Bethel (2-3) at Graham-Kapowsin (4-1), 7 p.m. today at Art Crate Field, Spanaway
About the Braves: The Braves are a perfect 6-0 against Graham-Kapowsin. Can Bethel extend that streak? With RB John Thompson (ankle) banged up last week, the Braves did open it up a bit more with QB Connor Reopelle and fleet-footed RB Colton Allen (18 carries, 155 yards, TD last week in the 52-35 loss to Emerald Ridge).
About the Eagles: Graham-Kapowsin is focused on solidifying its hold on the No. 2 spot in the division. And the Eagles should have a decided edge with RB Teague James (99 carries, 734 yards, SPSL-leading 13 TDs) against one of the league’s worst run defenses (Bethel gives up 241.4 yards per game).
TNT pick: Graham-Kapowsin, 35-25.
Lakes (2-3) at Enumclaw (2-3), 7 p.m. today at Pete’s Pool, Enumclaw
About the Lancers: After a 1-3 start, the Lancers’ focus has shifted to SPSL 3A where Lakes has a 27-game winning streak. The Lancers are getting their swagger back behind RBs Dom Milton (61 carries, 292 yards, seven TDs) and Kevin Thompson (46 carries, 336 yards, five TDs)
About the Hornets: Added toughness has come with the return to the two-back power rushing attack under coach Mark Gunderson. RB Mauricio Portillo (95 carries, 466 yards, nine TDs), the league’s top rusher, “is a middle linebacker who likes to carry the ball,” Gunderson said.
TNT pick: Lakes, 30-20.
Sumner (4-1) at Orting (4-1), 7 p.m. today at Cardinal Stadium, Orting
About the Spartans: A win would put Sumner in great position to win its first SPSL 2A title since 2010. But the Spartans have bigger goals. Coach Keith Ross said he thinks this is his best squad since 1999. RB Lokahi Kamau (80 carries, 457 yards, eight TDs) epitomizes the team’s physical, rugged nature.
About the Cardinals: Orting’s usually reliable cadre of defensive linemen lost all containment last week, allowing Clover Park’s Brandon Pritchett to rush for 341 yards. Needless to say, the defense must shed blocks better tonight. RB Jaysen Yoro (64 carries, 532 yards, 11 TDs) needs to have a big game.
TNT pick: Sumner, 26-23.
STATE GAME OF THE WEEK
Chewelah (4-1) at Medical Lake (5-0), 7 p.m. today, Holliday Field, Medical Lake
Skinny: Nobody is sure how the 1A Northeast League standings are going to shake out, but in early October it is intriguing that underdog Medical Lake is the league’s lone undefeated squad – ahead of co-favorites Freeman and Chewelah. The Cardinals have already collected the most wins in a season in a decade, and are doing it with a relatively limited roster (24 varsity players). Those turnout numbers forced Medical Lake to forfeit its 2A status a couple of seasons ago and play a 1A independent schedule through 2011. This is the Cardinals’ first season in the 1A Northeast – and the team made a statement last week by winning at Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls). The defense, featuring free safety Kasey Kelly, has been leading the way – and should be tested by Chewelah quarterback Derek Smith, a dual threat, in this week’s showdown.
TNT pick: Medical Lake, 30-28.todd.milles@ thenewstribune.com