Week 8 high school football previews, predictions
Another almost perfect week last week.
I went 10-1 with the picks, missing only on the Washougal-Aberdeen game. That was particularly annoying as it was the only pick that the Score Czar and myself differed on.
I guess for this week that makes me a mere Score Serf.
Oh, well, a 10-1 week makes us 34-1 over the past three weeks and 78-12 (87 percent) for the season.
Here are our previews and picks for Week 8.
All previous meetings happened on Oct. 19, 2012, unless noted
4A GREATER ST. HELENS LEAGUE
BATTLE GROUND (4-3, 2-1) vs. SKYVIEW (4-3, 2-1)
When, where: 7 p.m., Kiggins Bowl
Last week: Battle Ground beat Heritage 49-7; Skyview beat Evergreen 42-15
Last meeting: Skyview won 42-7.
Players to watch: For Battle Ground, RB Justin Smalley had another big game for the Tigers, rushing for 157 yards and three TDs last week; For Skyview: With RB Nate Arriola out with a hamstring injury, the Storm depended more on their pass game last week. And Jacob Dennis delivered with 8 catches for 178 yards.
Game notes: Battle Ground remains in the mix for the league title if the Tigers win out vs. Skyview and Camas. A tall order to be sure. But it just about makes this game a must-win for the Tigers if they want to make the playoffs. A win for Skyview would just about clinch a playoff berth for the Storm and keep them in the hunt for the No. 2 spot.
The pick: Battle Ground 27-23
HERITAGE (2-5, 0-3) vs. CAMAS (7-0, 3-0)
When, where: 7 p.m., Doc Harris Stadium, Camas
Last week: Heritage lost to Battle Ground 49-7; Camas beat Union 44-6
Last meeting: Camas won 55-21
Players to watch: For Heritage, teams try to take E’Lon Mack out of the game. He only caught one pass last week, but it went for a 42-yard TD; For Camas, QB Reilly Hennessey was The Columbian player of the week after passing for two TDs and rushing for two more.
Game notes: Last week’s loss ended Heritage’s playoff hopes. Camas can lock up a share of the 4A GSHL title and the No. 1 seed to the playoffs with a win and a Skyview win over Battle Ground.
The pick: Camas 48-6
EVERGREEN (3-4, 0-3) vs. UNION (5-2, 2-1)
When, where: 8 p.m., McKenzie Stadium
Internet broadcast: www.portlandsportsbeat.com
Last week: Evergreen lost to Skyview 42-15; Union lost to Camas 44-6
Last meeting: Union won 34-0.
Players to watch: For Evergreen, as the offense has struggled with turnovers, Brody Bagnall had led the defense. He had a 7-yard interception return for a TD last week; For Union, Leon Siofele rushed for 82 yards vs. Camas, which is actually quite an accomplishment.
Game notes: Despite three straight lopside losses, the Plainsmen are still alive for potential playoff spot. If Evergreen finishes the season 2-0 and Union and Battle Ground both go 0-2, a three-way tie would exist for third place between the Plainsmen, Titans and Tigers. Union can lock down a playoff berth with a win and a Skyview win over Battle Ground.
The pick: Union 42-12
3A GREATER ST. HELENS LEAGUE
KELSO (2-5, 2-1) vs. MOUNTAIN VIEW (5-2, 3-0)
When, where: 5 p.m., McKenzie Stadium
Internet broadcast: www.portlandsportsbeat.com
Last week: Kelso beat Fort Vancouver 42-20; Mountain View beat Hudson’s Bay 63-20
Last meeting: Kelso won 14-12.
Players to watch: For Kelso, Lloyd Melone rushed for 150 yards against Fort last week; For Mountain View, the Thunder come at teams with their variety of RBs. Austin Mace shined last week against Bay with 160 yards.
Game notes: The Thunder suffered a tough loss at Kelso last year, so you can bet the Thunder won’t look past the Hilanders. If Mountain View beats Kelso, the Thunder will play for the 3A GSHL next week against Columbia River. Even if Kelso loses, the Hilanders can seal up the No. 3 seed with a win at home against Prairie next week.
The pick: Mountain View 44-13
FORT VANCOUVER (0-7, 0-3) vs. PRAIRIE (3-4, 1-2)
When, where: 7 p.m., District Stadium, Battle Ground HS
Last week: Fort Vancouver lost to Kelso 42-20; Prairie lost to Columbia River 35-12
Last meeting: Prairie won 72-0.
Players to watch: For Prairie, Ronnie Evenden has taken over the load as the lead running back and responded with big games.
Game notes: The Trappers could potentially force a three-way tie for the third in the 3A GSHL by ending the regular season with back-to-back losses. Prairie will advance to the playoffs as the No. 3 seed with wins over Fort and Kelso.
The pick: Prairie 48-6
HUDSON’S BAY (1-6, 0-3) vs. COLUMBIA RIVER (6-1, 3-0)
When, where: 7 p.m., Chieftain Stadium, Columbia River HS
Last week: Hudson’s Bay lost to Mountain View 63-20; Columbia River beat Prairie 35-12
Last meeting: Columbia River won 62-0.
Players to watch: For Hudson’s Bay, RB Bryan Hopster had a good game against Mountain View (123 yards), which was big after QB Jeremy Matheney left with an injury. For Columbia River, the Chieftains’ offense starts with the QB, Jonathan Branson, running and throwing the ball.
Game notes: Hudson’s Bay is out of the postseason mix. Columbia River wants a win to send the Chieftains into a matchup with Mountain View next week for the league title.
The pick: Columbia River 39-13.
2A GREATER ST. HELENS LEAGUE
ABERDEEN (2-5, 0-3) vs. HOCKINSON (4-3, 1-2)
When, where: 7 p.m. Nautilus Field, Hockinson HS
Last week: Aberdeen lost to Washougal 28-21; Hockinson lost to R.A. Long 34-30
Last meeting: Hockinson won 36-7.
Players to watch: For Aberdeen, Joel Dublanko had a TD run and pass last week against Washougal; For Hockinson, QB Jess Krahn almost led an upset bid for the Hawks with two TDs pass and a TD run vs. R.A. Long.
Game notes: The only shot Aberdeen has of making the playoffs is to finish the season with two wins, then hope Hockinson beats Washougal next week to force a three-way tie for third. Hockinson wants a win so that next week’s game vs. Washougal could potentially be the No. 3 playoff.
The pick: Hockinson 28-16
R.A. LONG (7-0, 3-0) vs. RIDGEFIELD (0-7, 0-3)
When, where: 7 p.m., Ridgefield District Stadium, Ridgefield HS
Last week: R.A. Long beat Hockinson 34-30; Ridgefield lost to Mark Morris 48-7
Last meeting: Ridgefield won 55-27
Players to watch: For R.A. Long, you may have heard of Jacob Yordy. He had four more TDs last week against Hockinson. For Ridgefield, Josh Mason was a bright spot for the Spudders last week with his 60-yard interception return.
Game notes: R.A. Long is looking to rebound strong after a close call last week against Hockinson. Ridgefield is looking for something positive to take into next season.
The pick: R.A. Long 48-6
WASHOUGAL (5-2, 2-1) vs. MARK MORRIS (6-1, 3-0)
When, where: 7 p.m., Longview Memorial Stadium
Last week: Washougal beat Aberdeen 28-21; Mark Morris beat Ridgefield 48-7
Last meeting: Mark Morris won 48-0.
Players to watch: For Washougal, big runs from Bobby Jacobs helped rally the Panthers last week. He rushed for 169 yards. For Mark Morris, RB Keigan Baker rushed for 104 yards last week and also caught two passes for 20 yards.
Game notes: Washougal is still in the mix for a share of the league title. But that must include a win over Mark Morris. Win or lose this week, Washougal will earn a playoff berth with a win over Hockinson next week. Mark Morris wants to stay on course with a showdown with R.A. Long for the league title next week.
The pick: Mark Morris 28-19.
1A TRICO LEAGUE
LA CENTER (7-0, 6-0) vs. TOLEDO (3-4, 3-3)
When, where: 7 p.m., Toledo HS
Last week: La Center beat Seton Catholic 49-14; Toledo lost to Kalama 33-6
Last meeting: La Center won 35-32.
Players to watch: For La Center, Connor Fulton is the Wildcats’ leading rusher, but also plays good defense. He had an interception return for a TD last week. For Toledo, Taylor Hicks rushed for 80 yards last week.
Game notes: Win or lose this week, La Center will play for the Trico League title next week against Woodland. That might be the only thing going for Toledo, which will be eliminated from the playoff hunt with a loss.
The pick: La Center 42-13
SETON CATHOLIC (1-6, 1-6) vs. KALAMA (5-2, 4-2)
When, where: 7 p.m., Chinook Stadium, Kalama HS
Last week: Seton Catholic lost to La Center 49-14; Kalama beat Toledo 33-6
Last meeting: Seton Catholic won 21-20
Players to watch: For Seton, Will Noce-Sheldon has been battling injuries. For the Cougars to stay close, they need a healthy QB. For Kalama, Colton Aschoff had 138 yards rushing and two TDs against Toledo.
Game notes: Kalama finishes the regular season with the bottom two teams in the league: Seton and Ilwaco. That puts the Chinooks in excellent position to lock up the No. 3 seed to the playoffs. Seton will complete league play this week before ending the season with a non-leaguer. The Cougars earned their program’s first win last year against Kalama.
The pick: Kalama 48-6.
WHITE SALMON (5-2, 4-2) vs. WOODLAND (7-0, 6-0)
When, where: 7 p.m., Woodland HS
Last week: White Salmon beat Castle Rock 42-7; Woodland beat Stevenson 62-28
Last meeting: Woodland won 34-0
Players to watch: For Woodland, Eli Whitmire can do it all for the Beavers, play good defense, run the ball and he even had a 55-yard TD reception last week.
Game notes: White Salmon can clinch a playoff berth with a Toledo loss to La Center. The Bruins are hoping to catch a break and move past Kalama for the No. 3 spot. Woodland is headed for a Week 9 showdown with La Center.
The pick: Woodland 48-13
STEVENSON (2-5) vs. ROCHESTER (5-2)
When, where: 7 p.m., Rochester HS
Last week: Stevenson lost to Woodland 62-28; Rochester beat Forks 35-7
Last meeting: Rochester won 41-14.
Players to watch: For Stevenson, QB Brandon Van Pelt threw for 299 yards and a TD in last week’s loss to Woodland.
Game notes: First-year coach Eric Snelson has turned Rochester into a playoff contender after a 2-7 season last year. Stevenson has the offense to win this non-leaguer on the road.
The pick: Rochester 34-26
Trico: Ilwaco (0-7, 0-6) at Castle Rock (2-5, 2-4), 7 p.m.
1B non-league: Lake Quinault at King’s Way Christian (7-0), 6 p.m.