Three high school football games to watch this week in the South Sound and beyond. Plus, the state game of the week.
4A NPSL MOUNTAIN
TODD BEAMER TITANS (4-2) VS. NO. 8 ENUMCLAW HORNETS (6-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Pete’s Pool, Enumclaw
About the Titans: Each of Beamer’s two losses have come in the game’s final minute. In Week 2 — after shutting out Decatur and Thomas Jefferson — the Titans lost to Federal Way on a rushing TD by UW commit Alphonzo Tuputala with 46 seconds to play. Last week, Division I recruit Sam Huard led Kennedy Catholic to a game-winning score with 27 seconds remaining. So the Titans are two TDs and 73 seconds away from being undefeated, which makes this week’s showdown in Enumclaw — which could determine the 4A NPSL Mountain title — that much more intriguing.
About the Hornets: Enumclaw is the only remaining 4A team in the South Sound without a loss, and the Hornets can lock up their second consecutive division title with a win this week. Last year, the Hornets unexpectedly won the 4A NPSL Olympic. This year, the league’s top tier, the 4A NPSL Mountain, is within reach. The Hornets are allowing 16.5 points per game — and that number is somewhat skewed by a 57-48 shootout win over Kennedy Catholic two weeks ago — while scoring 43.2.
TNT pick: Enumclaw, 35-31
NO. 5 GRAHAM-KAPOWSIN EAGLES (5-1) VS. CURTIS VIKINGS (5-1)
7 p.m. Friday, Viking Stadium, University Place
About the Eagles: Puyallup — which is ranked fourth this week — is still the only team to beat G-K, and the Eagles responded well since then. Since the 41-34 loss to the Vikings in OT in Week 4, the Eagles have shut out Olympia (35-0) and South Kitsap (42-0). QB Dylan Morris (96 of 143, 1,355 yards, 18 TDs), a UW commit, is still one of the 4A SPSL’s — and the state’s — top passers, while WR Malaki Roberson (48 catches, 716 yards, seven TDs) leads the league in receiving.
About the Vikings: After missing the playoffs the past two seasons, Curtis seems determined to snap that streak. The Vikings are tied with the Eagles and Rogers with one loss in 4A SPSL play, and are in good position to claim one of the league’s four playoff spots. Curtis’ only loss this season is two traditional league powerhouse Sumner (28-26) in Week 4. Oregon baseball commit QB Kyle Russell (73 of 146, 1,295 yards; 49 carries, 284 yards; 18 total TDs) is third in the league in passing behind Morris and Puyallup’s Jacob Holcomb.
TNT pick: Graham-Kapowsin, 31-27
2A SPSL SOUND
NO. 3 STEILACOOM SENTINELS (6-0) VS. EATONVILLE CRUISERS (5-1)
7 p.m. Friday, Eatonville High School
About the Sentinels: The only undefeated team in Pierce County travels to meet the only other undefeated team in 2A SPSL Sound. The Sentinels have plenty of offense in QB J.J. Lemming (77 of 151, 1,386 yards, 23 TDs), RB/LB Jaymason Willingham (60 carries, 452 yards, six TDs; 60 tackles; six sacks) and WR/DB Emeka Egbuka (26 catches, 574 yards; 968 all-purpose yards; six interceptions; 15 total TDs). However, this will be Steilacoom’s biggest test yet, and will likely decide the division title.
About the Cruisers: Eatonville hasn’t lost since dropping a 23-3 game to perennial 2A power Archibshop Murphy in its season opener. Since, the Cruisers have put up 36.4 points per game, while allowing 14.2, and picked up a key win over division rival River Ridge last week in the game’s final moments. QB Tristan Schoepf (48 of 92, 818 yards, nine TDs) has a handful of trusted receivers to throw to, and RB Caden Jumper (47 carries, 203 yards; five catches, 116 yards; seven total TDs) is averaging a team-high 106.3 all-purpose yards per game since returning in Week 4.
TNT pick: Steilacoom, 35-24
STATE GAME OF THE WEEK
NO. 2 (3A) BELLEVUE WOLVERINES (6-0) VS. NO. 4 (2A) LIBERTY PATRIOTS (5-1)
7 p.m. Friday, West Seattle Stadium
About the Wolverines: Former Bellevue and Washington Huskies lineman Michael Kneip — who won four straight 3A state football titles playing for the Wolverines — is now coaching the program, and appears to have the Wolverines’ run game back to its old ways. Bellevue is averaging nearly 350 yards per game on the ground, and has three backs — Alex Reid (99 carries, 637 yards, eight TDs), Drew Fowler (66 carries, 495 yards, nine TDs) and Joby Schneider (70 carries, 441 yards, two TDs) — with more than 400 yards rushing this season. The Wolverines have already piled up more than 2,000 rushing yards in their first six games.
About the Patriots: This 3A/2A KingCo matchup hasn’t been played since 2015, but the Patriots probably want to forget about the last meeting — a 42-0 Bellevue win. Liberty has dropped just one game this season, a 26-24 loss to 4A Issaquah in Week 3, and has emphatically handled ever other team it has played this season. The Patriots are averaging 37.8 points per game this season, while allowing just 12.5, and haven’t allowed more than two touchdowns to any team but Issaquah. Liberty also has a 41-7 win over Lake Washington last week — a team Bellevue edged, 7-0, in Week 5.
TNT pick: Bellevue, 30-21