No. 2 Gig Harbor Tides (6-0) at No. 8 Olympia Bears (6-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Ingersoll Stadium, Olympia
About the Tides: QB Davis Alexander (84-131, 1,451 yards, 19 TDs, no INTs; 653 rushing yards, nine TDs) is one of the South Sound’s best dual threats – and has ironed out early-season issues with transfer WR Kyle Olson-Urbon (26 catches, 542 yards, nine TDs). The two had difficulty connecting on route-running adjustments. Best scoring offense (49.9 ppg) and defense (4.5 ppg) in Class 4A.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News Tribune
About the Bears: It is an awful time to lose RB Scott Gunther (shoulder) indefinitely. So coach Bill Beattie will have to rely more on his defense, which has gotten backfield pressure with NG Amir Matheny (three sacks), DE Brett Thompson (three sacks) and LB Clay Markoff (six sacks). The Bears will blitz as many as three linebackers in key moments, and need to disrupt Alexander.
TNT pick: Gig Harbor, 45-20.
4A SPSL SOUTH
No. 4 Graham-Kapowsin Eagles (6-0) at Puyallup Vikings (3-3)
7 p.m. Friday, Sparks Stadium, Puyallup
About the Eagles: They lost their best player (LT Foster Sarell) in the first game, and have not had their top tailback (Micah Smith) for much of the year with injuries. Yet, they are undefeated in what is arguably Eric Kurle’s best coaching job. RB Aaron Wright (44 rushes, 350 yards, five TDs) led the team’s win last week over Skyline. Good news – Sarell (hand) has his cast off.
About the Vikings: Much like Graham-Kapowsin, they are a scrappy bunch having recovered nicely from an 0-3 start. A win would put them squarely in the divisional title hunt, too. If QB Nathaniel Holcomb (knee) misses extended time, up next likely is third-stringer Colby Burton. It just means more work for speedy RB Taje Davis (97 rushes, 557 yards, eight TDs).
TNT pick: Graham-Kapowsin, 30-17.
No. 8 Lakes Lancers (5-1) at No. 4 Sumner Spartans (6-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Sunset Chev Stadium, Sumner
About the Lancers: What is going to win the 3A SPSL? Defense and running the football. Lakes has the No. 1 defense (giving up 229.2 ypg, plus-14 in turnover ratio) in the league, and has the front seven, led by NT Max Nauer, to stifle the Spartans’ inside rushing attack. RB Andrew Bostic (76 rushes, 667 yards, 11 TDs) doesn’t get the attention the league’s other top tailbacks do.
About the Spartans: Physically, coach Keith Ross knows this is a difficult matchup for his power-running offense, led by RB Connor Wedington (96 rushes, 807 yards, 13 TDs). It is imperative for Sumner to attack the edge with Wedington and WR Tre Weed (19 catches, 378 yards, six TDs) on bubble screens. A Spartans’ win all but clinches the league title – their first in SPSL 4A or 3A since 1994.
TNT pick: Sumner, 28-24.
STATE GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 2 Prosser (6-0) at No. 3 Ellensburg (6-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Tomlinson Stadium, Ellensburg
The skinny: In what has arguably become the best in-league rivalry in Class 2A, Prosser and two-time defending CWAC champion Ellensburg hook up Friday for what should decide the league crown. And it is no secret what fuels both of these programs – offense. The Mustangs score more points (55.3 ppg) than any 11-man football team in the state; Ellensburg is No. 3 in 2A (42.3 ppg). And this matchup features two of the best quarterbacks in small-school football in Prosser’s Tanner Bolt (78-109, 1,215 yards, 20 TDs) and Ellensburg’s Donny Ellersick (60-92, 895 yards, 16 TDs), who was an all-CWAC receiver last season for graduated QB Garrett Hull. The schools have split their past six regular-season meetings, with Ellensburg winning 21-14 last season at Prosser. It also won the state quarterfinal rematch later in the season, 34-20, in Moses Lake. The Bulldogs are on a 24-game league winning streak, dating back to 2012.
TNT pick: Prosser, 40-37.