Olympia (2-1, 3-1) at Lincoln (2-2, 2-2), 7 p.m. Friday
The lowdown: Olympia is still stinging from a 10-6 loss last week to ninthh-ranked South Kitsap, so expect the Bears to come out firing on all cylinders. That’s bad news for the Abes. Olympia will give Lincoln a steady dose of RB Jordan Pine. But the Abes have a running back of their own who’s capable of turning around games. RB Jordan Russell is a threat to score a touchdown every time he touches the ball and can keep the Abes in any contest. If Lincoln’s defense can finagle some turnovers and force a punt every so often, the Abes will have a shot at the upset victory.
The News Tribune pick: The Abes will give Olympia a scare, but the Bears won’t lose a second consecutive game.
Olympia 35, Lincoln 20
Gig Harbor (2-2) vs. Peninsula (3-1), 7 p.m. today at Roy Anderson Field
The lowdown: Throw records out the window when these two rivals meet for the 31st annual Fish Bowl. Gig Harbor has won the last two meetings, including a 33-0 victory last season, leaving Peninsula aching for some payback. Both teams have playmakers at quarterback. Peninsula’s J.R. Grosshans is a running and passing threat – he’s second in the SPSL 3A in total offense with 842 yards. His Gig Harbor counterpart, Barrett Schmidtke, has a strong arm and, at 220 pounds, is a bruising runner that can pound defenses.
The News Tribune pick: The Seahawks will end the Tides’ two-year winning streak in a closely contested Fish Bowl.
Peninsula 21, Gig Harbor 20
Click through for more previews, Bethel running back Anthony Meray’s highlight reel, and a column that that says Gonzaga Prep running back Bishop Sankey should not have to sit out this week’s game.
Tahoma (3-1, 3-1) vs. Federal Way (1-2, 2-2), 7 p.m. today
The lowdown: At first glance, this looks like a gimme for Tahoma. The Bears have a better record, have scored more points and allowed fewer. No contest, right? But delve a bit deeper and the outcome doesn’t look so clear. Throw out the Federal Way’s Week 1 loss to third-ranked Auburn – the Eagles were not at full strength — and Federal Way has performed well. The Eagles routed Emerald Ridge and Kentlake and hung with defensive-minded Kentridge, losing 21-13. Tahoma has done the same, soundly beating the teams it’s better than and a 14-7 defeat to Kentwood is the Bears’ only blemish.
The News Tribune pick: The Eagles stay close before Tahoma pulls away late.
Tahoma 30, Federal Way 23
No. 7 W.F. West (4-0, 2-0) at Tumwater (2-0, 3-1), 7 p.m. today
The lowdown: For better or worse, Evergreen Conference teams with league title aspirations circle the Tumwater game every season. For W.F. West, that game is tonight. QB Ben Ternan has led an emergent Bearcat passing attack. He completed 15 of 19 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-14 rout of Hoquiam last week. W.F. West could get a boost by the return of LB Jake Steelhammer, the EvCo’s reigning defensive MVP. The Bearcat defense will need all the help it can muster when facing a Tumwater offense that has had three players – QB Kyle Warner, RB Josh Yandle and RB Payton Olson – rush for more than 100 yards in a single game
The News Tribune pick: The Bearcats find a way to contain the T-birds, league title hopes get a huge boost.
W.F. West 26, Tumwater 24
State Game of the Week
Lake Stevens (3-1, 2-0) at No. 4 Jackson (4-0, 2-0), 8 p.m. today
The lowdown: The fourth-ranked Timberwolves have routed the competition so far, outscoring opponents 183-53. But it’s safe to say that Lake Stevens will provide the stiffest competition Jackson has faced this season – the Vikings’ three wins is one more than the combined total of the Timberwolves’ four previous opponents.
The News Tribune pick: Jackson’s ariel connection of QB Andy Gay (57 of 81 for 825 yards and 4 TDs) and WR Riley Carr (13 catches for 273 yards and 4 TDs) will be too much for Lake Stevens to handle.
Jackson 29, Lake Stevens 22
If you haven’t had the opportunity to see Bethel running back Anthony Meray, here you go. Pay special attention to two plays. The first comes at 2:35 in the video when he goes under two defensive backs for a 29-yard touchdown. The second is at 4:00 when he takes a screen pass 63 yards for a touchdown against Curtis. He really shows his speed on that play, outrunning four Vikings to the end zone.
Earlier this week we posted a link to the Gonzaga Prep-Lake City (Idaho) game story in the Spokesman-Review. In the article, it said that GP running back Bishop Sankey was ejected for allegedly punching a player. In Washingon, when a player is ejected from a game for any reason, they must sit out the next game. Spokesman-Review sports writer Mike Vlahovich has reviewed video of the incident and wrote this column, saying that Sankey should play.
The play was a fake to Sankey, who ran over one tackle and was brought down by an ankle tackle. The defender needlessly rolled up his ankle and Sankey reacted. It took a couple of views (and slow motion) to see him reach over the top, push the defender with his arm – not a closed fist punch – extricate himself from the tangle, stand up and walk calmly away, back to the play.
You can see video of the play by clicking here. The punch-that-wasn’t occurs at 6:00 in the clip.