The semifinals are here and for the western side of the state, that means we head indoors to the warmth of the Tacoma Dome. For a look at the updated look at the 4A bracket click Right Here .
Just a personal suggestion… If you are planning on eating at the Tacoma Dome, go somewhere else. I personally suggest going to Freighthouse Square, which is just a few blocks away. Right Here is a list of restaurants.
Bothell Cougars (12-0) vs Newport Knights (10-2)
Saturday 7:30 pm at the Tacoma Dome
Bothell: Avg. Points For – 46.7 / Points Against – 9.5
Newport: Avg. Points For – 35.6 / Points Against – 23.8
This game is a rematch of a week three 47-13 game held at Newport in which Bothell WR Dayzell Wilson accounted for five touchdowns, that happens again this week, and it is going to be a very long day for the Knights.
In last week’s win over Bellarmine Prep, Bothell’s defensive front seven was absolutely suffocating. Bellarmine Prep didn’t get a first down until there was 9:30 left in the second half.
LB’s Shawn Munro, Tyler Wharf and Jacob Johnston, flew around to the ball and made play after play. Lineman Cole Ford, Miles Lockett, Jordan Barker and Jesse Sims, clogged running lanes and got pressure on the Bellarmine QB virtually all game.
It really was an impressive defense performance, and they will need another good effort to win this weekend, as they are facing a very good wishbone rushing attack from Newport.
Newport senior RB Paul Wells is now over 2,500 all-purpose yards, with 1,700 coming on the ground, and has accounted for 22 total touchdowns. During Newport’s nine game winning streak, Wells is averaging over 175 rushing yards per game.
Teaming with Wells in the backfield are Thomas Day and Nick Keithley. Day is closing in on 1,000 yards with 12 touchdowns, while Keithley does the dirty work at fullback, and is at 566 yards and seven touchdowns for the season.
Quarterback Jordan Sandberg is the third leading rusher for the Knights with 769, and with 22 passing or rushing yards he will become Newport’s third member of the 1,000 yard club (Wells – 1,823 and Day – 1,013).
All signs points to another Bothell win, but Newport is not going to roll over easily. The Knights are playing some of their best football, and beat a very good Federal Way team in Newport fashion.
Newport OL vs Bothell DL – These are two big, strong and physical position groups. Calvin Throckmorton / Nolan Richardson vs Cole Ford / Miles Lockett / Jordan Barker… should be a lot of fun to watch!
Dayzell Wilson vs Paul Wells – Bothell has a lot of weapons offensively, so shutting down their top offensive threat will be key for Newport, and that task falls on Wells. Newport absolutely cannot let Wilson go off like he did in week three.
Graham-Kapowsin Eagles (11-1) vs Chiawana Riverhawks (11-1)
Saturday 1:00 pm at Edgar Brown Memorial Stadium – Pasco
Graham-Kapowsin: Avg. Points For – 36.3 / Points Against – 15.2
Chiawana: Avg. Points For – 39.3 / Points Against – 7.3
The Chiawana Riverhawks are playing like defending champs right now, and haven’t given up double digits since October 17th when they allowed a season worst 19 points to Walla Walla.
In a 38-3 win over Gonzaga Prep, Chiawana RB Austin Urlacher rushed for 363 yards on 31 carries, and in the process passed Carolina Panthers RB Johnathan Stewart for seventh place on the single season rushing yards list. The senior back has racked up 2,570 yards rushing, and is now just 205 yards from the top spot held by Kai van Sickle (Capital, 2012 – 2,774 yards).
Paving the way for Urlacher is an offensive line led by 6-foot-4, 270 pound senior Jake Martin, who was recently named the Mid-Columbia Conference’s most outstanding lineman. Alongside Martin is Kameron Silvers, Bernardo Castillo and Trenton Steach, who while they may not be the biggest bunch, are very well coached and do a great job opening holes.
Adding to the offensive line is senior TE Christian Penny, who at 6-foot-5, 255 pounds is like a 6th offensive lineman at times, while also being a standout on the defensive side.
The offensive game plan for Graham-Kapowsin is very much like that of Chiawana, as they will look to senior RB Shannon Edwards for much of the game. In last week’s win over Wenatchee, Edwards finished with 199 yards and three touchdowns on 37 carries.
Leading the way for Edwards is big time recruit Foster Sarell, junior Elijah Lugo and senior Tyler Morris. Those three do a tremendous job, while Danny Lorenz leads the way at fullback.
Another key to the run game is the blocking of TE Donald Walkinshaw. The senior is a big body and also a viable receiving threat when the Eagles go to the air.
Should the Eagles elect to go to the air, they are in good hands. Senior QB Trevor Asbjornsen is one of the state’s top signal-callers, and should be ready for the task.
Graham-Kapowsin OL/DL vs Chiawana OL/DL – The saying is “games are won and lost in the trenches,” and this game should be no different. Many guys will go both ways, but specific matchups to look for will be Juan Noyola (Chiawana DL) vs Tyler Morris (Graham-Kapowsin OL) and Christian Penny (Chiawana DL) vs Foster Sarell (Graham-Kapowsin OL). You can also expect to see a lot of Sarell defensively, with hope he can shut down the middle and limit Urlacher.
Danny Lorenz (Graham-Kapowsin LB) vs Austin Urlacher (Chiawana RB) – Lorenz was recently voted All-Area by the Tacoma News Tribune, and he is going to have to be on his game. Urlacher has been a terror all season for opposing defenses.
Caleb Weber (Chiawana LB) vs Shannon Edwards (Graham-Kapowsin RB) – Weber is a name you will want to remember, as he looks to be one of the top LB’s in the 2017 recruiting class. Edwards has great acceleration and top end speed, but Weber’s instincts and athleticism, it could level the playing field.