Thanks to Todd Milles for doing these preview capsules, while I was out of the office earlier this week.
No. 7 Kentlake (5-0 overall, 5-0 league) at Kentwood (4-1, 3-1), 7 p.m. Friday at French Field
Lowdown: Tempo could be a defining aspect to this titanic, intra-city matchup. The no-huddle Falcons want to play fast; the bigger and more physical Conquerors want it controlled. Kentwood must pay attention to Kentlake’s do-everything WR Austin Pernell (871 all-purpose yards, eight total TDs), who has scored on a kickoff return, an interception, a reception and a rushing attempt. If Kentlake can snap its seven-game skid in the series tonight, it will have the inside track to its first outright SPSL North title in school history.
TNT pick: Kentlake 27, Kentwood 23.
Bethel (3-2, 3-1) at Graham-Kapowsin (2-3, 2-2), 7 p.m. Friday at Art Crate Field
Lowdown: Once upon a time, these two coaches shared the same sideline at Bethel High School. When Eric Kurle left to take over at G-K, Gavin Kralik was promoted – and has won all five games against his former boss. Certainly two weeks ago, the Eagles would have been considered big underdogs in this game after starting 0-3. Personnel issues have been settled, notably moving RB Dylan Campbell (33 rushes, 224 yards, two TDs in two starts) from his receiver spot. Bethel has weapons, and motivation after last week’s stunning loss to Federal Way – and will ride QB Justin Hordyk (71-118, 1,062 yards, 13 total TDs).
TNT pick: Bethel 34, Graham-Kapowsin 29.
No. 2 Lakes (5-0, 1-0) at Decatur (4-1, 1-0), 7 p.m. Saturday at Federal Way’s Memorial Stadium
Lowdown: Quick, name the team closest to the SPSL 3A powerhouse Lancers in the early-October standings? Unexpectedly it is the Gators, who haven’t finished with a winning league record since 2003 but have run off a four-game winning streak. Their quality athletes now have a toughness factor with bullish RB Nick Karis (68 rushes, 214 yards, two TDs), who was a state wrestling semifinalist last season. Lakes will continue to utilize QBs David Wood (43-73, 814 yards, 15 TDs) and Cedric Dozier as a tandem, and RB Levonte Littlejohn (40 rushes, 336 yards, seven TDs) is finally running on a healthy ankle.
TNT pick: Lakes 40, Decatur 20.