No. 2 Federal Way (8-0) at No. 9 Curtis (7-1), 7 p.m. today at Viking Field, University Place
About the Eagles: They average seven TDs a game. They can score from anywhere on the field – in all three phases. And with the division title on the line, Federal Way is 60 points from tying Bethel’s single-season league scoring mark (451), set in 2011. The Eagles’ 321 first-half points are more than any SPSL school, except Kentlake, has scored all season.
About the Vikings: If Curtis gets down three scores early, as it did last week against Rogers, it might as well prepare for a long night. But Federal Way’s defense is vulnerable against the run, which means the Vikings should ride their running backs – shifty E.J. Deveaux (865 yards, seven TDs), if he can go full speed (ankle), and bruising Mitchell Hersey (531 yards, 11 TDs) – to shorten the game.
TNT pick: Federal Way, 41-24.
Lakes (5-3) at No. 9 Peninsula (6-2), 7 p.m. today at Roy Anderson Field, Purdy
About the Lancers: Plenty is one the line for the four-time defending league champions. First, they want to extend their 30-game SPSL 3A winning streak. And Lakes has never lost to Peninsula. Weapons are everywhere, especially in the run game with backs Kevin Thompson (660 yards, eight TDs) and Dre Milton (529 yards, 11 TDs).
About the Seahawks: For a history teacher, coach Ross Filkins has a short memory. This is the Seahawks’ best shot at upending the Lancers. Why? “My most complete team,” Filkins said. Peninsula rotates as many as 20 guys in on an experienced defense, and QB Austin Filkins (73-110, 784 yards, seven TDs) is decisive and will spread it around.
TNT pick: Lakes, 38-34.
No. 8 Eatonville (7-1) at No. 7 Charles Wright Academy (7-0), 7 p.m. today at Haertl Field, University Place
About the Cruisers: So, who had this title-game matchup in their preseason pool? Both teams win by being physical and efficient. Dynamic inside running back Brandon Atkins (867 yards, 10 TDs) might be the Nisqually MVP, and QB Zach Fairhart (45 of 91, 895 yards, 17 TDs) is a run-pass riddle who hasn’t been solved.
About the Tarriers: Their last league football title came in 1989. And fired-up alumni have visited practice this week to offer encouragement. CWA can match Eatonville’s toughness, especially inside, and plays mistake-free offense (three turnovers all year). But can cornerback Robert Tyler and Andrew Williams handle the Cruisers’ bigger receivers?
TNT pick: Eatonville, 20-16.
STATE GAME OF THE WEEK
3A No. 5 Glacier Peak (7-1) at 3A No. 8 Marysville-Pilchuck (7-1), 8 p.m. today, Quil Ceda Stadium, Marysville
Skinny: Wesco 3A North (M-P) meets South (Glacier Peak) for the league title, and the easiest path in the postseason. These two schools have met just once – in 2008, when M-P knocked off the Grizzlies, 20-17, in their first season. Glacier Peak grew up quickly, earning a 3A state playoff spot its second season – and guaranteeing itself a great shot at another one now. On defense, the Grizzlies have been good against the run – and opportunistic on interceptions, too. The offense is balanced behind quarterback Chris Becerra (1,861 yards, 18 TDs) and tailback Michael Palmer (904 yards, 11 TDs). Meanwhile, the Tomahawks have had anything but a normal year. They ditched their wing-T attack in the offseason to give big-armed quarterback Jake Luton (871 yards, 10 TDs passing) more freedom to make plays. The passing threat forces defenses to play their base sets, opening things for the running game (3,018 yards, 37 TDs).
TNT pick: Marysville-Pilchuck, 28-27.todd.milles@ thenewstribune.com