High School Sports

Week 8: TNT high school football games to watch, predictions

3A NARROWS

Wilson Rams (4-3) vs. No. 3 Lincoln Abes (7-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Lincoln Bowl, Tacoma

About the Rams: Hear of any football teams that talk about “finish” lately? That’s all Wilson coach Don Clegg spoke to his team about following a 14-13 loss to North Thurston that dropped the Rams to 0-3. But they’ve done it with defense in their four-game win streak since then — behind linebacker Tanner Colburn and cornerback Montre Lofton-Brown, who has four interceptions. QB Alex Montonaga (61-124, 827 yards, 4 TDs; 44 carries, 376 yards, 4 TDs) is catching fire, too.

About the Abes: Dare it be said, but could their offense actually be … more explosive than last year’s? Lincoln’s running game has hit another level behind Dionte Simon (121 carries, 1,076 yards, 14 TDs), and has scored the second-most points of any Class 3A team. But first-year coach Masaki Matsumoto hasn’t yet had to face the grandfather of Tacoma football: Clegg, who is in his 28th season at Wilson.

TNT pick: Lincoln, 28-20.

2A SPSL

Fife Trojans (6-1) vs. No. 10 River Ridge Hawks (7-0)

7 p.m. Friday at South Sound Stadium, Lacey

About the Trojans: It took a couple of games for RB Tanner Knapp (76 carries, 512 yards, 7 TDs) to get going, but the past two games? He’s rushed for 375 yards and is averaging 9.6 yards per carry. Both teams have big offensive lines and solid running games, but Fife coach Kent Nevin said that picking up River Ridge’s blitzing linebackers will be critical to the Trojans’ success after a 38-21 loss last year.

About the Hawks: With leading rusher Gustavo Diaz (elbow) expected to miss his third consecutive game, Tre’vonne Dorfner should take the brunt of the running load again. He’s racked up 421 yards in the past two games and four touchdowns (one away from Diaz’s season total). But more crucial will be River Ridge’s defense, which has been the best in the 2A SPSL behind Zach Carter (62 tackles, 2 sacks).

TNT pick: River Ridge, 31-28.

2B PACIFIC

No. 4 North Beach Hyaks (6-0) vs. No. 7 Life Christian Eagles (5-1)

7 p.m. Saturday at Harry Lang Stadium, Lakewood

About the Hyaks: They did not pass the ball one down in last year’s win over Life Christian, and don’t expect much change. North Beach still runs the ball out of its double-wing offense about 90 percent of the time, and it’s why the team is one of three unbeaten 2B teams. A win would give the Hyaks the 2B Pacific title outright, though a tie could lead to a double-elimination Kansas City tiebreaker on Nov. 3 between them, Life Christian and Raymond.

About the Eagles: Life Christian can beat you running the ball or passing. Since a 26-25 opening loss to Raymond, the Eagles have averaged 54.4 points per game behind QB Jack Hohimer (80-127, 1,293 yards, 17 TDs), RB Wyatt Dunlap (77 carries, 593 yards, 12 TDs) and WR Reid Roelofs (27 catches, 490 yards, 8 TDs).

TNT pick: North Beach, 38-31.

STATE GAME OF THE WEEK

No. 8 Black Hills Wolves (7-0) vs. No. 1 Tumwater Thunderbirds (7-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Tumwater District Stadium, Tumwater

The skinny: The Thunderbirds aren’t unbeatable, but they might as well be the closest thing to it. They have five running backs averaging at least 11 yards per carry (Easton Trakel, Dominic Jones, Noah Andrews, Trayten Rodriguez and Griffin Shea), beat Black Hills 48-7 last year and haven’t lost to the Wolves since 2009. But Black Hills has played four games this season in which it has allowed a touchdown or less, including each of the past two games, and Christian Williams has been efficient at quarterback, especially during the past two weeks. This is the best start the school has had, but think of how much better it would be with a win over Tumwater?

TNT pick: Tumwater, 35-26.

t.cotterill@thenewstribune.com

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