Week 8 prep football previews, predictions
Coming off my worst week of the season — 7-4 — my season record is now 73-18 (80 percent).
Two misses I didn’t feel too terrible about — tough calls in Mark Morris-Ridgefield and R.A. Long-Hockinson. Washougal continues to befuddle me. And where did Heritage come up with that defensive performance against Battle Ground?
I’m looking for a strong finish, as head toward the playoffs in two weeks.
Here are the Week 8 previews:
FRIDAY’S 4A GSHL GAMES
Skyview (5-2, 2-1) vs. Battle Ground (5-2, 1-2)
When, where: 7 p.m., District Stadium, Battle Ground HS
Last week: Skyview beat Evergreen 44-7; Battle Ground lost to Heritage 12-7
Game notes: Battle Ground is trying to regroup after a heart-wrenching defeat against Heritage last week. … There will be at least one lingering effect from last week’s loss. QB Ian Humphrey has to sit out this week’s game, by rule, after being ejected late last week. … Battle Ground’s postseason hopes will end with a loss. … Skyview is focused on capturing the No. 2 seed to the playoffs as the Storm’s streak of four straight 4A GSHL titles appears to be a long shot to continue.
Columbian’s take: Skyview got off to a flat start against Evergreen last week. The Storm don’t want that to happen against a fired-up Battle Ground team. Prediction: Skyview 31-21
Camas (7-0, 3-0) vs. Heritage (2-5, 0-2)
When, where: 8 p.m., McKenzie Stadium.
Radio: 1550 AM or www.1550talk.com.
Last week: Camas beat Union 22-0; Heritage beat Battle Ground 12-7.
Game notes: Heritage held an opponent to a season-low seven points last week. In previous six weeks, holding an opponent to seven points would be a good quarter for the Timberwolves, so perhaps they made great strides last week. … Camas recorded its first shutout of the season last week, so Papermakers can play defense, too. … Heritage won’t be out of playoff hunt with a loss, if Battle Ground knocks off Skyview.
Columbian’s take: Heritage vs. strong Camas defense + another rainy night does not bode well for Timberwolves. Prediction: Camas 37-12
Union (5-2, 2-1) vs. Evergreen (2-5, 0-3)
When, where: 5 p.m., McKenzie Stadium.
Radio: 1550 AM or www.1550talk.com.
Last week: Union lost to Camas 22-0; Evergreen lost to Skyview 44-7.
Game notes: Evergreen got Skyview’s attention with a strong first half last week before Storm pulled away. … Union coach Cale Piland is 4-0 against his former team. None of the games have been close. … Titans are coming off their first shutout loss in school history.
Columbian’s take: Titans regroup before heading into key game with Skyview next week. Prediction: Union 34-7
FRIDAY’S 3A GSHL GAMES
Prairie (2-5, 1-2) vs. Fort Vancouver (0-7, 0-3)
When, where: 5 p.m., Kiggins Bowl.
TV: Fort Sports, Comcast cable Ch. 29.
Last week: Prairie lost to Columbia River 27-21; Fort Vancouver lost to Kelso 68-0.
Game notes: Despite losing last week, Prairie still very much in playoff hunt. If Falcons take care of business today, playoffs will remain alive heading into next week’s game with Kelso regardless of what Hilanders do this week. However, if Kelso wins, Prairie’s path to playoffs becomes clearer: beat Kelso and advance as 3A GSHL’s No. 3 team.
Columbian’s take: Prairie takes care of business. Prediction: Prairie 40-13
Mountain View (5-2, 3-0) vs. Kelso (6-1, 2-1)
When, where: 7 p.m., Schroeder Field, Kelso HS.
Radio: 101.5 FM or www.klog.com.
Last week: Mountain View beat Hudson’s Bay 50-0; Kelso beat Fort Vancouver 68-0.
Game notes: If Mountain View beats Kelso, it will set up a Mountain View-Columbia River game next week for the 3A GSHL title. If Kelso wins, it could set up a possible three-way tie for first place. … Kelso is better at passing than the Thunder, but with rainy weather predicted and Schroeder Field’s grass surface, it figures to be a game decided on the ground. … Turnovers could decide game.
Columbian’s take: Thunder have players to succeed in the slop. Prediction: Mountain View 20-12
Columbia River (4-3, 3-0) vs. Hudson’s Bay (0-7, 0-3)
When, where: 8 p.m., Kiggins Bowl.
TV: Fort Sports, Comcast cable Ch. 29.
Last week: Columbia River beat Prairie 27-21; Hudson’s Bay lost to Mountain View 50-0.
Game notes: River has been the Cardiac Chieftains in three of their past four games, losing on final offensive play to WF West, beating Kelso in double OT and beating Prairie in the game’s final minute. … Hudson’s Bay has struggled to find a pulse on offense, having been shut out four times and scoring just 20 points all season.
Columbian’s take: River fans won’t have elevated blood pressures this week. Prediction: Columbia River 48-6
FRIDAY’S 2A GSHL GAMES
Mark Morris (6-1, 3-0) vs. Washougal (3-4, 0-3)
When, where: 7 p.m., Fishback Stadium, Washougal HS.
Last week: Mark Morris beat Ridgefield 21-14; Washougal lost to Aberdeen 29-12.
Game notes: Mark Morris took control on the 2A GSHL with a win over Ridgefield last week. Even with loss this week, Monarchs can secure No. 1 seed to district playoffs with a win over R.A. Long next week. … Washougal, after averaging 45 points a game in the first five weeks, have scored a total of 15 points in past two games. … Mark Morris has allowed a total of 59 points all season, including 17 in season-opening loss to Kelso.
Columbian’s take: Mark Morris’ defense and Washougal’s recent struggles on offense works in Monarchs’ favor. Prediction: Mark Morris 34-6
Ridgefield (5-2, 2-1) vs. R.A. Long (4-3, 2-1
When, where: 7 p.m., Longview Memorial Stadium, RA Long HS.
Last week: Ridgefield lost to Mark Morris 21-14; R.A. Long lost to Hockinson 28-20.
Game notes: Ridgefield must regroup and focus on locking up No. 2 seed to district playoffs. Spudders need a lot of help to gain No. 1 spot after losing to Mark Morris last week. … R.A. Long actually in better position to claim No. 1 spot with wins in final two weeks. … Soggy conditions figures to negate R.A. Long’s strength: speed.
Columbian’s take: Spudders figure to outlast the Lumberjacks in the rain. Prediction: Ridgefield 30-13
Hockinson (4-3, 1-2) vs. Aberdeen (2-5, 1-2)
When, where: 7 p.m., Stewart Field, Aberdeen HS.
Last week: Hockinson beat R.A. Long 28-20; Aberdeen beat Washougal 29-12.
Game notes: Hockinson snapped a three-game losing streak last week to keep a playoff berth in the mix. A win this week and an R.A. Long loss in either of the final two weeks would set Hawks up to secure No. 3 berth with win over Washougal next week … Aberdeen got its first 2A GSHL league last week, and Bobcats remain in the mix for a playoff spot.
Columbian’s take: Hockinson’s ground attack should be enough to overcome soggy conditions and a long bus ride. Prediction: Hockinson 23-16
FRIDAY’S 1A TRICO GAMES
Woodland (6-1, 6-0) at White Salmon (3-4, 3-3)
When, where: 7 p.m., Columbia HS, White Salmon
Last week: Woodland beat Stevenson 44-0; White Salmon lost to Castle Rock 14-0.
Game notes: Woodland has clinched a district playoff berth. The Beavers are looking forward to playing for the league championship next week against La Center. … White Salmon is clinging to fading playoff hopes that could be completely eliminated with a loss this week. … White Salmon’s three league losses are to teams ahead of it in the Trico standing, and its three wins are against teams below the Bruins.
Columbian’s take: Woodland keeps things rolling for a Trico showdown next week. Prediction: Woodland 39-6
Toledo (5-2, 5-1) vs. La Center (7-0, 6-0)
When, where: 7 p.m., La Center MS
Last week: Toledo beat Kalama 38-6; La Center beat Seton Catholic 71-0.
Game notes: La Center is very good, and it’s not even close. The closest game the Wildcats have played this season is a 28-3 win over Castle Rock. … Toledo is coming of a 10-2 season in 2011 which included a 50-14 win over La Center. … La Center has been a run-heavy team of late, and the Wildcats don’t depend on one player. Connor Fulton (572 yards), Jared Huddleston (553) and Wyatt Aguirre (408) lead the rushing attack.
Columbian’s take: I picked once against La Center this season, and it didn’t work out too well. Prediction: La Center 20-6
Kalama (0-7, 0-6) vs. Seton Catholic (0-7, 0-7)
When, where: 7 p.m., Doc Harris Stadium, Camas
Last week: Kalama lost to Toledo 38-6; Seton Catholic lost to La Center 71-0.
Game notes: This is a battle between the final two winless teams in the Trico League. It is also the Trico League finale for Seton Catholic in the Cougars’ first season in the Trico. … The closest the Cougars have come to winning this season was a 66-28 loss to Ilwaco in Week 2. … While Chinooks are winless, they have only been the victim of a running-clock game once, in Week 1 against Woodland. … Kalama’s closest game wa a 26-15 loss to White Salmon.
Columbian’s take: Kalama is a young team, but the Chinooks have been improving a bit quicker than the Cougars. Prediction: Kalama 38-21
Friday’s non-league game
Rochester (1-6) vs. Stevenson (3-4)
When, where: 7 p.m., Stevenson HS
Last week: Rochester lost to Forks 23-0; Stevenson lost to Woodland 44-0.
Game notes: Stevenson is in the middle of an streak. The Bulldogs have been involved in five consecutive shutouts — three that have won by Stevenson and two losses. … Rochester comes into this game on a four-game losing streak in which the Warriors have scored a total of 27 points.
Columbian’s take: Playing at home should help the Bulldogs prevail. Prediction: Stevenson 26-20