NO. 9 GIG HARBOR (2-0)
AT EASTLAKE (1-1)
7 p.m. Friday,
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Eastlake High School
About the Tides: Their defense has allowed two points the past six quarters. That’s after surrendering 27 in the first half the opening week against cross-town rival Peninsula. Fish Bowl? For Gig Harbor, it was the Comeback Bowl. It rallied from a 17-point halftime deficit to win 30-29, then bulldozed over Auburn Riverside 52-0 last week. If Tides cornerbacks Santana Johnson and Hunter Werner slow down Eastlake’s passing game, Gig Harbor would improve to 3-0 for the first time since 2005.
About the Wolves: No, Eastlake didn’t return twins Drew and Troy Lewis (2,100 rushing yards, 32 touchdowns combined last year, when the Wolves reached 4A quarterfinals), and it was roughed up by No. 1 Bothell, 41-19, in the opening week. But it returns quarterback Blue Thomas after missing last week’s 33-10 victory over Inglemoor. Thomas threw for 2,107 yards and 18 TDs last year and has a dynamic weapon at wide receiver in Jeffrey Feinglas.
TNT pick: Gig Harbor, 35-21
NOOKSACK VALLEY (2-0) AT
NO. 2 CASCADE CHRISTIAN (2-0)
7 p.m. Saturday,
Sunset Chev Stadium
About the Pioneers: Like dual-threat quarterbacks? This game features two of the best in the 1A level with coach’s son Tanner Myhre leading Nooksack Valley and Jaelin Goldsmith for Cascade Christian. In Nooksack’s two wins (including last week’s 40-34 win over perennial 1A power Montesano), Myhre has thrown for 606 yards and rushed for 236 with 12 total TDs. The Pioneers’ problem: Both their starting corners (Connor Beard and Brady Wood) could miss the game with injuries.
About the Cougars: Cascade Christian knocked Nooksack Valley out of the state tournament in back-to-back years in 2009 and 2010 (including a 28-12 win for the 2009 state title). The Cougars want to keep the ball away from Nooksack’s offense, so expect Robert Terhune and Riley Ramos to get plenty of handoffs. They’ll look to wear down the Pioneers in the trenches.
TNT pick: Cascade Christian, 30-24
NO. 8 PENINSULA (1-1)
AT AUBURN (1-1)
7 p.m. Friday,
Auburn Memorial Stadium
About the Seahawks: Peninsula took out some frustration in a 43-0 victory at South Kitsap last week following its second-half collapse in the Fish Bowl against Gig Harbor. But now comes the real opening week with the start of league play on the road against 3A SPSL newcomer Auburn. Running back Major Ali has been the Seahawks’ greatest matchup problem so far (308 rushing yards, three touchdowns in first two weeks) and he’s done most of his damage in the first half of both games.
About the Trojans: Welcome to the 3A SPSL, Auburn. Your first task: Beat two-time reigning league champion Peninsula in a game that likely holds league-title implications. What can make the Trojans a bit of a matchup nightmare is how they spread the ball around offensively. Though they lost 42-39 in overtime to Kent-Meridian last week, the Trojans had five rushers gain double-digit yards. Quarterbacks Justin Ioimo and Nick Kaatz split time, as well.
TNT pick: Peninsula, 35-31
OF THE WEEK
NO. 4 MARYSVILLE-PILCHUCK (2-0) AT NO. 2 O’DEA (2-0)
7 p.m. Friday,
West Seattle Stadium
The skinny: One running back is committed to the University of Washington and rushed for 2,182 yards and 35 touchdowns last year. The other is committed to Washington State, ran for 1,521 yards, had a 15.2 yards-per-carry average and scored 21 touchdowns. The first: O’Dea’s Myles Gaskin. The second: Marysville-Pilchuck’s Austin Joyner. Anyone who believes football has evolved into a pass-first game should plan to attend West Seattle Stadium on Friday.
TNT pick: O’Dea, 55-49