NO. 3 SUMNER SPARTANS (6-0) AT BELLARMINE PREP LIONS (5-1)
7 p.m. Friday at Bellarmine Prep
About the Spartans: Even if defenses contain Sumner’s offense for some or most of the game, they just need one play. That’s the luxury of having home-run players like RB Connor Wedington (85 carries, 969 yards, 14 TDs; 12 catches, 214 yards, 2 TDs) and RB Tre Weed (57 carries, 512 yards, 6 TDs; 13 catches, 281 yards, 5 TDs). Keep an eye on if that changes on a stormy Friday on Bellarmine’s grass field.
About the Lions: Maybe the best way to describe WR Christian Brown (40 catches, 652 yards, 4 TDs) — clutch. It’s not so much a secret that the 5-foot-10 senior is QB Christian Moore’s (88 for 136, 1,295 yards, 10 TDs) go-to target on third and fourth down. The Lions’ pass offense thrives off play action to bowling-ball running back Matt Money (167 carries, 883 yards, 16 TDs).
TNT pick: Sumner, 28-21
NO. 5 GRAHAM-KAPOWSIN (5-1) AT OLYMPIA BEARS (5-1)
7 p.m. Friday at Ingersoll Stadium, Olympia
About the Eagles: You can just about pencil in RB Micah Smith (125 carries, 1,143 yards, 16 TDs) for 200 yards every game. The only game he hasn’t gained at least 200 was when he missed the win over Arlington with a concussion. But G-K has also got QB Dylan Morris (52-105, 1,084 yards, 12 TDs) going lately. He threw for 273 yards and three TDs against Puyallup last week.
About the Bears: This was supposed to be a matchup of the area’s top two RBs — G-K’s Smith vs. Olympia’s Scott Gunther (162 carries, 1,261 yards, 22 TDs). But Gunther left in the fourth quarter of last week’s loss to Sumner with a hip injury and coach Bill Beattie said he’s a game-time decision for this week and would be limited even if he does play. Connor Clark and Owen Shea will get more touches.
TNT pick: Graham-Kapowsin, 24-17
GIG HARBOR TIDES (4-2) AT TIMBERLINE BLAZERS (4-2)
7 p.m. Friday at South Sound Stadium, Lacey
About the Tides: Gig Harbor is 3-0 since turning to QB Ben Hollenbeck (31-50, 372 yards, 6 TDs; 58 carries, 483 yards, 7 TDs). He’s a runner, even more so than last year’s All-Area player of the year Davis Alexander. Coach Aaron Chantler said Hollenbeck was banged up to start the year, and this doesn’t mean the sophomore has secured the starting job for good over Ryan Baerg and Nick Yockey.
About the Blazers: All that experience and size up front has paid off for Timberline so far. RB Anthony Hathaway (154 carries, 850 yards, 6 TDs) has been the Blazers’ most dangerous weapon offensively. The game got even more intriguing with Timberline having to forfeit their win against Yelm because of an expired physical. Now both these teams are 4-2 and playing for second in the league.
TNT pick: Timberline, 37-35
STATE GAME OF THE WEEK
NO. 1 EASTSIDE CATHOLIC (6-0) VS. NO. 2 O’DEA FIGHTING IRISH (6-0)
7 p.m. Friday at West Seattle Stadium, Seattle
The skinny: O’Dea coach Monte Kohler said he’s seen a more intensified focus for his kids this week considering their two-time defending 3A state champion opponent. And that’s a good thing, considering Eastside Catholic has won four of the past five meetings between these two private powerhouses of the 3A Metro League. These two offenses couldn’t be any more different, with O’Dea’s ground-and-pound behind Hunter Franco (48 carries, 457 yards, 6 TDs) and Jamyn Patu (54 carries, 452 yards, 4 TDs), and Eastside Catholic’s air attack behind TE Hunter Bryant, a UW commit who played significant roles on each of the Crusaders’ past two title teams, and first-year QB Zach Lewis.
TNT pick: O’Dea, 24-21
TJ Cotterill: firstname.lastname@example.org