Ryland Spencer Picks
NEI 4A Top 10
1. Skyline (5-0) vs Ballard (1-4)
No chance here for the Beavers. I had higher expectations that 1-4 for them at this point, but still never saw this as a W on their schedule. Max Browne went over 10,000 yards for his career last week. If Skyline was to go to the State Final they would have 9 games left. He will need to average about 280 yards per game the rest of the way to break the all-time passing record. Spartans win 49-14.
2. Federal Way (5-0) @ Todd Beamer (1-4)
Well, Skyline isn’t the only team with a no-brainer of a game. The Eagles should win this one by 50+ points. Look for McClatcher and McNeal to both run wild before exiting early. Eagles remain undefeated 55-7.
3. Camas (5-0) vs Evergreen (2-3)
Camas is coming off a huge win over Skyview and I expect them to carry that momentum over to this week. The Plainsmen have two win, but they are against two pretty bad teams. The Papermakers are the real deal. John Norcross and Nate Beasley make up one of the best RB tandems in the state. Camas continues to roll, 48-12.
4. Bellarmine Prep (4-1) vs Capital (4-1)
This is one of the bigger games of the week. Capital is a 2A school that would be ranked even if they were in a higher classification. They’ve already beat 4A schools Newport, Olympia and Bothell in the first three weeks of the season before dropping a league game to a good Tumwater team. Bellarmine Prep dropped a big one to Lakes in week 2 and really hasn’t been tested since. Prep stays on course, Lions win 34-21.
5. Gonzaga Prep (5-0) vs North Central (1-4)
North Central features one of the great unknowns in the state with Mr Everything Jake Hoffman. Problems is, he doesn’t have much of a supporting staff. Last week I made the 5+ hour drive over to Spokane for Prep’s game against Mead and was treated to one of the best high school football games I have ever seen. I will admit that I have underestimated GP this season. They are a TOUGH football team. Prep in a route, 45-12.
6. Mead (4-1) at Shadle Park (2-3)
Mead’s loss to GP is no big deal. They are a VERY good football team and will recover. That recovery starts this week against Shadle Park. The Highlanders have a future, but this season will still have some growing pains. Brett Rypien could easily throw for 250-300 yards and SP could lose by 40. Mead gets back on track, 42-20.
7. Kentwood (5-0) @ Rogers (Puyallup) (3-2)
Rogers isn’t a bad football team. They got throttled in week one by Federal Way, but who hasn’t? They won three straight before losing to Graham-Kapowsin last week. Kentwood’s defense is one of the best in the state. Chance Kalua-Fuimaono is one of the best unknown LBs in the state. He is a kid that should be playing at the next level. Kentwood continues undefeated, 39-7.
8. Bothell (2-3) vs 3A #5 Glacier Peak (5-0)
This is a big one. This game features two of my favorite QBs in Sr. Chris Becerra from Glacier Peak and So. Ross Bowers from Bothell. I think the Cougars are gonna use a heavy dose of RBs Darrin Laufasa and Danny Wilson to help keep the high powered Glacier Peak offense off the field. I still think Glacier Peak is a very good team, but man I love Bothell. Cougars win 24-21.
9. Skyview (3-2) vs Heritage (1-4)
The Storm have lost two games to two VERY good football teams in Central Catholic (OR) and Camas last week. They are still in the top 10 and will probably remain there for the rest of the season. Heritage puts up a ton of yards and QB Loren Standiford has thrown for most of them. Problem is the Heritage defense can’t stop anybody. Skyview in a route, 45-14.
10. Eisenhower (4-1) vs Wenatechee (1-4)
This is a rematch of week one when Eisenhower went to Wenatchee and came away with a 29-27. Wenatchee was a team most people had high hopes for, but after 5 weeks it really doesn’t look good for the Panthers. The offense really isn’t clicking and they are losing games they should be winning. Wenatchee is going to have to run the table to have a chance, but I don’t see that happening. Eisenhower doubles up, 42-21.
NEI 3A Top 10
1. Bellevue (5-0) @ Interlake (1-4)
The stages really are set for a showdown next week between Bellevue and Mount Si. The Saints of Interlake have one of the most explosive WRs in the state in Sr Kamana Adriano, but the supporting cast just isn’t there to compete with Bellevue. Wolverines a tuneup for Mount Si, 55-14.
2. Mount Si (5-0) vs Lake Washington (3-2)
The Kangaroos got back on track last week after two consective thumpings at the hands of Mercer Island and Bellevue. This week won’t be much different. Mount Si is just too good. Next weeks game against Bellevue is one I get the fortunate opportunity to broadcast and I cannot wait. No offense to Lake Washington, but I don’t care. Wildcats win 48-0.
3. Meadowdale (5-0) @ Mountlake Terrace (2-3)
The Mavericks are a legit #3 team. They have tons of speed and are very physical up front. Something is telling me to call for an upset. I think Devante Downs could have a huge day. I just can’t bring myself to predicting an upset here. Still think it is closer than most people would think. Meadowdale wins, 27-24.
4. Eastside Catholic (5-0) vs Rainier Beach (3-2)
Beach has been a pleasant surprise this season. They have one of the strangest schedules as they started the season with four straight games at home, last week they went of the road for the first time this season and don’t return home again. I would assume a week 9 cross-over game will be at home or they have a bye, but I really do not know. Next week the Crusaders play host to O’Dea in a game that should decide the winner of the Metro Mountain Division. EC tunes up with Beach, 40-21 for the Crusaders.
5. (tie) O’Dea (4-1) @ Bishop Blanchet (4-1)
Blanchet was looking like a potential player when they started off 4-0, but took a step back last week with a 27-17 loss to a tough Bainbridge team. Since losing to Issaquah in week 3, the Irish have won two straight by a combined 96-15 score. Can’t imagine them breaking that trend this week. Irish win 44-10.
5. (tie) Glacier Peak (5-0)
See 4A #8 Bothell above.
7. Kamiakan (4-1) vs Chiawana (2-3)
This is a game that will always be a fun one to watch. Chiawana appears to be in a bit of a rebuilding year, even though they might be growing up faster than thought. Ranked to start the season, the Riverhawks quickly fell out of the rankings by starting the season 0-3 with losses to Hanford, Kennewick and Richland. Kamiakin lost to 2A Prosser in week 1 and really recovered well. I don’t see them losing again for a while. Braves win 31-14.
8. Oak Harbor (4-1) @ Mount Vernon (1-4)
Mount Vernon was a team I really expected more out of. QB Bennett Gibson is having a great season, but the Bulldogs have not been able to stop anyone on defense. Behind the tough inside running of Sr Fred Webster, Oak Harbor has the ability to run the ball and control the clock. I really wish they would open it up a little more and let Sr. Ian Koltse throw more. Andre Cumberbatch is a great option at WR that they really are not utilizing all that well. Maybe they are holding back for later in the season? Regardless, Wildcats win 30-14.
9. Mercer Island (4-1) @ Juanita (2-3)
My Rebels have been hit and miss this season. They started the season with a good win over Inglemoor, but lost week 2 in a game they should’ve won. Blowout losses to Mount Si and Bellevue sandwiched a win over Liberty. The Islanders only loss on the season is to a VERY good Coeur d’Alene (ID) team that they actually hung with and had a chance to win. I could see Juanita pulling an upset here, but I can’t predict it. Islanders win 30-20.
10. Shelton (5-0) @ Lincoln (3-2)
You gotta love Shelton. Last season they finished 2-8 and right now look like the favorite to win the 3A Narrows league. North Thurston might want to have a little something to say about that, but unless Ralph Kinne doesn’t play, Shelton should be able to beat just about anyone. I really like the Highclimbers and think they win big. Kinne goes for 300 and 4+ TDs as Shelton stays unbeaten, 50-21.
Scott Eklund Picks
Glacier Peak at Bothell (Thursday) – Man you gotta feel for Bothell. The Cougars went 0-3 facing the likes of Bellevue, Skyline and Capital, but are currently on a two-game winning streak. Things don’t get much easier for them as they face a very talented and well-coached Grizzly squad who has an explosive offense led by QB Chris Becerra and an opportunistic defense. I see this game coming down to how well Becerra and Bothell’s rising sophomore signal-caller Ross Bowers play. Ultimately, the Grizzlies are just too good for a good, but not great Cougars squad. Glacier Peak 31 – Bothell 20.
Meadowdale at Mountlake Terrace – The Mavericks are riding high and rolling behind the offensive output of Morgan Masanda and Giavani Shepard. Both are explosive backs who make things happen, however, Mountlake Terrace has their own two-way menace in Devante Downs who is a force as a runner (over 450 yards and five scores in five games) and on defense (25 tackles, two sacks and a pick). Meadowdale has too much talent and will overwhelm their hosts, but Downs should allow the Hawks to keep it close, at least for a while. Meadowdale 34 – Mountlake Terrace 17.
Chiawana at Kamiakin – The Braves usually have one of the most explosive offenses in the state, but this year Kamiakin has relied on a strong defense and steady offense, led by QB Kylle Robertson, to get to 4-1 on the season. However, they lost star linebacker and running back Johnny Jansen last week and will likely be without the services of WR K Perrins and that could spell doom against a gritty Riverhawks squad. This one will be close, but I think Kamiakin will be able to score just enough to eek out a win and stay undefeated in league. Kamiakin 21 – Chiawana 17.
Rainier Beach at Eastside Catholic – This one could wind up being a track meet as both teams have explosive offenses, but they both have solid defenses as well. The Crusaders continue to roll along, getting to 5-0 after their hard-fought 22-6 win over Seattle Prep last week, while Beach has had to fight and claw their way to a 3-2 record. Will Eastside Catholic be looking past the Vikings to their rivalry game next week against O’Dea? It’s possible, but I don’t think head coach Jeremy Thielbahr and his staff will let that happen. Eastside Catholic 34 – Rainier Beach 21.
Kamiak at Edmonds-Woodway – Two of the top tailbacks in the entire state — EW’s Desmond Young and Kamiak’s Austin Hall — meet in a battle for a playoff berth in the Wesco 4A South. Young is dynamic with the ball in his hands while Hall just overwhelms people with his toughness. This one will be one of the more physical games of the season up north and I see Edmonds-Woodway coming out on top. Edmonds-Woodway 24 – Kamiak 20.
Ellensburg at Othello – Ellensburg travels to Othello to take on the undefeated Huskies in a battle of Central Washington 2A titans. Othello is ranked number one in the state class 2A division and there is a reason why…they are really good. They play tough, hard-nosed defense and they let their running game, averaging over 200 yards per game do most of the work, wearing opponents down. E’burg is also missing one of its top players, senior all-league lineman Corbin Richardson who is out indefinitely for violating a team rule, and that could spell disaster for the Bulldogs. This will be close at the half, but expect Othello to run away with it in the second half. Othello 42 – Ellensburg 21.
Newport at Roosevelt – Newport’s Isaac Dotson is one of the most dynamic players in the state this year and he has his team within sight of a playoff berth after three straight wins including victories over Woodinville and Issaquah. Roosevelt is strong up front with a huge line that averages over 270 pounds and they play a physical brand of football. This one will be a slugfest, but I expect Dotson to make enough plays when the Knights have the ball to get the win. Newport 28 – Roosevelt 24.
Battle Ground at Union – We get to find out if Battle Ground’s 5-0 record is for real when they travel to take on the Titans at McKenzie Stadium. The Titans’ only loss so far this year is to nationally-ranked Jesuit (Portland) and they have used a conservative offense and a strong defense to get them to 4-1. Battle Ground has yet to face an opponent with a winning record, so to say this will be their proving ground is an understatement. Union will eventually pull away from the Tigers, but it will be close for a while. Union 41 – Battle Ground 28.
Tumwater at North Thurston – Tumwater has been through some battles this year taking on the likes of Capital and Timberline, two very good opponents, as well as Shelton which is one of the elite teams in 3A this year. At 4-1 (their only loss was to Shelton) the T’Birds look to be one of the top 2A schools in the state and should be able to make a run at a state title. North Thurston hasn’t been challenged up to this point going 5-0 with a combined score of 180 to 42. I think this one could be one of the best matchups of the weekend, but in the long run I think that Tumwater will be too much for the Rams and will give them their first loss of the season. Tumwater 31 – North Thurston 20.
South Kitsap at Yelm – South Kitsap has fallen on some hard times after starting off the season 3-0, losing the past two week. Their hope to bounce back with a win runs through Yelm which has also lost the last two after winning their first three games. Yelm’s offense can be explosive, but they’ve fallen off a bit of the past couple weeks only scoring a grand total of 31 points. I see the Wolves pulling this one out, but it will be a hard-fought victory no matter who wins. South Kitsap 24 – Yelm 20.