FIVE THINGS TO WATCH
Prime position: In pursuit of the Narrows 3A title, Lincoln could take a huge step Friday facing defending league champion Timberline. A victory by the Abes would all but end the Blazers’ reign – and set up a second-half push. QB Jordan Kitna (47-83, 969 yards, 16 TDs) is having a coming-out season at Lincoln.
House of silence: This week is still awkward, just not like last season. Carter McKay is a receiver at Curtis. His father, Darren, is the coach at Beamer. The teams play Friday in Federal Way. “We are around each other, but we are still not talking about it much,” Darren McKay said. Curtis won, 49-0, last season.
Unaccustomed to losing: Lakes coach Dave Miller has never had a winless September – until now. His young Lancers are 0-4 after a brutal non-league schedule. “Lakes is not used to being 0-4,” Miller said. “But we’ve focused on breaking this down into three seasons – preseason, league season and postseason.”
Oh, Canada! The Canadian flag will be waving, and Canada’s national anthem will be played. For the second consecutive year, Bow Valley, Alberta, will play at Eatonville. On native soil, the Bobcats play 12-man football. Here, they will play 11-on-11. Last year, Eatonville won, 49-6.
Unbeaten no more: The pool of 44 undefeated teams (4A through 2B) will certainly shrink after these 4-0 teams play one another Friday: Cascade of Everett against Edmonds-Woodway; W.F. West vs. Tumwater, Sumner vs. Franklin Pierce and Napavine vs. Morton/White Pass.
GAMES TO WATCH
No. 6 Federal Way (3-1) at Puyallup (3-1), 7 p.m. Friday, Sparks Stadium
About the Eagles: If you can tackle their stars – QB Keenan Curran (46 carries, 662 yards, eight TDs) and RB Chico McClatcher (47 carries, 523 yards, eight TDs) – in space, fine. Most can’t. That is why Federal Way remains not only the premier rushing offense in the SPSL, but also the top big-play scoring attack with nine one-play scoring drives this season.
About the Vikings: Minus a bad third quarter at Curtis last week, Puyallup could easily be undefeated. QB Brendan Illies (79-137, 1,225 yards, 17 TDs) continues to mature into arguably the area’s best passer, but with WR Levi Jordan out (concussion; eight TD catches), he will need others to step up to keep up in this expected high-scoring game.
TNT pick: Federal Way, 45-36.
No. 3 Sumner (4-0) at No. 10 Franklin Pierce (4-0), 7 p.m. Friday, Franklin Pierce Stadium, Parkland
About the Spartans: Between these two, it is whose ‘bad’ is the baddest. Sumner considers itself the king until shown otherwise, and its quick-hit, inside-dive rushing attack behind RBs DeJon Lynch (82 carries, 736 yards, seven TDs) and Brandon Tuilaepa (45 carries, 474 yards, four TDs) is difficult for opponents to simulate in practice.
About the Cardinals: They promise they will not shy away from contact against the defending SPSL 2A champions. RB Hassan Kitt (49 carries, 379 yards, five TDs) is a match-up nightmare because he is moved all over the field. Key in slowing down Sumner’s rushing attack is sure-handed OLB Devin Hamilton (53 tackles, 10 for loss).
TNT pick: Sumner, 27-19.
No. 2 Tumwater (4-0) at No. 8 W.F. West (4-0), 7 p.m. Friday, Bearcat Stadium, Chehalis
About the Thunderbirds: Even though it is October, the winner is a heavy favorite to capture the EvCo title. The Thunderbirds will continue to do what they do best – run the ball in the wing-T with RBs Christian Cummings (52 carries, 647 yards, 11 TDs) and Tyrus Snow (24 carries, 246 yards, three TDs), and be heady yet aggressive on defense.
About the Bearcats: A Gueller-quarterbacked W.F. West team has beaten the T-Birds before – 34-14 in 2009. Only it was Mitch Gueller back then. Now, Tanner Gueller (42-63, 800 yards, 16 TDs, no INT; 182 rushing yards, seven TDs) would like nothing better than to stick it to Tumwater, either with his legs or with a balanced passing attack.
TNT pick: W.F. West, 27-24.
STATE GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 6 Prosser (3-1) at No. 5 Ellensburg (4-0), 7 p.m. Friday, Andreotti Field, Ellensburg
The skinny: The three-school, round-robin tournament in the Central Washington Athletic Conference (CWAC) continues Friday night. And after an earlier win over Othello, the Mustangs can pretty much wrap it up with a road win. Both teams are speedy and athletic – only Prosser’s talent is a bit younger. Mustangs coach Benji Sonnichsen thinks this bunch of sophomores is much like Lynden’s group from 2010 that won three straight Class 2A state titles. Look for Prosser to spread the Bulldogs out and attack with quarterback Mason Schutt (56-111, 754 yards, six TDs) and RB Isaiah Sanders (58 carries, 434 yards, five TDs). Two weeks ago, Ellensburg lost standout quarterback Garrett Hull to a season-ending knee injury against Selah, and sophomore Donny Ellersick (passed for 252 yards, four TDs in first start) is not the dual threat Hull is. The Bulldogs will need their defense (four total TDs given up in past eight games) to be able to pull off an upset.
TNT pick: Prosser, 20-14.