State playoff first-round football preview: Union vs. Kentlake
When, where: 6 p.m. Friday at French Field (4A state playoff). Webcast: www.carlclick.com .
Last meeting: First meeting
At stake: Berth in state quarterfinals vs. winner of Bethel/Woodinville
Last week: beat Mariner 49-7 in 4A state preliminary game.
Players to watch: QB Steffin Church; RB Tanner Lucas; RB Darryl Parker; WR Austin Parnell.
Notes: The Falcons placed first in the South Puget Sound League North Division with an 8-0 record. … Kentlake has scored 42 points or more in seven games this season … The Falcons like to run the ball with a variety of different ball carriers. More than 70 percent of Kentlake’s total offense this season has come by rushing the ball. … Kentlake rushed for all seven TDs last week vs. Mariner. … Falcons’ average margin of victory the last three weeks is 39 points. … Kentlake has a common opponent with Union: Tahoma. Kentlake beat Tahoma 42-33, rushing for 440 yards in that game.
Last week: beat Tahoma 42-7 in 4A state preliminary game.
Players to watch: QB Kaben Humphrey-Butler (81-135-1273 passing, 8 TDs); RB Brandon Brody-Heim (96-702 rushing, 15 TDs); WR Tanner Nelson (24-433 receiving, 3 TDs)
Notes: The Titans also a big rushing game against Tahoma last week, gaining 352 yards on the ground. But the game was shortened by a second-half running clock. … Brody-Heim rushed for 194 yards. … Brody-Heim missed half the season after early-season knee surgery. … Tahoma came into last week’s game averaging almost 40 points a game, but was limited to a fourth-quarter TD against Union reserves.
Bottom line: Kentlake has the ranking (No. 6 by Seattle Times) and the unbeaten record. But Union has the defense to slow down the Falcons’ ground attack. Despite, both teams’ ability to points on the board this season, look for a defensive game.
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 Kentlake 28, Union 26. The Columbian believes the game won’t be that high scoring.
Columbian’s pick: Union.
Fans’ pick: Union (97 percent).