by Scott Eklund
Camas (11-1) vs. O’Dea (12-0) – The Irish have one of the most explosive running games in the state with junior Tatum Taylor and seniors Jomari Brooks and Jayshawn Jordan, who have combined for nearly 2,800 yards and 50 touchdowns, finding yards behind a talented, senior-laden offensive line led by Washington State commit Sam Flor. For their part, the Papermakers are led by senior QB Tony Genanro who has thrown for nearly 2,400 yards and 30 touchdowns while RB Zack Marshall keeps defenses honest by running in between the tackles and pounding defenses into submission. In the end, a lot will depend on how O’Dea’s defense mans up on Gennaro’s two favorite targets — Jonathan Warner (48-655 receiving, 10 TDs) and Zach Eagle (36-629 receiving, 7 TDs) – as well as how they stop Marshall and that duty will fall to DT Cody Fulleton who has had a standout season as he prepares to go to Portland State next year. Camas proves to be too much for the Irish and head to their first state title game. Prediction: Camas 32 – O’Dea 27.
Bellevue (12-0) vs. Kamiakin (11-0) – Last week in the biggest matchup of the post-season so far, Bellevue threw the ball a grand total of four times in beating Lakes 35-14. QB Tyler Hasty is a dynamic playmaker in the Wolverines’ spread-option attack and last week he racked up over 130 yards and four touchdowns. The Braves have their own two-headed monster on offense this year, with QB Jason Hutchison who has thrown for nearly 3,000 yards and 28 touchdowns this year and senior RB Zach Umemoto who has totaled nearly 1,800 yards and 24 touchdowns. Bellevue’s offense is so tough to defense and in the end they will be too much for Kamiakin, keeping the potent Braves offense off the field using their ball-control style to their advantage. Prediction: Bellevue 31 – Kamiakin 24.
Skyline (9-3) vs. Woodinville (12-0) – Woodinville and Skyline never faced each other this year in Kingco 4A play and this one should be a fun one, watching Skyline’s Max Browne, one of the top signal-callers in the country as a junior, try and figure out how to penetrate a tough Woodinville defense that has allowed just 9.5 points per game this year and is led up front by DL Sawyer Whalen (48 tackles, 9 sacks). When Woodinville has the ball, the Falcons rely on the tough-running of Alec Schwend (1,768 yards, 24 TDs) and the leadership of QB Brett Arrivey who isn’t asked to do much other than manage the game, which he does with aplomb. Defensively, the Spartans are led by junior linebackers Peyton Pelluer (133 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception) and Peter Stromgren (66 tackles, 1 interception) and they will need to keep Schwend in check in order to have a chance at getting to Arrivey. This one is tough to predict, but usually great defense beats great offense, so I’m going with Woodinville, but it is by a razor-thin margin. Prediction: Woodinville 27 – Skyline 26.
Lake Stevens (12-0) vs. Skyview (10-2) – This is another game that is almost impossible to predict. Both teams are led by talented quarterbacks who can sling the ball around and move their teams with efficiency while waiting for their spots to go for big plays. I love what Lake Stevens’ Jake Nelson brings to the table as far as talent and moxie are concerned and there is no denying his productivity through the air (70% completions for 2,485 yards, 25 TDs, 5 INTs) as well as his toughness (607 yards rushing, 15 TDs). Skyview though has their own signal-caller to reckon with in Keiran McDonagh (2,298 yards, 22 TDs, 3 INTs) has several receivers to throw to including Reilley Henderson (52 receptions, 827 yards, 8 TDs) and Forrest Russell (40 receptions, 666 yards, 6 TDs) and the passing game is complimented nicely by the explosive running of senior RB Parker Henry who has posted nearly 2,100 yards and 30 touchdowns this season. This is probably the most difficult game to predict this weekend, but I have to believe the home-field advantage will play a big part in this one and because of that, Skyview heads to the state championship game to face Woodinville. Prediction: Skyview 38 – Lake Stevens 35.