Mercer Island (5-3) vs. Kelso (7-2)
CLASS 3A STATE PRELIMINARY GAME
WHEN: 4 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: McKenzie Stadium, 2205 NE 138th Ave, Vancouver
BROADCAST: Radio, 1490 AM; Internet radio, klog.com
LAST WEEK: Mercer Island beat Juanita 24-19; Kelso beat Hudson’s Bay 26-24.
2016 PLAYOFF FINISH: Mercer Island lost to Bonney Lake 56-42 in the Week 10 playoffs; Kelso lost to Meadowdale 24-20 in the 3A state first round.
GAME NOTES: Mercer Island earned the No. 2 seed from the KingCo Conference by winning a three-team tiebreaker with Lake Washington and Redmond. QB Nikhil Nayarleads the Islanders with 1,830 passing yards and 23 TDs. Of Mercer Island’s 321 plays this season, 250 were pass attempts. Four players caught 23 or more passes, led by Cole Miller’s 50 catches for 928 yards and 8 TDs. Mercer Island’s first-year coach Ed Slezinger was suspended for the Islanders’ two league losses vs. Bellevue and Lake Washington by the KingCo Conference for violation of rules regarding player eligibility. Mercer Island’s Week 1 game at West Valley-Yakima was canceled because of fires in central Washington. John Roberts caught a 16-yard TD pass from A.J. Hoggatt as time expired to lift Kelso over Hudson’s Bay, giving the Hilanders the No. 2 seed from the 3A Greater St. Helens League. Hoggatt, Kelso’s career passing leader, missed most of the season with a knee injury. That led the Hilanders to turn to Max McDaniel, who rushed for 1,256 yards and 12 TDs this season. The two teams share a common opponents – Lake Washington. Kelso lost to the Kangaroos 30-6 on Sept. 15 (without Hoggatt). Mercer Island lost to Lake Washington 26-0 two weeks ago.
FANS’ PICK: Kelso (56 percent)
SCORE CZAR: TBA
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