State first-round football playoff previews and predictions
OK. Now things get interesting.
The first round of football playoffs didn’t bring out much separation between the Prep Proletariat and the Score Czar. The Prep Proletariat went 6-1. The Score Czar went 5-2. Both misfired on Skyview. The Prep Proletariat won the swing game: W.F. West over Woodland.
But this week, there are six local playoff games, and three swing games: Skyview-Wenatchee, Hockinson-North Kitsap, La Center-Kings.
The 6-1 week actually dropped the Prep Proletariat’s season mark to 86.4 percent (102-16).
So let’s see what he thinks about this week.
ME: So last week, you finished one yard from a perfect week. It must make you feel good to win another swing game with the Score Czar.
PP: Yes, yes. AND I nearly nailed that swing game score. I had W.F. West winning 28-21. W.F. West won 28-20.
ME: But otherwise, you and the Score Czar agreed.
PP: Well, we had the same teams winning. But I’d like to think my scores were a bit closer to the actual scores.
PP: Yeah. He had Columbia River winning a close game 26-20. I had it at 31-14. River won 44-6. I thought the Hockinson game would be a close one, picking the Hawks 21-13. He had Hockinson winning 31-0.
ME: But this week, the three game you agree on are actually fairly similar scores. But you have three swing games. How do you feel about those games?
PP: That’s the tough part about playoffs: trying to get info on teams from other area’s of the state. Skyview-Wenatchee is tough because it’s hard to compare when Skyview plays mostly Clark County teams and Wenatchee played all east side teams. But I’m playing a gut feeling here. Skyview opened the season by going east and winning. The Storm accounted for themselves well last year in the playoffs at Richland. I think if there is a local team prepped to go east, it’s Skyview.
ME: What about La Center-King’s?
PP: I think La Center’s lopsided losses to ranked 2A teams are holding the Wildcats down, at least in the Score Czar’s system. I think La Center is a better team now, especially with Max Hiller back in the fold. It’s hard to get a read on King’s, but I like how the Wildcats are playing now.
ME: And Hockinson-North Kitsap?
PP: Not surprised Score Czar went with Hockinson on this. A bit surprised by his score. These are two teams that are very similar. But he’s been going heavy on Hockinson all season, as you could see by his projected score last week. If Hockinson were at home, I might have gone with the Hawks. But on the road, I like North Kitsap.
Class 4A state first round
UNION (9-1) vs. FEDERAL WAY (8-2)
When, where: 7 p.m., Federal Way Stadium
What’s at stake: Winner advances to state quarterfinals,will travel to play winner of Newport/Lake Stevens.
Last week: Union beat Curtis 42-14; Federal Way beat Mariner 46-14.
Common opponents: Camas. Union lost to Camas 37-20; Federal Way lost to Camas 49-6.
About Union: Like Federal Way, Union is getting healthy in the postseason. RB Caleb Browning has rushed for 1,299 yards and 22 TDs. But Jack Bauer and Alex Berfanger also are weapons in the ground game. QB Nolan Henry will sit out again after suffered a concussion on Oct. 17 against Camas. He could return next week if Union advances. Jordan Lawson has completed 38 of 74 passes for 597 yards and two TDs in his stead.
About Federal Way: The Eagles have won eight in a row since opening the season 0-2 with losses to Union (34-27) and Camas. Federal Way lost its starting QB, D’Jimon Jones in Week 8 to illness. Sophomore Gabe Togia has filled in since. But the key for the Eagles is RB Chico McClatcher, who has rushed for 2,018 yards and 29 TDs. He also has TDs via reception, kickoff return, interception return and two punt returns
Prep Prognosticator says: Union’s best defense against McClatcher is to make sure he doesn’t get the ball. The Titans can do that by possessing the ball. That’s how they won in the season opener, by grounding out 266 of their 308 rushing yards after halftime. The Eagles win with a big game from McClatcher.
The Pick: Union 31-28
Score Czar: Union 28-27
Class 4A state first round
SKYVIEW (7-3) vs. WENATCHEE (8-1)
When, where: 7 p.m., Apple Bowl, Wenatchee HS
What’s at stake: Winner advances to state quarterfinals, will travel to play winner of Graham Kapowsin/Gig Harbor.
Last week: Skyview beat Skyline 34-31 OT; Wenatchee idle.
Common opponents: None.
About Skyview: QB Zac Shomler showed he can lead the Storm to a big victory, rallying the Storm from 31-10 down by passing for 431 yards and 4 TDs. His previous season high for passing was 230. He has passed for 2,045 yards and 14 TDs for the season. Jeremiah Wright caught 14 passes for 179 yards and two TDs.
About Wenatchee: The Panthers finished 7-0 in the Big Nine Conference. Wenatchee’s lone loss came Sept. 12 to Chiawana (42-7). The Panthers received a Week 10 bye. Since the loss to Chiawana, Wenatchee has not allowed an opponent to score more than 19 points in a game. Junior QB Brandon Graves has passed for 1,410 yards and 15 TDs. Senior RB Chase Resch leads the rushing game with 836 yards.
Prep Prognosticator says: Originally, I was going with Wenatchee on this one. But then I thought, if Skyline had beaten Skyview last week, would I probably pick Skyline to win. The answer was yes. So if Skyview can beat Skyline, especially after being down by so much, I don’t see why Skyview can’t win in Wenatchee.
The Pick: Skyview 24-21
Score Czar: Wenatchee 26-13
Class 4A state first round
BELLARMINE PREP (7-3) vs. CAMAS (10-0)
When, where: 5 p.m., Doc Harris Stadium, Camas
Internet webcast: elisportsnetwork.com
What’s at stake: Winner advances to state quarterfinals, will host winner of Eastlake/Bothell.
Last week: Camas beat Tahoma 47-18; Bellarmine Prep beat Kentwood 17-6
Common opponents: None.
About Bellarmine Prep: The Lions from Tacoma was the third-place team in the Narrows League. The Lions lost to Gonzaga Prep (17-0), Olympia (21-14) and Gig Harbor (49-0). The Lions scored an upset of sorts by beating Kentwood from the South Puget Sound League Northeast division. But considering the SPSL Northeast sent three teams to the playoffs and all three lost, maybe it’s not such a big upset. RB Nathan Goltermann-Doyle rushed for 214 yards including a 96-yard TD run last week.
About Camas: Camas beat Bellarmine 49-21 in the 4A state semifinals last year. The Papermakers gave up 476 passing yards last week to Tahoma, but will face a much different team this week. QB Liam Fitzgerald has passed for 2,507 yards and 23 TDs. WR James Price has 68 catches for 1,149 yards and 11 TDs.RBs Bryan Kelly (908, 18 TDs) and Cole Zarcone (798, 14 TDs) lead the rushing attack.
Prep Prognosticator says: The Papermakers pride themselves on their defense. Look for a better effort this week.
The Pick: Camas 38-14
Score Czar: Camas 34-8
Class 3A state first round
ROOSEVELT (8-2) vs. COLUMBIA RIVER (8-2)
When, where: 4 p.m., Kiggins Bowl, Discovery MS
What’s at stake: Winner advances to state quarterfinals, will host winner of Mountlake Terrace/Marysville-Pilchuck.
Last week: Roosevelt beat Central Kitsap 26-24; Columbia River beat Garfield 44-6
Common opponents: Garfield. Roosevelt beat Garfield 17-7 on Oct. 17; Columbia River beat Garfield 44-6 Nov. 8.
About Roosevelt: The Roughriders from Seattle went 5-0 in the Metro League Sound Division. Metro League sent seven teams to state preliminary round. Three won, four suffered lopsided losses. Eastside Catholic, O’Dea and Roosevelt won, but Roosevelt earned a narrow win over a 4-5 Central Kitsap squad. This is Roosevelt’s first state playoff game since 1984. The Roughriders used big plays — three TDs plays of 54 yards or more — to win last week. Roosevelt lost to Eastside Catholic 41-0 two weeks ago in a Metro seeding game.
About Columbia River: The Chieftains have already faced one Metro Sound team: Garfield. QB Gabe Evenson passed for 242 yards, WR Nathan Hawthorne caught eight passes for 86 yards and two TDs, RB Vincent Daniels rushed for 79. Columbia River’s last four playoff wins have come against Metro League teams.
Prep Prognosticator says: Getting back-to-back Metro League Sound Division opponents is about as favorable a draw as you can hope to get in Class 3A.
The Pick: Columbia River 31-13
Score Czar: Columbia River 29-18
Class 2A state first round
HOCKINSON (10-0) vs. NORTH KITSAP (10-0)
When, where: 7 p.m., North Kitsap HS, Poulsbo
What’s at stake: Winner advances to state quarterfinals, will travel to play winner of River Ridge/Lynden.
Last week: Hockinson beat Black Hills 24-21; North Kitsap beat Renton 27-6
Common opponents: Black Hills. Hockinson beat Black Hills 24-21; North Kitsap beat Black Hills 26-7.
About Hockinson: Hockinson rallied from a 21-0 deficit in the fourth quarter last week to win its first district playoff game. Black Hills mishandled a punt snap and the punter was tackled on the 2, setting up one Hawks TD. On another punt, the Wolves punter put his knee down on the 1 while fielding a low snap, setting up another score. Tommy Harshaw leads the Hawks with 1,145 rushing yards and 15 TDs. Austen Johnson has 1,070 yards and 17 TDs. Last week was the first time all season Hockinson allowed an opponent to score more than 13 points in a game.
About North Kitsap: North Kitsap, from Poulsbo, went 6-0 in the 2A Olympic League. They have qualified for state for the first time since 1998. North Kitsap lost its starting QB, Alex Allbee, to a broken collarbone two weeks ago. Chris Andrews filled his spot. But the Vikings win games with their running game and defense. Kyle North (1,085 yards, 15 TDs), TJ Jensen (600 yards, 3 TDs) and Sean Crowell (416 yards, 7 TDs) lead the rushing attack. In eight of the Vikings 10 wins, North Kitsap has held opponents to 10 points or fewer.
Prep Prognosticator says: These teams seem very similar. Both like to run and play defense. But North Kitsap’s non-league resume looks a bit more impressive.
The Pick: North Kitsap 23-17
Score Czar: Hockinson 22-8
Class 1A state first round
KING’S (8-2) vs. LA CENTER (6-3)
When, where: 1 p.m., Ridgefield Stadium, Ridgefield HS
What’s at stake: Winner advances to state quarterfinals, will host winner of Hoquiam/Cascade Christian.
Last week: King’s beat Meridian 36-22; La Center idle
Common opponents: None.
About King’s: Like La Center, the Knights from Seattle opened the season with losses to ranked Class 2A teams. King’s fell to Lynden and Lakeside, then has run off eight consecutive wins, avenging a a 30-20 non-league loss to Lakewood with a 16-12 league win two weeks later. King’s went 7-0 in the 2A/1A Cascade Conference. QB Koa Wilkins completed 10 of 23 passes for 204 yards and four TDs last week against Meridian. Jackson Hand caught four passes for 186 yards and two TDs.
About La Center: The Wildcats opened the season with losses to Hockinson, Woodland and Tumwater. All three are ranked 2A teams. Then La Center entered league play and got healthy. The Wildcats have scored at least 28 points in six straight wins since their 0-3 start. RB Cole Judd leads the rushing attack with 653 yards and 8 TDs. QB Wyatt Aguirre has rushed for 616 yards and 9 TDs. Aguirre has also passed for 455 yards and 4 TDs, but has never attempted more than nine passes in a game all season.
Prep Prognosticator says: The 0-3 start for La Center and the fact King’s went unbeaten in a 2A/1A league as a 1A team. So that may lead you to lean toward King’s. But this La Center team is not the same team that looked overmatched in that 0-3 start.
The Pick: La Center 27-20
Score Czar: King’s 27-14