State playoff first-round football preview: Skyview vs. Kentwood
When, where: 6 p.m. Friday at Kiggins Bowl (4A state playoff). Radio: None.
Last meeting: First meeting
At stake: Berth in state quarterfinals vs. winner of Edmonds-Woodway/Bellarmine Prep
Last week: beat Gig Harbor 19-16 in 2 OT in 4A state preliminary game.
Players to watch: QB Dane Manio; RB Matt Hubbard; RB Visa Thach; WR Jonathan Ohashi.
Notes: The Conquerors went 6-2 in South Puget Sound League North Division, tied for second with Tahoma. … Kentwood earned No. 2 seed to the playoffs by beating Tahoma 24-17 in Week 3. … Seven of Kentwood’s 10 games have been decided by 14 points or fewer. … Kentwood’s last two games have been nail-biters: a 23-22 win over Kentridge decided by fourth-quarter field goal and last week’s double OT win over Gig Harbor. … The Conquerors would prefer to run the ball, but have the ability to pass. … RB Hubbard rushed for 200 yards against Gig Harbor despite battling flu-like symptoms. … Kentwood’s defense did not allow a TD last week. Gig Harbor scored on three FGs (two in OT) and a TD on a blocked punt.
Last week: beat Issaquah 47-17 in 4A state preliminary game.
Players to watch: QB Kieran McDonagh (106-158-1698 passing, 17 TDs), RB Parker Henry (168-1666 rushing, 24 TDs); WR Reiley Henderson (36-562 receiving, 7 TDs); WR Forrest Russell (30-544 receiving, 6 TDs).
Notes: Skyview has won eight straight since opening the season 0-2, falling to state champions from Idaho and Oregon. … The Storm have scored at least 31 points in each of their eight wins. … Last week, when Issaquah focues on stopping Henry, McDonagh passed for 338 yards and 4 TDs. … Six different players caught at least two passes, four caught at least three. … The Storm forced turnovers in Issaquah’s first three possessions (a fumble, two interceptions).
Bottom line: The Storm will look to force Kentwood into being a pass-heavy offense, either by shutting down the Conquerors’ ground game or scoring early and making Kentwood play catch up. Kentwood must keep the score down to have a chance.
What the Score Czar says: Scoreczar.com is a website run by Vancouver’s Scott Odiorne that uses computer ranking based points scored, points allowed, strength of schedule and other factors. The Score Czar’s predicted score is Skyview 31, Kentwood 22. The Columbian thinks the game is only this close if Skyview is held in check in the first half and forced to rally in the second.
Columbian’s pick: Skyview.
Fans’ pick: Skyview (100 percent)