by Scott Eklund
Washington 3A Predictions – Round 1
Eastside Catholic (7-3) vs. Bellevue (10-0) – The Crusaders have had a quietly solid season behind the leadership of junior quarterback Trey Reynolds who passed for over 1,400 yards and rushed for over 600 while accounting for 18 touchdowns (13 passing, 5 rushing), but they have a tough task in trying to bring down the consensus number one team in the state, regardless of classification, Bellevue. The Wolverines are led into battle by two-way star Tyler Hasty who rushed for 800 yards and threw for another 700 while accounting for 20 touchdowns. On defense, Hasty locked down the opponents’ best wideout on a weekly basis while junior linebacker Sean Consandine has posted 78 tackles and four sacks this season. Up front, Jake Eldrenkamp and Michael Kneip pave the way for the running attack. Bellevue should win this one going away, but that’s not a knock on EC’s abilities. Prediction: Bellevue 38 – Eastside Catholic 20.
Mountain View (8-2) vs. Lakes (10-0) – Lakes probably has the largest collection of talent on any roster in the state with several players sporting Division One offers. This year, the Lancers have scored 55.5 points per game and are led by seniors Zach Banner and Zahir Webb up front while QB David Wood (1,878 yards, 25 touchdowns, 3 interceptions) , RB Levonte Littlejohn (867 yards, 16 touchdowns) and WR Cedric Dozier (21 receptions, 436 yards, 5 touchdowns) are the big-play men on offense. Mountain View’s offense is potent, but their defense has been the outstanding this year posting four shutouts and allowing just 9.6 points per game. Lakes will take a while to heat up, but eventually their speed and size will overwhelm the upstart Thunder and they should cruise to an easy win. Prediction: Lakes 44 – Mountain View 17.
Kennewick (8-1) vs. Southridge (6-3) – Kennewick is a balanced team which scores 35 points per game while allowing just 8 points per game and Southridge is almost as good on both sides of the ball. The Lions are strong up front and should be able to move the ball on the Suns and because of that, they should be able to pull out the win. Prediction: Kennewick 24 – Southridge 17.
Seattle Prep (9-1) vs. Kamiakin (9-0) – Playmaker Tere Calloway leads the Panthers as they head east to take on the always explosive and dangerous Kamiakin Braves who sport one of the best running backs in the state in senior Zach Umemoto who rushed for over 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns while QB Jason Hutchison passes for over 2,500 yards and 23 touchdowns. This one is a contrast of styles with Prep hoping to grind things out while Kamiakin will throw the ball all over the yard. Expect a high-scoring game with the Braves coming out with their perfect record still intact. Prediction: Kamiakin 33 – Seattle Prep 24.
Mercer Island (8-2) vs. Meadowdale (10-0) – The unquestioned leader of the Islanders, both on and off the field is future Washington Husky QB Jeff Lindquist who has completed over 55% of his passes for nearly 1,900 yards with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The talented senior signal-caller also leads the team in rushing with 771 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Mercer Island defense is led by senior LB Cameron Ogard who has 62 tackles and three interceptions this season and they have picked up steam over the past few weeks and are playing their best ball. Meadowdale made their way through the tough Wesco 3A conference and are led by senior RB Kyle Newsom and junior athlete Giavani Shepherd offensively and senior LB Kyler Larson, who has already committed to Air Force, on defense. With Lindquists size, speed and skills, the Islanders should put up points and move ahead in the playoffs, but they will likely have to withstand a torrid Mavericks comeback in the second half as they have outscored their opponents 222 to 85 this season. Prediction: Mercer Island 31 – Meadowdale 24.
Kennedy Catholic (8-1) vs. Camas (9-1) – The Papermakers have a balanced attack with the likes of senior QB Tony Gennaro throwing for over 2,000 yards and 18 touchdowns while senior RB Zack Marshall put up over 1,100 yards and 12 scores on the ground. They also possess a very good defense that limited opposing offenses to just 220 yards per game. Kennedy relies on the exploits of QB Jason Thompson, a Washington commit, who threw for over 850 yards, rushed for 470 and accounted for 13 touchdowns combined while also leading the defense with 60 tackles, four interceptions and two defensive scores. Kennedy has size up front in the likes of juniors Cole Madison and Desmound Thompson, but Camas should be able to pressure Thompson enough to get a few turnovers or stops and that will allow their potent offense to take control of the game. Prediction: Camas 33 – Kennedy 20.
Hazen (7-2) vs. Capital (7-3) – Capital has a young team with only four seniors seeing regular playing time, so the Cougars are set up for a nice run in 2012. This season they were inconsistent early on, but they’ve won six-straight up until now and a big reason has been the play of junior tailback Kai Van Sickle whose 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns makes him a player to reckon with in the playoffs. The Highlanders are led by the running duo of Cody Taylor and Daymontray Brown, both seniors, who combined for nearly 1,300 yards and 24 touchdowns, so this game could be very interesting if they get into a “ground and pound” mode. Capital will probably be too much for Hazen on this night, but a very good case can be made for the Highlanders pulling out the win as well. Prediction: Capital 24 – Hazen 21.
Mount Si (7-3) vs. O’Dea (10-0) – The Irish throw athlete after athlete at you in the hopes of wearing you down and this year is no different. From the running back trio of seniors Jomari Brooks and Jayshawn Jordan along with junior Tatum Taylor, to the exploits of QB Pierre LeDorze who actually has brought a passing aspect to O’Dea’s offense, they are absolutely loaded and up front they have Washington State commitment Sam Flor to pave the way. Mount Si has some athletes (QB Ryan Atkinson and RB Connor Deutsch) as well and if the game is close, junior K Cameron Vanwinkle could be the difference, however this one should be a relatively easy first-round game for the Irish. Prediction: O’Dea 38 – Mount Si 17.
Washington 4A Predictions – Round 1
Union (8-2) vs. Kentlake (10-0) – Kentlake has two very talented players on offense – QB Caleb Saulo and Austin Pernell – both of whom are headed to Pac 12 schools (Saoulo to Oregon State and Pernell to Washington State to play baseball). Saulo is also a leader on defense from his linebacker position where he’s totaled 80 tackles and five sacks this season. Union has some quality players and they run a good scheme, but when they played up north against an average Bothell team, they struggled. I see that happening again. Prediction: Kentlake 30 – Union 17.
Bethel (8-2) vs. Woodinville (10-0) – The Falcons use a stingy defense (allowing just nine points per game), led by DE Sawyer Whalen who has already committed to Portland State, to stymie opponents. However, the Bethel offense is one of the best in the state, averaging over 37 points per game, led by QB Justin Hordyk who threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 27 touchdowns this year. This one should be fun to watch as the proverbial rock meets the hard place. Eventually, I see Woodinville pulling this one out, but it won’t be easy by any stretch. Prediction: Woodinville 27 – Bethel 21.
Central Valley (7-2) vs. Ferris (9-1) – Ferris uses a senior dominated team to overwhelm opponents, especially the hard running of tailback Kole Heidinger who rushed for nearly 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns this season. Central Valley was the surprise of the GSL this year and are led into battle by senior running back Alex Jacot. I expect the Saxons, to pull away late in this one, but don’t be surprised of the Bears keep it close for a while. Prediction: Ferris 29 – Central Valley 20.
Skyline (7-3) vs. Mead (9-1) – Perennial state-power Skyline travels east to take on Mead the co-GSL champs who beat defending state champion Ferris less than a month ago. This could be one of the top matchups in the state this weekend as Skyline, led by junior QB Max Browne (2,700 yards passing, 25 touchdowns and 5 inteceptions), will try and throw the ball all over the field against a good Mead defense that has played better and better over the past few weeks. Prediction: Skyline 31 – Mead 28.
Edmonds-Woodway (6-4) vs. Bellarmine Prep (10-0) – EW loves to run the ball and totaled over 2,400 yards on the ground led by junior Desmond Young (1,397 yards, 19 touchdowns) and senior Mark Coutee (872 yards, 7 touchdowns). They will try to control the clock so the potent Bellarmine Prep offense, led by the combination of QB Sefo Liufau and WR Michael Rector as well as the return of star tailback Isaiah Flynn, a junior, can’t get on the field. The Lions win this one, but it will be tougher than many think. Prediction: Bellarmine Prep 27 – Edmonds-Woodway 17.
Kentwood (8-2) vs. Skyview (8-2) – The Storm are on an eight-game winning streak after dropping their first two games of the season to out-of-state teams. This week, they will host Kentwood, which got into the playoffs by winning its last four games of the season. Skyview QB Kieran McDonagh had a solid final month of the season, leading the Storm to big wins over rivals Union and Columbia River as well as Issaquah in the District championships. Skyview’s talent on offense, led by McDonagh and senior RB Parker Henry who rushed for 1,671 yards and 24 scores will be too much for the over-achieving Conqs and they should get a relatively easy win. Prediction: Skyview 34 – Kentwood 13.
Olympia (10-1) vs. Lake Stevens (10-0) – Lake Stevens is led into battle by QB Jake Nelson who is one of the more athletic players in the state. He completed over 70% of his passes for nearly 2,100 yards, 21 touchdowns and only four interceptions while also rushing for 526 yards and 12 more scores. He leads and offense that averaged 335 yards and 37 points per game. Olympia dominated teams until they faced state number one Bellarmine Prep, whom they lost to by one point, using a methodical offense which averaged 300 yards per game while also holding opponents to just 200 yards and 14 points per game. This should be a fun one to watch, but in the end I see Nelson’s multiple talents leading Vikings to a win. Prediction: Lake Stevens 27 – Olympia 24.
Eastlake (9-1) vs. Federal Way (10-0) – Possibly the most evenly-matched game of the first round, Eastlake heads to Federal Way to take on the Eagles in a matchup of teams that dominated their leagues for much of the season. Eastlake has two very good skill players – QB Keegan Kemp and RB Ryan Lewis, who was recently offered by Colorado – and a swarming defense, led up front by DT Gino Bresolin and in the deep patrol by Colton Teglovic and Keegan. The Eagles counter with RB D.J. May who is fully healthy after sitting out three games with a leg injury and on defense they have the likes of linebackers Roderick Jones Jr. and Jordan Pulu and defensive tackles Uso Olive and Jay Tee-Tiuli. This game will come down to who can stop the running game of the other team and from the personnel it seems to favor Federal Way in a close one. Prediction: Federal Way 21 – Eastlake 17.