4A DISTRICT PLAYOFFS
No. 10 Curtis (7-2) vs. Bellarmine Prep (6-3)
1 p.m. Saturday at Mount Tahoma Stadium
About the neighborhood: Brian Jensen and Chis Paulson are the new coaches on the block for their respective football teams. But Curtis vs. Bellarmine Prep shouldn’t be anything new, right? The two schools are separated by 5 miles and have a combined 30 state tournament appearances, but this is the first time they will have met in the postseason since 1967, which Bellarmine won 7-6.
About the game: Both these teams revolve around the run game. Curtis has Donnell Diego (178 carries, 1,084 yards, 15 TDs) and Bellarmine has Ahmad Lewis (253 carries, 1,425 yards, 18 TDs). But they also have great linebackers. Bellarmine’s Erik Glueck recently became the Lions’ all-time leading tackler (370 for his career) while Curtis’ Brady Kelly had four sacks last week.
TNT pick: Curtis, 32-27
3A DISTRICT PLAYOFFS
Meadowdale (5-4) vs. Auburn Mountainview (7-2)
7 p.m. Friday at Auburn Memorial Stadium
About the Mavericks: Matt Leonard said he’s never had a team so decimated by injuries like he’s experienced his first year at Meadowdale, last year’s Wesco South champs, after two seasons at Foster. He said he’s likely out at least six starters. QB Drew Tingstad played his first game last week since breaking his hand in late September, then got hurt again and is a game-time decision for Friday.
About the Lions: Speaking of injuries, safety Gavin Robertson has missed the past three games since cracking his fibula against Lakes, though coach Jared Gervais said it’s possible he could return next week. Meanwhile, QB and Montana commit Gresch Jensen (159-259, 2,436 yards, 26 TDs) missed last week with a concussion but is expected to return for Friday’s game.
TNT pick: Auburn Mountainview, 31-18
2A DISTRICT PLAYOFFS
North Kitsap (6-3) vs. Fife (7-2)
7 p.m. Friday at Fife High School
About the Vikings: Fife beat North Kitsap in the playoffs three of the four years Jeff Weible was a player at NK before becoming its football and baseball coach. And he remembers RB Tanner Knapp all too well (the Seattle University commit helped Fife’s baseball team beat NK’s in the district title). So Weible said he’s hoping this game provides some long-awaited payback.
About the Trojans: In his past four games, Knapp (110 carries, 973 yards, 11 TDs) has ran for 836 yards. That’s 209 per game. That after missing the first three games of the season because he initially wasn’t going to play football. But it’s not just what he provides in the run game, but as a linebacker defensively as well. As a team, Fife has ran for 2,645 yards this season between 17 ball carriers.
TNT pick: Fife, 23-21
STATE GAME OF THE WEEK
Chiawana (6-3) vs. No. 8 Central Valley (7-2)
6 p.m. Friday at Central Valley High School
The skinny: Chiawana looked like it was going to struggle just to make the playoffs, let alone reach the 4A state championship game for the third consecutive season. It lost three of its first five games ... granted those were to top-ranked Camas, one-loss Richland and two-loss Kamiakin. Andrew Vargas has taken over the carries since Austin Urlacher graduated and last week he ran for 129 yards and five touchdowns and he leads the Mid-Columbia Conference with 1,852 yards and 23 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Central Valley’s lone losses have come against a team from Idaho (Couer d’Alene) and unbeaten Gonzaga Prep. The Bears hope to make their third trip to state since winning a state title in 1998.
TNT pick: Central Valley, 28-24