No. 9 Bellarmine Prep (6-2) at No. 3 Gig Harbor (8-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Roy Anderson Field, Purdy
About the Lions: Bellarmine Prep already stamped a home playoff game by defeating Olympia last week. Now it is the Lions’ chance to take down the giant. RB Ahmad Lewis (228 rushes, 1,218 yards, 17 TDs) will be needed for ball control, but the defense needs to get backfield pressure with LBs Erik Glueck (11.1 tackles per game) and Blake Torgerson (10 QB hurries, 10 tackles for loss).
About the Tides: Can Bellarmine Prep cover all of their speedy wide receivers? Coach Aaron Chantler doesn’t think so.Expect QB Davis Alexander (120 of 194, 2,042 yards, 24 TDs) to really test the seams, especially with WR Noah Samsen (22 catches, 512 yards, three TDs). The Tides are trying to duplicate what school did in 2006 winning back-to-back Narrows Bridge titles.
TNT pick: Gig Harbor 44-21.
4A SPSL SOUTH
No. 4 Graham-Kapowsin (8-0) at Bethel (6-2)
7 p.m. Friday, Art Crate Field, Spanaway
About the Eagles: Every time they suffer an injury, or show a crack and appear vulnerable – coach Eric Kurle’s group has an answer. To defending Bethel’s big receivers, expect CBs Aaron Wright (reigning SPSL South defensive back of year) and Jeremiah Kekoa to match up on the outside. Touted LT Foster Sarell (hand) has a chance to return and play limited snaps.
About the Braves: There is a personal tie with the big rivalry game, and it is that QB Tristyn Gese is a transfer from Graham-Kapowsin. Gese will have no limitations in running the Braves’ high-octane passing attack if starter Bryce Missey (shoulder) cannot go, and will attack the perimeter with WR Elijah McLeod (46 catches, 843 yards, 16 TDs). Bethel needs it to be a shootout to win.
TNT pick: Graham-Kapowsin, 35-17.
Peninsula (4-4) at Bonney Lake (4-4)
7 p.m. Friday, Sunset Chev Stadium, Sumner
About the Seahawks: It is odd to think the three-time defending champion Seahawks need this victory just to get into the postseason. But youth and injuries have left them in a precarious situation. Peninsula will want to run it with RBs Kenny Easton (141 rushes, 587 yards, six TDs) and Evan Johnson (ankle). The last time the Seahawks missed the postseason was 2005.
About the Panthers: Coach Jason Silbaugh thinks these two programs mirror each other right now by wanting to run the football – and stop it on defense. Bonney Lake ranks No. 2 in the league in rushing defense, led by DL Caleb Davis, who moves all around, and OLB/SS Jason Day, who likes to roll down and disrupt plays at the line of scrimmage.
TNT pick: Peninsula, 14-10.
STATE GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 4 Connell (6-1) at No. 2 Zillah (8-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Andy Collins Memorial Field, Zillah
The skinny: If you need to know where the collective power of Class 1A football is, look no further than the South Central Athletic Conference (SCAC). Three schools – No. 1 Royal and these two programs – are ranked in the top four in the state. And even though this matchup has no bearing on playoff seeding – Zillah has already wrapped up the SCAC West title, while Connell is No. 2 in the SCAC East – this still should be a high-flying showdown. “This will be a tough (game),” Zillah coach Tim Strother said. “We are treating it like a playoff atmosphere, and I know Connell is, too.” Both teams will air it out behind standout quarterbacks in Zillah’s Trey Delp (49 of 91, 1,027 yards, 18 touchdowns) and Connell’s Brian Hawkins (72 of 127, 1,160 yards, 15 TDs). Since the Eagles’ loss to Royal, they have given up six points in the past four games, including shutout victories over Wahluke, River View and Columbia. The Leopards won last season’s crossover game, 31-21, in Connell.
TNT pick: Zillah, 26-20.