Week 1 prep football previews, predictions

Prairie high school football player Jason Bracken , #25, runs through drills at practice, Thursday, August 29, 2013..  (Steven Lane/The Columbian)

Prairie high school football player Jason Bracken , #25, runs through drills at practice, Thursday, August 29, 2013.. (Steven Lane/The Columbian)

Predicting Week 1 outcomes may be the biggest challenge of the prep football season.

A lot of our projections is based on preseason reports from coaches.

The problem with that is that often these preseason reports are too optimistic (coaches who hope their teams won’t really, really struggle), too pessimistic (sandbagging by title contenders) or too vague (coaches who don’t know how their team will perform, or coaches who don’t want to give anything away, or coaches who don’t want to give away that they don’t know).

Also, getting preseason information on some teams also can be challenging.

Given all that, we take our first swing at our weekly prep projections.

Enjoy, discuss, debate.



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

Internet broadcast: www.portlandsportsbeat.com.

Last year’s records: Columbia River 7-4; Heritage 2-7

Last meeting: Columbia River won 40-34 on Aug. 31, 2012

Stat pack: Heritage QB Loren Standiford passed for 2,393 yards and 21 TDs last season. WR E’Lon Mack caught 33 passes for 731 yards and 7 TDs. WR Victor Duran caught 17 passes for 235 yards and 2 TDs. Columbia River doesn’t return a starter from last year’s team.

Game notes: What experience the Chieftains lack on the field, they have on the sideline in coach John O’Rourke, one of the most tenured coaches in Clark County. The Timberwolves remember their game against River as one that got away from them. Standiford, Mack and Duran have been starting since their sophomore seasons.

The pick: Heritage 34-20



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

Last year’s records: Evergreen 3-6; Fort Vancouver 1-8

Last meeting: Evergreen won 40-0 on Aug. 31, 2012

Stat pack: Justin Straup (573 yards, 5 TDs) and Justice Murphy (549 yards, 4 TDs) led Evergreen in rushing in 2012. Kobey Eatonpassed for 441 yards and 5 TDs. Jordan Suell passed for 1,270 yards and 6 TDs as a sophomore for Fort. William Doty was his favorite target. Doty was fifth in the region with 540 receiving yards and 2 TDs.

Game notes: This is a matchup of two first-year coaches: Don Johnson Jr., at Evergreen, and Todd Quinsey at Fort. But this game comes down to numbers. Johnson was able get twice as many players out for football than last season. Several Trappers won’t have enough practices to participate in the opener, limiting the roster size.

The pick: Evergreen 48-6.



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

Last year’s records: R.A. Long 4-5, Battle Ground 5-4

Last meeting: Battle Ground 41-27 on Aug. 31,2012

Stat pack: Ryan Peerboom passed for 1,684 yards and 15 TDs for R.A. Long in 2012. Brady Hulings had 689 receiving yards and 5 TDs. WR Hayden Humphrey caught 9 passes for 143 yards and 1 TD for Battle Ground in 2012.

Game notes: Battle Ground ran over R.A. Long last season with a bruising back and a big offensive line. But most of those players are gone as the Tigers look for new leaders. R.A. Long returns a very experienced and explosive team. But are the Lumberjacks talented enough to lead a 2A school to knock off a 4A school on its home field?

The pick: Battle Ground 27-21



When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Doc Harris Stadium, Camas

Radio: 1080 AM

Last year’s records: Jesuit 10-3, Camas 12-1

Last meeting: First meeting.

Stat pack: Jesuit junior Chase Morrison rushed for 217 yards and 2 TDs on 28 carries in a win over Lake Oswego last week. Joey Alfieri added 128 yards and 1 TD. Camas RB Nate Beasley rushed for 1,441 yards and 24 TDs for Camas last season. QB Reilly Hennessey passed for 2,801 yards and 26 TDs. Zach Eagle was Camas’ top receiver with 77 catches for 1,074 yards and 9 TDs.

Game notes: Jesuit reached the 6A Oregon state semifinals last season and is the top-ranked team in the state this season after opening its season with a 28-21 win last Friday over No. 4 Lake Oswego. Camas reached the Washington 4A state semifinals and returns most of its starters, including QB Hennessey who has committed to Eastern Washington. This is not only the game of the week, it may be the game of the regular season in Clark County.

The pick: Camas 24-21



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

Last year’s records: Prairie 3-6, Skyview 7-3

Last meeting: Prairie 24-21 on Sept. 27, 2007

Stat pack: RB Tyler Duncan was Prairie’s top rusher in 2012 with 475 yards and 5 TDs. All-league receiver Jason Bracken 35 catches for 435 yards and 5 TDs for Prairie. WR Jacob Dennis was the Storm’s No. 2 receiver in 2012 with 26 catches for 468 yards and 7 TDs.

Game notes: Prairie comes into this meeting with more on-field experience. The Falcons also have almost 100 players in the program, a high at Prairie. But Skyview has tradition on its size, plus more than 150 players in the program.

The pick: Skyview 28-13.



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

Internet broadcast: www.portlandsportsbeat.com.

Last year’s records: Mountain View 5-5, Union 7-4

Last meeting: Union won 35-7 on Aug. 31, 2012.

Stat pack: Mountain View’s rushing game returns Austin Mace (994 yards, 9 TDs in 2012), Carl Falls (939 yards, 9 TDs) and Eddie Richardson 513 yard, 5 TDs). Union’s Leon Siofele rushed for 994 yards and 9 TDs. QB Nolan Henry passed for 1,467 yards and 7 TDs as a sophomore.

Game notes: The Thunder return an experienced group, but so does Union. Mountain View found trying to rush against the stingy Titan defense problematic last season. They look to get better and mix things up. Union brings in a balance attack.

The pick: Union 33-14



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

Last year’s records: Hudson’s Bay 0-9, Washougal 3-6

Last meeting: Washougal won 50-0 on Aug. 31, 2012

Stat pack: Bay’s Devon Casey was the team’s leading rusher in 2012 with 404 yards and 1 TD. Senior Bobby Jacobs led Washougal in rushing last season.

Game notes: This is the fourth consecutive meeting between the Panthers and Eagles, with Washougal winning each of the previous games by increasing margins. Second-year coach Sylvester Green looks to reverse that trend for Bay. But with the Panthers returning a veteran line, that will make it hard for Bay from keeping Washougal breaking in its new turf field with a win.

The pick: Washougal 36-12.



When, where: 7 p.m. Friday at Nautilus Field, Hockinson HS

Last year’s records: Elma 4-6, Hockinson 6-4

Last meeting: Hockinson won 40-21 on Aug. 31, 2012.

Stat pack: Hockinson QB Jess Krahn threw for 1,820 yards and 15 TDs last year. Austen Johnson was his No. 1 target with 32 catches for 524 yards and 3 TDs. Johnson also rushed for 342 yards and 6 TDs.

Game notes: Elma, led by all-league receiver Todd Swinhart, like to spread the ball around on offense, so expect a lot of action on the field as Hockinson likes to do the same with four-year starter Jess Krahn at QB. Both programs look to build on last year, but the Hawks look to be a bit ahead of the Eagles.

The pick: Hockinson 34-20



When, where: 7 p.m. Friday at Ridgefield High School

Last year’s records: Rochester 2-7, Ridgefield 6-4

Last meeting: Ridgefield won 29-7 on Aug. 31, 2012.

Stat pack: Dalton Ries caught 8 passes for 93 yards in 2012 for Ridgefield. QB Jonah Roberts passed for 262 yards in limited action as a sophomore.

Game notes: Eric Snelson is the fourth head coach at Rochester in four years. The Warriors turned out 40 players this fall. Ridgefield lost a load of seniors off last year’s playoff team and looks find new leaders.

The pick: Ridgefield 20-12



When, where: 7 p.m. Friday at Stevenson High School

Last year’s records: Toledo 5-5, 5-3 Trico; Stevenson 3-6, 3-5 Trico

Last meeting: Toledo won 49-8 on Aug. 31, 2012

Game notes: Stevenson QB Brandon VanPelt returns for his third season of varsity play. With three returning starters on the line, Stevenson expects to be more competitive in 2013. But it might not be enough to get past a solid Toledo squad.

The pick: Toledo 30-13.



When, where: 7 p.m. Friday at Ilwaco High School

Last year’s records: La Center 11-1, 8-0 Trico; Ilwaco 1-8, 1-7 Trico

Last meeting: La Center won 56-6 on Aug. 31, 2012

Stat pack: La Center is led by all-league RB Connor Fulton who rushed for 861 yards and 13 TDs. Matt Braaten is the leading returning receiver with 212 receiving yards and 6 TDs. QB Wyatt Aguirre rushed for 668 yards and 6 TDs.

Game notes: Ilwaco was hit hard by injuries last season, thinning out the numbers. The Fishermen open 2013 in a more healthier state, but that won’t be enough to overcome the Wildcats.

The pick: La Center 48-6



When, where: 7 p.m. Friday at Castle Rock High School

Last year’s records: Seton Catholic 1-8, 1-7 Trico; Castle Rock 6-4, 6-2 Trico

Last meeting: Castle Rock 62-7 on Aug. 31, 2012

Stat pack: Seton QB Will Noce-Sheldon passed for 380 yards and rushed for 175 in 2012. WR Justin James had 10 catches for 221 yards.

Game notes: Seton is the smallest school in the state playing 11-man football, but the Cougars made strides to be more competitive towards the end of 2012. With a majority of incoming freshmen turning out for football, the future is getting brighter. But Castle Rock is an established playoff contender in the Trico.

The pick: Castle Rock 40-13.



When, where: 7 p.m. Friday at Chinook Stadium, Kalama HS

Last year’s records: Woodland 8-3, 7-1 Trico; Kalama 1-8, 1-7 Trico

Last meeting: Woodland 55-6 on Aug. 31, 2012

Stat pack: Woodland QB Hunter Huddleston passed for 1,059 yards and 12 TDs in 2012. Eli Whitmire anchors the running game with 990 yards and 19 TDs. Kyle Hendrix was Woodland’s leading receiver with 13 catches and 317 yards, 6 of which went for TDs.

Game notes: The pick: Kalama was once a power in 1A football in SW Washington. But the Chinooks have hit hard times with only about 30 players out for the program. The Beavers have about 70 with many playing big roles in last season’s playoff run.

The pick: Woodland 48-6.


Kelso at Mark Morris, 7 p.m. Friday

White Salmon at Goldendale, 7 p.m. Friday

King’s Way Christian at Lake Quinault, 1 p.m. Saturday

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