The Olympian’s top three South Sound prep football games to watch this weekend:
Yelm (5-3, 2-3 4A Narrows) at Olympia (6-2, 3-2)
7 p.m. Friday, Ingersoll Stadium
About the Tornados: It’s been up and down, but Yelm’s overtime win over Bellarmine Prep two weeks ago, paired with Olympia’s overtime loss to the Lions last week, puts Yelm in position for a possible playoff berth with a win. Even if Olympia’s line is able to contain RB Brandon Thompson (140 carries, 956 yards, 11 TDs), the Tornados have the ability to cause plenty of chaos in the secondary with WR Kaleb Lunderville (38 receptions, 707 yards, 13 TDs). QB Daylon Matthews is 126 of 217 passing this season with 1,795 yards and 21 TDs. He’s rushed for two more.
About the Bears: The two-game slide to Gig Harbor and Bellarmine hurts — and puts the Bears on the bubble for the league’s final playoff allocation. But Olympia’s defense has proved sturdy all season, led by DL Brett Thompson (53 tackles, 6 sacks, 5 blocked kicks). David Woodward has been a factor for the Bears in all phases. He has 445 yards on 65 carries, is 9 of 11 passing for 206 yards and has 29 catches for 471 yards and 10 TDs. He also has 53 defensive tackles.
Olympian pick: Olympia, 35-14.
Capital (3-5, 3-3 3A Narrows) at Shelton (5-3, 4-2)
7 p.m. Friday, Shelton High School
About the Cougars: Since QB Cody Jenkins (17 of 28 passing, 350 yards, 7 TDs in two games) returned after injuring his right index finger in the preseason, Capital has gone on a two-game winning streak to remain in playoff contention. He and WR Zach Smith (25 catches, 523 yards, 13 TDs) put on a show against North Thurston last week, both tying school TD records — Jenkins with five passing, Smith with four receiving. The air raid seems to be the trick for the Cougars, though RB Willie Broxton (83 carries, 580 yards, 7 TDs) could be favored if weather is a factor.
About the Highclimbers: Shelton is completely in control of its own destiny and can earn as high as the No. 2 seed in the 3A Narrows with a win — contingent on how the Central Kitsap-Wilson game shakes out. It is very much in the driver’s seat, with its only league losses being to undefeated, third-ranked Lincoln and Wilson. The ground game will be key behind RB Colton Paller, who is credited with six TDs during the last two games — both wins.
Olympian pick: Capital, 31-27.
W.F. West (5-3, 1-1 2A EvCo) at No. 1 Tumwater (8-0, 2-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Tumwater District Stadium
About the Bearcats: W.F. West had a three-game skid in the middle of the season — including a narrow 24-21 loss to league rival Black Hills. But the Bearcats have won three straight since, all by double-digit margins. Beating up on Centralia, 41-0, last week could propel the Bearcats to match Tumwater’s ever-present scoring tirade (averaging 46.4 points per game). Tumwater won last year’s meeting, 56-21, in Chehalis.
About the T-Birds: Eight weeks in, Tumwater still hasn’t shown signs of weakness. It has outgained opponents 3,204 yards to 1,535 so far this season — and is averaging 400.5 total yards of offense per game. Nine players are in triple digits for all-purpose yardage on the season. Jarid Barrett (110 carries, 630 yards, 15 TDs) and Dominic Jones (64 carries, 572 yards, 10 TDs) are both averaging more than 70 yards per game rushing. Sixteen players also have double-digit tackles, led by Cade Otton (57 solo, 18 assists).
Olympian pick: Tumwater, 42-24.
Week 9 games
(All games at 7 p.m. Friday)
Yelm at Olympia
Capital at Shelton
W.F. West at Class 2A No. 1 Tumwater
Black Hills at Centralia
Mount Tahoma at North Thurston
Timberline and South Kitsap
Rochester at Tenino
Elma at Montesano