by Scott Eklund
Bellevue (11-0) at Lakes (11-0) – Two of the top coaches in the state, Bellevue’s Butch Goncharoff and Lakes’ Dave Miller, again face off in the playoffs and this game will feature several players, on both teams, who either have or will have offers from BCS conference schools to play ball at the next level. Bellevue’s attack is led by QB Tyler Hasty who can run and throw out of their spread-option attack and up front, junior OL Nick Santa and senior OL Jake Eldrenkamp pave the way for RB John Nguyen. Lakes has more athletes on its roster than pretty much any program in the state and they fly around and get after things, but it’s their offense that really makes the waves with the likes of QB David Wood (1,903 yards, 27 TDs, 3 INTs) and WR Cedric Dozier (23 receptions, 444 yards, 5 TDs) along with RB Levonte Littlejohn (1,014 yards, 16 TDs). Bellevue junior LB Sean Constantine (60 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 INTs), along with the rest of the Wolverines’ defense, will be tasked with keeping the Lancers’ offense in check, allowing Hasty and the offense to grind out the yardage and I believe they will come out on top, although it will be a squeaker. Prediction: Bellevue 21 – Lakes 17.
Kennewick (10-1) at Kamiakin (10-0) – Kennewick and Kamiakin know each other well, so this one could be a great atmosphere as the stands should be full of both fanbases. Kennewick senior RB Grant Woods had a huge game last week running for 156 yards and two touchdowns while also taking a screen-pass 65 yards for another score in a 34-6 win over Southridge last week. QB Bryce Leavitt is a dual-threat quarterback who likes to get the ball down the field, but is happy to take what the defense gives him. Kamiakin has been known as a wide-open offense, but this year they have relied heavily on senior RB Zach Umemoto (1,650 yards, 22 touchdowns) as well as first-year starter Jason Hutchison at quarterback who has passed for over 2,700 yards and 25 touchdowns. Earlier this season, Kamiakin handed Kennewick it’s only loss, a 14-6 defeat, and the Lions are out for revenge. Will they be able to get it done? Not this week. Prediction: Kamiakin 27 – Kennewick 21.
Meadowdale (11-0) at Camas (10-1) – The Mavericks are led by senior RB Kyle Newsom (950 yards, 10 TDs) and junior athlete Giavani Shepherd (1,100 yards, 14 TDs) offensively and senior LB Kyler Larson (78 tackles, 3 sacks), who has already committed to Air Force, on defense. The Papermakers sport a balanced attack with the senior QB Tony Gennaro (2,300 yards and 21 TDs) at the controls and senior RB Zack Marshall keeping the chains moving by rushing for 1,250 yards and 14 scores. They also possess a very good defense that limited opposing offenses to just 220 yards and 17 points per game. Camas, with Gennaro and Marshall leading the way, will likely be too much for Meadowdale head coach Mark Stewarts overachieving bunch, but it should be a good game. Prediction: Camas 27 – Meadowdale 17.
Capital (8-3) at O’Dea (11-0) – O’Dea handled Capital earlier this season 28-14, but a lot has changed and the Cougars enter this week’s game with a lot of confidence. Junior tailback Kai Van Sickle whose 1,400 yards and 16 touchdowns figure to be the focus of the Irish defense and if they can limit his touches they should be able to keep the Capital offense in check. Offensively, O’Dea is loaded with talented playmakers including senior running backs Jayshawn Jordan and Jomari Brooks as well as junior RB Tatum Taylor who could be the most explosive of the bunch. Like most football games, this one will be won in the trenches and with that being the case, the edge has to go with O’Dea as they feature Washington State-bound Sam Flor who leads the offense and on defense they have Cody Fulleton who is tough for one man to handle. O’Dea wins this one, but it won’t be a blowout. Prediction: O’Dea 31 – Capital 21.
Union (9-2) at Woodinville (11-0)- The Titans are on a roll. They travelled north to take on Bothell at Pop Keeney to start the season and looked like a pedstrian squad who would’t be threats to make the state playoffs. The offense really caught fire during the season and is led by the exploits of FB Brandon Brody-Heim (1,125 yards, 12 TDs) and RB Gabe Rego (1,300 yards, 17 TDs) and defensively, the Titans only allowed 13.9 points per game and has surrendered just 14 point combined in big wins over Tahoma and Kentlake the past two weeks. Woodinville isn’t spectacular, but they swarm on defense and held an explosive Bethel team to just 200 yards and seven points last week. Offensively, the Falcons are physical and use the ground-game, led by senior RB Alec Schwend (1,600 yards, 21 TDs) as well as the steady hand of Brett Arrivey to control the clock. This game will come down to who executes the best on offense and with Union having to head back up to Pop Keeney (Bothell) Woodinville looks to get a relatively easy win. Prediction: Woodinville 28 – Union 10.
Central Valley (8-2) at Skyline (8-3) – Skyline plays host to Central Valley and it will be a raucous crowd on the plateau on Saturday as Eastlake plays host to Lake Stevens a few hours later just down the street. The Spartans are led by junior QB Max Browne (2,967 yards, 34 TDs, 5 INTs) while RB Damien Greene (518 yards, 6 TDs) keeps defenses honest. Defensively, keep an eye on the leadership of junior LB Peyton Pelluer who has 112 tackles, 2 sacks and 1 interception. Last week, CV man-handled defending state champion Ferris to the tune of 23-7 and it wasn’t that close. Senior QB Gaven Deyarmin is a dual-threat signal-caller (1,453 yards, 12 TDs, 10 INTs passing; 413 yards, 6 TDs rushing) and he gets a lot of help from senior RB Alex Jacot (550 yards, who likes to keep the chains moving. Skyline will have too much firepower for CV this week, but you have to hand it to the Bears for a very good season where they overachieved what many thought they could do, including yours truly. Prediction: Skyline 34 – Central Valley 20.
Bellarmine Prep (11-0) at Skyview (9-2) – The top-ranked Lions head to Vancouver to take on a surging Skyview squad in what is expected to be a hard-fought contest between two well-stocked teams. Bellarmine Prep junior QB Sefo Liufau (2,115 yards, 22 TDs, 4 INTs) and senior WR Michael Rector (40 receptions, 878 yards, 12 TDs) are one of the top QB/WR duos in the state and they get a lot of help from their running game which is led by junior RB Isaiah Flynn (1,196 yards, 16 TDs) who is almost all the way back from a leg injury. Storm QB Keiran McDonagh (1,713 yards, 18 TDs, 2 INTs) has several receivers to throw to including Reilley Henderson (41 receptions, 613 yards, 7 TDs) and Forrest Russell (34 receptions, 558 yards, 6 TDs) and the passing game is complimented nicely by the explosive running of senior RB Parker Henry who has posted over 1,600 yards and 24 touchdowns this season. BP’s strong defense allows just 210 yards and 15 points per game and they will be severly tested by Skyview’s offense. In the end, the Lions get the win, but it will be close. Prediction: Bellarmine Prep 31 – Skyview 28.
Lake Stevens (11-0) at Eastlake (10-1) – This game will come down to how Eastlake’s tough defense, led by the likes of DT Gino Bresolin and safeties Keegan Kemp and Colton Teglovic, handles the high-flying, multi-faceted offense of Lake Stevens, led by dual-threat QB Jake Nelson (70% completions for 2,260 yards, 23 TDs, 5 INTs; 537 yards rushing, 14 TDs) and the hard-running of senior RB Shae Giddens (784 yards, 6 TDs), which has been one of the big surprises of the year. Kemp and RB Ryan Lewis could be the difference on the other side of the ball for the Wolves who like to pound the ball and play ball-control. I expect this game to be very close, with Nelson being the deciding factor. Prediction: Lake Stevens 24 – Eastlake 20.