High School Sports

Games to watch: No. 2 Sumner, No. 3 G-K to square off in South Sound showdown

Graham-Kapowsin's Micah Smith left, gets ready to lower his shoulder on the Spartan's linebacker Jake Popejoy Thursday 09/22/16 during a match-up between the visiting Graham-Kapowsin Eagles and the Sumner Spartans. Smith scored a first half touchdown but the Eagles trailed 14-13.
Graham-Kapowsin's Micah Smith left, gets ready to lower his shoulder on the Spartan's linebacker Jake Popejoy Thursday 09/22/16 during a match-up between the visiting Graham-Kapowsin Eagles and the Sumner Spartans. Smith scored a first half touchdown but the Eagles trailed 14-13. dkoepfler@thenewstribune.com

WEEK 4 GAMES TO WATCH

2A SPSL SOUND

STEILACOOM SENTINELS (2-1) VS. EATONVILLE CRUISERS (3-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Eatonville HS

About the Sentinels: Coach Rich Lane is preparing his team this week like they’re preparing for a league-title game, including practicing on grass instead of turf (the last time Lane said he’s played on a grass surface was when he coached in Corcoran, California). The offense finally found a groove last week behind QB JJ Lemming (24-for-48, 320 yards, 2 TDs), but the defense is already playing at a high level, allowing six points in back-to-back games (against River Ridge and Renton).

About the Cruisers: Want to win games? Do what Eatonville has in the turnover ratio with 12 takeaways and no turnovers so far. And QB Tristan Schoepf (38-for-51, 593 yards, 4 TDs) has shown great decision making in his first year as the starter under South Kitsap-to-Eatonville first-year coach Gavin Kralik – who loves efficient offense. But it’s one thing to do this against Elma, Highline and Clover Park, and another in a test like this week against the Sentinels’ D.

TNT pick: Steilacoom, 35-28

3A PIERCE COUNTY LEAGUE

No. 6 LINCOLN ABES (2-1) VS. LAKES LANCERS (2-1)

7 p.m. Friday at Harry Lang Stadium (Lakewood)

About the Abes: It’s hard to know just what to expect from Lincoln. It had dominant defensive play in the opening week against O’Dea and then tackling issues against Bethel last week before a comeback victory. And a young, inconsistent offense. Coach Masaki Matsumoto just wants to see Lincoln get back to basics this week, and continue to control the trenches to open up lanes for running back Tristian Kwon. That has been the one staple so far is offensive and defensive line play, led by 6-foot-3, 280-pound Giovonni White. The other bright spot has been WR/S Julien Simon, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound freshman who had seven catches for 156 yards last week.

About the Lancers: Is this team further along and less injury-ridden at this point preparing for Lincoln compared to this time last year? “Oh yeah,” coach Dave Miller laughed. But it’s not all good news: standout cornerback Alex Dangtuw broke his leg in the second half of last week’s win over Wilson and will miss the rest of the season. The good news is WR Cody Roe (15 catches, 326 yards, 3 TDs) is already looking in midseason form, but can RB Khalil Lewis (42 carries, 226 yards, 2 TDs) find some running lanes against Lincoln’s big defensive front?

TNT pick: Lincoln 27-20

4A NPSL OLYMPIC

No. 7 AUBURN RIVERSIDE RAVENS (3-0) VS. AUBURN MOUNTAINVIEW LIONS (0-3)

7 p.m. Friday at Auburn Memorial Stadium

About the Ravens: What’s not to like so far? Auburn Riverside has outscored its opponents 128-0 behind a dominant defensive line. This after losing to Monroe in the district playoffs last year. And QB Tiano Malietufa (23-for-40, 445 yards, 5 TDs; 27 carries, 268 yards, 2 TDs) has shown a much-improved arm that’s exploiting nine-players-in-the-box defenses. But one problem: Coach Bryant Thomas and the Ravens’ seniors have never beat AMV. Thomas says the key will be stopping Talan Alfrey, and don’t be surprised to see speedster Jaden Robinson follow him wherever Alfrey lines up.

About the Lions: With eight sophomores starting, coach Jared Gervais said before the year that he felt his team could go 10-0 or 0-10. That’s not trending the way he’d like so far, but there’s plenty of reasons why that could change after losses to Kentlake (OT), Lincoln and Federal Way. AMV will line up BYU-bound safety Talan Alfrey (21 catches, 373 yards, 3 TDs; 13 carries, 45 yards; team-best 28 tackles) anywhere on offense. He’s the most dynamic player in the league, but expect more double-teams like he saw against Federal Way last week, which means QB Sui Daniels (62-for-101, 716 yards, 4 TDs) needs to play mistake-free and younger players need to step up. Maybe that will be Damarea Dunnigan, who transferred before the season from Silverado High in California.

TNT pick: Auburn Riverside, 41-28

STATE GAME OF THE WEEK

NO. 2 SUMNER SPARTANS (3-0) VS. NO. 3 GRAHAM-KAPOWSIN EAGLES (3-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Art Crate Field (Spanaway)

About the Spartans: Sumner had the 4A SPSL’s best defense last year, G-K had the best offense. We knew what LB Ben Wilson, the TCU commit, could do defensively (he was the 4A SPSL defensive player of the year last season), but look at him rumble on offense, rushing for 221 yards and six touchdowns last week against Curtis. And Tre Weed (39 carries, 352 yards, 7 TDs)? He had 210 rushing yards that game and is looking like a Connor Wedington doppelganger. Weed followed his 103 rushing yards against Bonney Lake with 137 receiving yards against South Kitsap (and a blocked field goal for a TD) and he has three interceptions. Last year, this game came down to Wedington making the play of the year with his 87-yard zig-zagging kick-return touchdown with two minutes left in the 34-27 Sumner win. Weed could very well make a similar game-changing play.

About the Eagles: If it’s an Eric Kurle-team vs. a Keith Ross-team, it’s going to be physical. G-K won in almost every facet last year: In the trenches (thanks to Wedington’s now-teammate at Stanford, Foster Sarell); Micah Smith ran for 233 yards and the Eagles held Sumner to 32 rushing yards. But G-K didn’t get nearly the big plays Sumner did (interception return TD, 63-yard pass TD, Wedington’s 87-yard kick return). Kurle is expecting this game to look a lot different. Smith missed last week with a thumb injury, but is expected to be ready for Friday. Even with him, Kurle’s offense has looked far more like Air Raid than his typical pro-style ground-and-pound, letting UW-commit QB Dylan Morris (44-for-58, 856 yards, 10 TDs) and WR Tre Mason III (15 catches, 257 yards, 2 TDs) loose. Kurle thinks his defense has taken steps forward since last year, too.

TNT pick: Sumner, 30-27

WEEK 4 SOUTH SOUND FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

All games are at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted

THURSDAY’S SCHEDULE

4A NPSL Cascade

Mount Rainier (0-3) vs. Hazen (2-1), at Renton Memorial Stadium

4A NPSL Olympic

Auburn (3-0) vs. Thomas Jefferson (0-3), at Federal Way Memorial Stadium

4A SPSL

South Kitsap (0-3) vs. Puyallup (3-0), at Sparks Stadium (Puyallup)

FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE

4A NPSL Cascade

Kent-Meridian (0-3) vs. Kentlake (2-1), at French Field (Kent)

Kentwood (2-1) at Tahoma (2-1)

4A NPSL Olympic

No. 7 Auburn Riverside (3-0) vs. Auburn Mountainview (0-3), at Auburn Memorial Stadium

Federal Way (2-1) vs. No. 10 Todd Beamer (3-0), at Federal Way Memorial Stadium

4A SPSL

No. 2 Sumner (3-0) vs. No. 3 Graham-Kapowsin (3-0), at Art Crate Field (Spanaway)

Emerald Ridge (0-3) at Bellarmine Prep (2-1)

Curtis (0-3) vs. Olympia (3-0), at Ingersoll Stadium (Olympia)

3A PCL

Spanaway Lake (0-3) vs. Wilson (0-3), at Stadium Bowl

Bethel (2-1) vs. Bonney Lake(1-2), at Sunset Chev Stadium (Sumner)

Stadium (2-1) vs. Mount Tahoma (1-2), at Mount Tahoma Stadium

Lincoln (2-1) vs. Lakes (2-1), at Harry Lang Stadium

3A SSC

Capital (1-2) vs. North Thurston (0-3), at South Sound Stadium (Lacey)

Shelton (0-3) vs. Peninsula (2-1), at Roy Anderson Field (Purdy)

Gig Harbor (1-2) at Yelm (2-1)

7:15 p.m.: No. 7 Timberline (3-0) vs. Central Kitsap (2-1), at Silverdale Stadium

2A SPSL Mountain

Washington (2-1) at Foster (2-1)

White River (2-1) vs. Franklin Pierce (1-2), at Franklin Pierce Stadium

Lindbergh (0-3) at No. 10 Fife (3-0)

Foss (1-2) vs. Evergreen of Seattle (0-3), at Highline Memorial Stadium

2A SPSL Sound

5 p.m.: Orting (0-3) vs. Highline (0-3), at Highline Memorial Stadium

River Ridge (1-2) vs. Renton (0-3), at Renton Memorial Stadium

Steilacoom (2-1) at Eatonville (3-0)

2A Evergreen

4:30 p.m.: Tumwater (2-1) vs. Union (2-1), at McKenzie Stadium (Vancouver, Wash.)

W.F. West (3-0) at Lake Washington (3-0)

Kelso (2-1) vs. Centralia (1-2), at Tiger Stadium

Evergreen of Vancouver (2-1) vs. Black Hills (2-1), at Tumwater District Stadium

1A Nisqually

Charles Wright (2-1) at Coupeville (2-1)

Nonleague

Oak Harbor (3-0) vs. Rogers (0-3), at Sparks Stadium (Puyallup)

Clover Park (1-2) at Interlake (1-2)

Chief Leschi (0-3) at Winlock (0-3)

SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE

4A NPSL Cascade

Kentridge (1-2) vs. Kennedy Catholic (2-1), at Highline Memorial Stadium

4A NPSL Olympic

Enumclaw (2-1) vs. Decatur (2-1) at Federal Way Memorial Stadium

1A Nisqually

Chimacum (2-1) vs. Cascade Christian (2-1), at Sunset Chev Stadium (Sumner)

Vashon Island (0-3) vs. Klahowya (0-3), at Silverdale Stadium

2A Pacific

Adna (3-0) vs. Life Christian (0-3), at Harry Lang Stadium (Lakewood)

Nonleague

1 p.m.: Clallam Bay vs. Evergreen Lutheran (0-2), at Franklin Pierce Stadium

Dufur (Oregon) (2-0) vs. Tacoma Baptist (2-1), at Curtis HS

TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677

@TJCotterill

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