Enumclaw (6-1, 5-1) at No. 10 Peninsula (6-1, 5-1), 7 p.m.
Lowdown: The Hornets and Panthers might not catch Lakes for the league title, but there’s plenty at stake in this game. The winner will have the inside track on taking second place, which guarantees a home game in the preliminary round of the state playoffs in Week 10. Enumclaw enters this game on an emotional high. The Hornets were down by 20 points to Bonney Lake in the first quarter last week, but rallied for a 32-27 win. QB Riley Carel directs a balanced offense, led by RBs Andrew Gamblin and Andy Holdener. Peninsula QB J.R. Grosshans, a run-pass threat, leads an offense capable of scoring points in bunches.
The News Tribune pick: Home-field advantage propels Peninsula to victory.
Peninsula 37, Enumclaw 33
Vashon (6-1, 3-1) at No. 6 Orting (6-1, 4-0), 7 p.m.
Lowdown: This game might not be for the league title, but both teams have to win if they want a shot at claiming the conference crown. Orting showed last week it’s capable of coming from behind to win games. The Cardinals trailed Port Townsend by nine points before erupting for 27 in the fourth quarter to win. Orting thumped Vashon 50-7 last season, but expect this game to be closer. The Pirates defense is one of the stingiest in the league, allowing fewer than 10 points per game. Vashon must erase last year’s game from its memory banks and come up with some defensive stops to contain Orting RB Braden Cordes.
The News Tribune pick: Cardinals have just enough offense to sink Pirates.
Orting 21, Vashon 14
Kentridge (5-2, 5-1) at Kentwood (5-2, 4-2), 7 p.m. at French Field
Lowdown: As if this rivalry needed any more stoking, a home in the preliminary round of the state playoffs is at stake. A Kentridge win secures the league’s No. 2 seed, while Kentwood must win by more than six points to place second. If the Conquerors can do that, they’ll dump the Chargers to No. 3 and Federal Way to No. 4. Kentwood should be aching to get back on track after the Eagles derailed the Conks last week, 24-21. The SPSL’s second-highest scoring team and leader in turnover ratio (plus-8) faces the league’s best defense – the Chargers allow an average of 188 yards per game. If Kentridge’s sputtering offense – it ranks second-to-last in the SPSL in total yards – can hit on a few big plays, that could be enough to help the Chargers win their third game in a row.
The News Tribune pick: Conks’ defense good enough, offense too much for Kentridge.
Kentwood 20, Kentridge 14
North Thurston at Capital, 7 p.m. at Ingersoll Stadium
Lowdown: North Thurston is catching Capital at a bad time. The Cougars are stewing for a victory after losing 21-16 to No. 6 Timberline line week. Before that loss, Capital had won four games in a row, outscoring the opposition 224-40. Ouch. The Rams are no slouches, though. Tied for first place in the OWL, North Thurston has reeled off six straight wins, scoring more than 30 points in five of those games. Both teams rely heavily on running backs. North Thurston’s Lawyer Tillman has rushed for six touchdowns in the last two weeks, while the Cougars’ Tyler Sundberg has five.
The News Tribune pick: Steaming mad Capital takes out its aggression on the Rams.
Capital 30, North Thurston 17