OLYMPIA BEARS (5-0) AT NO. 3 SUMNER SPARTANS (5-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Sunset Chev Stadium, Sumner
About the Bears: Coach Bill Beattie knows this week’s opponent is fast, adding that “if this was a track meet, we’d probably be in trouble.” Olympia RB Scott Gunther (131 carries, 1,117 yards, 25 total TDs) has more than enough explosiveness to break off big gainers. But the key for the Bears is disciplined gap control on defense to bottle up Sumner’s backfield stars.
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About the Spartans: This is the only matchup of undefeated teams from around the state. And what a good time for these longtime coaches, Sumner’s Keith Ross and Beattie, to face off for the first time. Sumner RB Connor Wedington (69 carries, 794 yards, 12 TDs) is putting up MVP-type numbers, averaging nearly 240 all-purpose yards per game. OLB Jake Popejoy is a rising star on defense.
TNT pick: Sumner, 35-28
4A NPSL OLYMPIC
AUBURN TROJANS (5-0) AT AUBURN MOUNTAINVIEW LIONS (3-2)
7 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium, Auburn
About the Trojans: There are two things you should know about a Gordon Elliott-coached team, First, he usually rotates in plenty of ball carriers, which has helped keep his team fresh. Second, the Trojans do not beat themselves. It will have to be a team effort Friday without leading RB Joseph Fagan (concussion). Auburn is off to its first 5-0 start since 2009.
About the Lions: After opening losses to Kentlake and Lincoln, Auburn Mountainview has quietly come together with three consecutive wins. One thing coach Jared Gervais points out about this squad is its toughness. RB Bitner Wilson (89 carries, 391 yards, six TDs) has been playing through a high ankle sprain. The intra-district rivals have split four games in their series.
TNT pick: Auburn Mountainview, 24-20
2A SPSL SOUND
EATONVILLE CRUISERS (4-1) AT NO. 5 RIVER RIDGE HAWKS (5-0)
7 p.m. Friday, South Sound Stadium, Lacey
About the Cruisers: It’s not often that Eatonville comes into a game as the smaller team across the board. But the Cruisers are, so expect QB Tristan Graf (61 of 106, 1,013 yards, 17 TDs) to go right after a depleted Hawks secondary that will be missing CB Alex Coleman (ankle). This will be the first meeting between these programs.
About the Hawks: It is early October, and the Hawks are already in position to clinch a share of the divisional title with a victory, and sew up the No. 1 seed. RB Trey Dorfner (103 carries, 853 yards, 16 TDs) is closing in on back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. River Ridge needs its best pass rush of the season to help an inexperienced defensive backfield.
TNT pick: River Ridge, 40-30
STATE GAME OF THE WEEK
4A NO. 1 RICHLAND BOMBERS (5-0) AT 3A NO. 7 KAMIAKIN BRAVES (4-1)
7 p.m. Friday, Lampson Stadium, Kennewick
Skinny: It isn’t surprising that these schools feature the best passing attacks in the 3A/4A Mid Columbia Conference. After all, their coaches — Richland’s Mike Niedhold (Richland) and Kamiakin’s Scott Biglin (Pasco) — are former quarterbacks. And it is a game likely to be left up to the current standout quarterbacks: Richland’s Paxton Stevens (1,201 passing yards, 14 TDs) and Kamiakin’s Zach Borisch (1,092 yards, 16 TDs). Stevens is a super athlete; Borisch is as tough as they come. Or as Niedhold put it, “Zach likes to get in the dirt and roll around — and Paxton likes to run on the dirt.” The Bombers have won their past 11 league games. Their last MCC loss was to Kamiakin on this field in 2014 (21-14). Richland holds the all-time series lead, 26-21.
TNT pick: Richland, 30-21
Todd Milles: firstname.lastname@example.org