High School Sports

First round: State football predictions, game to watch

Senior wide receiver Kyle Olson-Urbon and Gig Harbor could be looking at a shootout Saturday against Skyline.
Senior wide receiver Kyle Olson-Urbon and Gig Harbor could be looking at a shootout Saturday against Skyline. Special to the Gateway


No. 2 Gig Harbor (10-0) vs. No. 6 Skyline (9-1)

1 p.m. Saturday at Skyline High School

About the Tides: Gig Harbor quarterback Davis Alexander (166-257, 2,710 yards, 33 TDs, 2 INTs; 113 carries, 1,011 yards, 12 TDs) has almost 4,000 total yards in rushing and passing. He and receiver Kyle Olson-Urbon (57 catches, 1,045 yards, 16 TDs) have grown increasingly comfortable with each other, but Noah Samsen (35 catches, 722 yards, 7 TDs) and Cory Condon (49 catches, 633 yards, 6 TDs) get plenty of opportunities.

About the Spartans: Skyline has a potent offense, as well — trailing just Lake Stevens, Gig Harbor and Camas in points scored in the 4A ranks. Gig Harbor has to wrap up running back Rashaad Boddie (184 carries, 1,424 yards, 16 TDs). Quarterback Blake Gregory (135-238, 2,104 yards, 26 TDs, 2 INTs) threw for a season-high 368 yards in the Spartans’ lone loss of the season (38-34 against unbeaten Graham-Kapowsin).

TNT pick: Gig Harbor, 38-31.


No. 7 Bishop Blanchet (9-1) vs. No. 4 Sumner (10-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Sunset Chev Stadium, Sumner

About the Braves: Good offense, good defense and great special teams. Sumner will have to key on two dynamic playmakers in Oshea Trujillo — who passed Blanchet grad and former UW running back Joe Steele earlier this season for the school’s career rushing record — and receiver Clinton Allen Jr. Kyle Moore took over as coach after Aaron Maul was let go last spring.

About the Spartans: They not only had their top running back Connor Wedington (153 carries, 1,210 yards, 16 TDs) earn the 3A SPSL MVP, but their “backup” Josh Riley (122 carries, 972 yards, 10 TDs) was named to the first team. Sumner coach Keith Ross loves his team’s athleticism, speed, youth (only five seniors start) and health (all 22 starters same as the season opener). Sumner has the top defense in the 3A SPSL.

TNT pick: Sumner, 31-21.


No. 10 Montesano (8-2) vs. No. 7 Cascade Christian (8-1)

7 p.m. Saturday at Sunset Chev Stadium, Sumner

About the Bulldogs: Terry Jensen is by no means a stranger to Cascade Christian’s football team. He’s run into the Cougars four times in Cascade Christian’s past six postseason appearances, with Cascade Christian winning all four. Montesano has a stout offensive line — much like Cascade Christian’s — and its offense (the highest scoring in the 1A Evergreen Conference) revolves around running back Kylar Prante.

About the Cougars: Randy Davis’ defending state champions are built on a hard-hitting defense, led by Josh Seaton and Peyton Berry and was bolstered by the return of linebacker Kyle Milton. Cascade Christian will rush with Berry, Milton, Madden Tobeck or Zackery Bartolome on any given play out of its unbalanced set, and Seaton, a converted wide receiver, has been allowed more passing opportunities as the season has progressed.

TNT pick: Cascade Christian, 28-27.


Life Christian (7-2) vs. No. 1 Pe Ell-Willapa Valley (9-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Crogstad Field, Menlo

About the Eagles: It’s supposed to rain Friday in Menlo, so expect Crogstad Field to resemble more of a mud pit than a football field. Jess Nelson said it reminds him of his senior year in 2000 playing for Frosty Westering at Pacific Lutheran when the Lutes traveled to Minnesota for a snowy, 22-degree playoff game win. He doesn’t think this week’s weather will neutralize Life Christian’s passing attack, led by Jack Hohimer (130-207, 2,141 yards, 24 TDs).

About Pe Ell-Willapa Valley: The first priority in slowing the state’s top-ranked 2B team is slowing its three-headed ground game behind Kaelin Jurek, Trevor Cook and Seth Flemetis (320 rushes, 2,553 yards, 40 TDs as a team). But the run game only sets up the play-action pass. Life Christian also had to face last year’s top-ranked team in the first round (Napavine).

TNT pick: Pe Ell-Willapa Valley, 38-31