at Olympia (2-1)
7 p.m. Friday, Ingersoll
About the Blazers: Teams have split series the past two years, but the one that coach Nick Mullen remembers is last year’s 37-7 loss in which QB Gabe Gutierrez threw five red-zone interceptions. Now running the team’s zone-read offense, Gutierrez has been a different passer (38 for 67, 534 yards, six TDs) this season. With so much supporting speed to utilize, when he reads and reacts well, it usually results in a big scoring play.
About the Bears: From time to time, Olympia has relied on a workhorse running back. And this is one of those years. RB Isaiah Brooks (87 carries, 505 yards, five TDs) is a bulldozing downhill runner who has shown he can handle 30-40 carries per game. And even with OL Chase Zarate (knee) lost for the season, offensive line has not skipped a beat, led by seniors Tyler Hong, Ian Fish and Evan Schultz.
TNT pick: Timberline, 19-17.
Bethel (3-0) at Rogers (1-2)
7 p.m. Saturday, Sparks
About the Braves: Would you have guessed this? Yes, the Braves are not only proving the preseason cellar-dweller pick wrong, they are the lone undefeated team in the division. And it is spearheaded by something not heard around this school in quite a while — defense. They boast the division’s stingiest defense (127.3 yards allowed per game; three TDs in three games), led by SS DonnyFejerang and MLB Eli Teuteu.
About the Rams: If Rogers doesn’t know by now, it should — it is tough to win games with a defense that gives up this many yards. The Rams surrender an SPSL South-worst 456.6 yards per game, and opponents have tallied 19 touchdowns in three games. Yes, QB Griffen Stacy (49 for 92, 839 yards, seven TDs) and WR Kyler Ooley (21 catches, 479 yards, seven TDs) are good — just not good enough to make up the difference.
TNT pick: Bethel, 37-31.
Capital (1-2) at Foss (1-2)
7 p.m. Friday, Mount Tahoma Stadium, Tacoma
About the Cougars: They’ve reached a dangerous juncture in late September — looking at a potential 0-2 league start. But nobody in the area has played a tougher schedule so far — something they hang their hats on. Running game is good behind RB Conner Kennedy, and the defensive line, which sacked Lincoln QB Jordan Kitna eight times last week, is getting pressure — led by NT Dylan Ainuu, a standout rugby player.
About the Falcons: With new QB Scooby Reynolds at the helm, coach Patrick Johnson said it would take some time for his offense to find its way. And after committing six turnovers in its first two games — both losses — Reynolds (28 for 59, 355 yards, TD; 255 rushing yards, six TDs) was tremendous last week. Offensive line needs some push against stout Capital front to give Reynolds and RB Sidaris Fletcher running room.
TNT pick: Capital, 35-28.
STATE GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 7 Raymond (3-0) at
No. 10 North Beach (3-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Lieutenant Jim Davis Field, Ocean Shores
Skinny: The Hyaks are thinking big by building bigger — literally. North Beach, a Class 2B school, has the type of mammoth offensive line a small college would be proud of, averaging 6 feet 3 and 270 pounds across the board. It helps that coach Todd Bridge can call on two of his sons as anchors — RG Caleb Bridge, an Air Force Academy commit, and LT Seth Bridge, a sophomore. Caleb is utilized heavily as a pulling guard. So far this season, the blocking has been superb — the Hyaks have eight tailbacks who average 10 or more yards per carry. The sledding should be much tougher Friday against the defending Pacific League champions who advanced to the state semifinals in 2013. Their 3-3 stack defense has shut down offenses all season. Raymond comes in with a 14-game league winning streak, and has won the past five meets with North Beach.
TNT pick: North Beach, 27-23.