Week 9 football preview: Heritage vs. Evergreen

When, where: 5 p.m. Friday at McKenzie Stadium (4A Greater St. Helens League game). Radio: 1550 AM or www.1550talk.com.

Last meeting: Heritage won 31-21 on Oct. 29, 2010.

EVERGREEN (0-8, 0-3)

Last week: lost to Union 43-3.

Players to watch: QB Kolbey Eaton 7-24, 109 yds; RB Justin Straup 68-389, 2 TDs.

Notes: Eaton is becoming more comfortable at QB after stepping in for the injured Anthony Thomas. … Eaton completed 6 of 12 pass attempts last week, after completing only 1 of his previous 12 attempts. … Leading rushing Justin Straup left last week’s game early with an injury. Jared Telles got the bulk of the carries after Straup left. … Evergreen can force a three-way tie for the final playoff spot by beating Heritage. … Evergreen has lost 12 consecutive dating back to last year.

HERITAGE (2-6, 1-2)

Last week: beat Battle Ground 21-20 in OT.

Players to watch: QB Joey Cooper 52-113 passing, 650 yds, 4 TD, 71-191 rushing, 3 TDs; RB Gage Boyce 57-219, 1 TD; WR E’Lon Mack 40-463 yds, 3 TDs.

Notes: Cooper battle through a strained lower back in last week’s win over Battle Ground. … Heritage found success running Rajheem Carrie on sweeps. He had 11 carries for 85 yards last week. … Stopping the run was problem for Heritage last week. … A win sends Heritage to the 4A state preliminary playoff against the winner of the Lake Stevens/Edmonds-Woodway game on Friday.

Bottom line: Heritage is one win away from returning to the postseason for a fifth consecutive season, something that didn’t appear very likely a couple of weeks ago.

Columbian’s pick: Heritage.

Fans’ pick: Heritage (100 percent).

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