 2-2)

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

Internet broadcast: klog.com

Playoff ramifications: Winner is No. 3 seed to state preliminary round and will travel to play O’Dea-Nathan Hale winner next week. Loser is eliminated.

Game notes: The Falcons head into Week 9 as close to full strength as they’ve been all season. Ronnie Evenden has taken over the load as the top running back, with Dallas Goodpaster offering a change-up at fullback. Denzel Hamiel adds an option in the passing game and Jason Bracken is everywhere. Their 2-0 start seems like a long time ago. Kelso has two wins over Bay and Fort. Otherwise, the Hilanders have lost by at least 18 points in their other six games.

The pick: Prairie 33-17

HUDSON’S BAY (1-7, 0-4) vs. FORT VANCOUVER (0-8, 0-4)

When, where: 8 p.m., Kiggins Bowl

TV and webcast: Cable Channel 29 and www.360preps.com

Playoff ramifications: None. Both teams eliminated from postseason.

Game notes: This is the first time since 2010 that both teams haven’t entered this game winless. Still, a win with make the offseason easier to live with for both squads. Bay is 1-7 to Fort’s 0-8, but the Eagles have been more competitive this season, scoring 20 or more points four times. Fort has done that twice, both times scoring exactly 20 points.

The pick: Hudson’s Bay 30-16

2A GREATER ST. HELENS LEAGUE

HOCKINSON (4-4, 1-3) vs. WASHOUGAL (5-3, 2-2)

When, where: 7 p.m., Fishback Stadium, Washougal HS

Playoff ramifications: If Washougal wins, Panthers will be the No. 3 seed to district playoffs and travel to play Tumwater on Nov. 8. If Hockinson wins, Hawks will be the No. 3 seed and meet Tumwater if Aberdeen loses to Ridgefield. If Hockinson and Aberdeen win, there will be a three-team Kansas Plan tiebreaker at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Kelso HS to determine No. 3 seed. Winner of that tiebreaker will play at Tumwater on Nov. 9.

Game notes: Three of the Hawks’ four losses have come by five points or fewer. So a couple of plays could have changed their season. Instead, they find themselves in a must-win situation against Washougal. Meanwhile, all three of Washougal’s losses have been lopsided affairs. The key for Hockinson is getting the early jump on Washougal, and get the Panthers out of their game — which is running the ball. But that’s been a problem for the Hawks.

The pick: Hockinson 24-20

RIDGEFIELD (0-8, 0-4) vs. ABERDEEN (3-5, 1-3)

When, where: 7 p.m., Stewart Field, Aberdeen

Playoff ramifications: Aberdeen will force a three-way tiebreaker for No. 3 seed with a win and a Hockinson win over Washougal. The tiebreaker will be played at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Kelso HS with the winner advancing to play Tumwater. Ridgefield is eliminated.

Game notes: The Spudders don’t have any wins, but they have been playing better week to week. A road win on Week 9 to potentially throw a monkey wrench into another team’s playoff plans would be a great way to end the season. But it’s also a tough challenge.

The pick: Aberdeen 26-13

1A TRICO LEAGUE

WOODLAND (8-0, 7-0) vs. LA CENTER (8-0, 7-0)

When, where: 7 p.m., La Center Middle School.

Internet broadcast: www.elisportsnetwork.com

Playoff ramifications: Both teams have clinched playoff berths. The winner is the Trico League champion, No. 1 seed to district playoffs and will host the Evergreen Conference No. 4 team on Nov. 8. The loser is the No. 2 seed and will host the EvCo No. 3 team.

Game notes: We haven’t seen either of these teams pull out all the stops and play a full four quarters. That’s because their games have been over long before that. This game could come down to the final quarter, and that challenge could be beneficial for both teams as they begin their playoff march.

The pick: Woodland 33-27

STEVENSON (2-6, 2-5) vs. WHITE SALMON (5-3, 4-3)

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

Playoff ramifications: Stevenson has been eliminated. White Salmon is the No. 4 seed to the district playoffs and will travel to play the Evergreen Conference No. 1 team.

Game notes: Stevenson QB Brandon Van Pelt passed for more than 400 yards in a loss last week at Rochester. The Bulldogs would love to cap their season by beating their rivals and win the bragging rights in the Gorge. White Salmon’s success has started with its defense. Bragging rights are what the Bruins are playing for as their playoff standing won’t be altered win or lose. But bragging rights should be enough motivation.

The pick: White Salmon 27-19

NON-LEAGUE

RAINIER (1-7) vs. SETON CATHOLIC (1-7)

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

Playoff ramifications: Both teams have been eliminated.

Game notes: Both teams have played a lot of lopsided losses this season. Rainier has not scored more than 9 points in a game since Sept. 27, when the Mountaineers scored 13. Stopping opponents have been the big problem for Seton, allowing 39 points or more to every foe since their Sept. 14 win over Ilwaco. So this is a good matchup for the Cougars.

The pick: Seton Catholic 27-20.

Other games

2A GSHL: Mark Morris (7-1, 4-0) vs. R.A. Long (8-0, 4-0), 7 p.m.

Trico: Kalama (6-2, 5-2) at Ilwaco (0-8, 0-7), 7 p.m.

Trico: Toledo (3-5, 3-4) at Castle Rock (3-5, 3-4), 7 p.m.

1B non-league: King’s Way Christian (8-0) at Pateros (5-2), noon Saturday

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