3A STATE QUARTERFINALS
LAKES LANCERS (7-4) VS. NO. 3 EASTSIDE CATHOLIC CRUSADERS (10-1)
1 p.m. Saturday at Seattle Memorial Stadium
About the Lancers: Lakes remembers Eastside Catholic all too well, losing to the two-time defending 3A state champions in the semfinals last year. But these are two different teams than when Brandon Wellington, now at the UW, returned two kicks for touchdowns versus the Lancers a season ago. RB Melvin Miller (116 carries, 897 yards, 12 TDs) could be the difference on special teams for Lakes with three kick returns for TDs this season. DB Che’ Rogers (48 tackles, 5 INTs) will need to lock down the Crusaders’ passing attack.
About the Crusaders: It may not be the powerhouse of the past few years, but Eastside Catholic still has plenty of weapons including QB Zach Lewis (2,616 passing yards, 26 TDs) and TE Hunter Bryant (44 catches, 766 yards, 8 TDs). The Crusaders certainly will look to take advantage of Bryant’s ability to out-physical opposing defensive backs.
TNT pick: Eastside Catholic, 30-21.
BONNEY LAKE PANTHERS (9-2) vs. NO. 6 KAMIAKIN BRAVES (9-2)
1 p.m. Saturday at Lampson Stadium, Kennewick
About the Panthers: Bonney Lake won its first state playoff game in school history last year, then defeated previously unbeaten Squalicum last week for their second state postseason win. OL/DL Caleb Davis (23.5 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks) has been a key contributor, earning the 3A PCL MVP, and RB Jason Day has rushed for 683 yards and 14 TDs since Marcus Hamilton was lost to injury.
About the Braves: What’s not to admire about Kamiakin? QB Zach Borisch threw for 194 yards and ran for another 51 yards in a 45-0 win over Gig Harbor last week, and coach Scott Biglin admitted he would hate to be the one to game-plan for his defense, led by defensive back Darreon Moore. The Braves’ losses came against 4A powers Richland and Chiawana.
TNT pick: Kamiakin, 31-24.
Christian Bond: email@example.com
Chase Hutchinson: firstname.lastname@example.org
2A STATE QUARTERFINALS
NO. 1 ARCHBISHOP MURPHY WILDCATS (11-0) AT NO. 2 TUMWATER T-BIRDS (10-1)
1 p.m. Saturday, Tumwater District Stadium, Tumwater
About the Wildcats: Archbishop Murphy is the top-ranked team in 2A — and has been for most of the season — and it’s pretty obvious why. These guys are huge up front, they put up points (averaging more than 51 per game), and they shut opposing teams down (they’ve allowed one touchdown in the six games they’ve played this season). RB Collin Montez (41 carries, 505 yards, eight TDs) and WR Anfernee Gurley (617 total yards, seven total TDs) are two players to look out for among many.
About the T-Birds: Here they are again. The T-Birds won this matchup in a 2A semifinal thriller last season, and may be the only team in the classification with the discipline and depth to derail the Wildcats. Tumwater’s defense is only allowing an average of 2.4 yards per carry on the ground this season, and allowing 5.7 yards per attempt through the air.
TNT pick: Archbishop Murphy, 28-17.
NO. 7 RIVER RIDGE HAWKS (9-1) AT NO. 8 LIBERTY PATRIOTS (10-0)
7 p.m. Saturday, Liberty High School, Renton
About the Hawks: Last week’s rout of W.F. West got River Ridge out of the first round of the 2A state playoffs for the first time since 1998. But don’t expect the Hawks to rest on that victory as their explosive offense will need to continue to show up from here on out behind QB Kelle Sanders (72 of 133, 1,298 yards, 15 TDs) and RB Trey Dorfner (167 carries, 1,376 yards, 25 TDs).
About the Patriots: It’s hard to measure how these two will match up based on opponents. What isn’t hard to measure is this — Liberty hasn’t lost a game this season, and rarely has it been close. The Patriots’ offense has passed the 40-point mark six times this season. The best gauge for an outcome is Steilacoom: River Ridge beat the Sentinels, 47-27, in Week 2, while Liberty edged them, 20-13, last week.
TNT pick: River Ridge, 35-21.
Lauren Smith: 360-754-5473, @smithlm12