Capital (7-3) vs. No. 4 Union (9-1), 7:30 tonight at Doc Harris Stadium
Lowdown: Don’t be fooled by the Cougars’ three losses – all to playoff teams – this is a good squad. Capital thoroughly trounced Enumclaw, 42-7, last week. In that game, the Cougars showed their offense was more than the Tyler Sundberg Show. Sundberg has rushed for a school-record 31 touchdowns, but he’s not the team’s only scoring option. QB Alex Everson ran for two scores and threw a touchdown – his 15th of the season – against Enumclaw. South Sound fans should be familiar with Union. The Titans topped Lakes 28-7 in the 3A state semifinals and return the core of that team, including all-state receiver Mitch Saylor. Capital won’t want to kick or punt the ball to Saylor. He returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns in the Titans’ 56-10 throttling last week of Olympic, a team Capital defeated 35-7 in Week 4.
The News Tribune pick: Titans will slip past the Cougars in this matchup of 2008 semifinalists.
Union 27, Capital 20
No. 2 Skyline (8-2) vs. No. 6 South Kitsap (10-0), 7 p.m. Saturday at Mount Tahoma
Lowdown: The Narrows League champions were given no favors in their first-round draw, getting the defending 4A state champion Spartans. What else can be said of Skyline QB Jake Heaps and WR Kasen Williams? Both might be the best at their position in the Northwest. Williams, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound junior, is an athletic freak that can climb high for passes. The Wolves have a pair of receivers in Leon La Deaux and Isaiah Davis – both were finalists at the state track and field meet – who give QB Gordy Anderson vertical threats. Still, SK has not faced a precision offense or swarming defense of Skyline’s caliber. The Wolves must play a near-perfect game to claim its first state playoff victory since 2001.
The News Tribune pick: Wolves will keep it close for half before Skyline’s superstar tandem of Heaps and Williams begin clicking.
Skyline 31, South Kitsap 14
Central Kitsap (7-3) at No. 5 Curtis (10-0), 7 p.m. Saturday
Lowdown: Since starting the season 2-3, the Cougars have won five games in a row, including last week’s 35-0 drubbing of Mountlake Terrace. CK’s defense has been superb in that stretch, posting four shutouts. The secondary, led by Brett McDonald and Christian Wesley, is solid. They won’t let Vikings WR Rahmel Dockery slip through for big gains and easy touchdowns. Dockery scored four touchdowns against Wilson last week in Curtis’ 42-22 victory, including one on a punt return. Central Kitsap must keep tabs on Dockery, who has 2,059 all-purpose yards and 22 TDs, or he’ll burn the Cougars. Curtis will be content to chip away for five- and six-yard pick-ups by RBs Richard Southern and Jason Walker if that’s what CK’s defense allows.
The News Tribune pick: Cougars defenses won’t the score get out of hand, but Curtis has too many weapons to be shut down.
Curtis 24, Central Kitsap 10
Toledo (8-2) vs. No. 3 Cascade Christian (10-0), 7 p.m. Saturday at Sunset Chev Stadium
Lowdown: When the Cougars turned out for practice in August, only four starters remained from the team that played for the 1A state championship in 2008. Inexperience is no longer an issue as Cascade Christian rolled through the regular season undefeated and claimed another Nisqually League 1A championship. Toledo’s defense has played well of late, allowing only one touchdown in each of its last three games. The Indians held off Castle Rock, 14-6, to qualify for the state playoffs. D.J. Herbert scored on a 10-yard touchdown run and caught a 42-yard scoring pass from Trevor Jones. Toledo has faced two playoff teams and lost to both, falling 49-0 to No. 1 Montesano and 21-18 to Onalaska.
The News Tribune pick: Cougars offense is too potent, defense too powerful for Toledo.
Cascade Christian 37, Toledo 13