1A Hoquiam (2-0) at 1A No. 7 Montesano (1-1)
7 p.m. Friday at Sam Jack Rottle Field, Montesano
Skinny: The Bulldogs are the defending seven-time 1A Southwest Evergreen champions. They have won 40 league games in a row. They have shut out Hoquiam the past two seasons (55-0 in 2010; 34-0 last year). But are they really the favorites on their home field Friday night? “(Hoquiam’s players) are pretty dynamic,” Montesano coach Terry Jensen said. “They are doing more coverages and zone blitzing and other stuff they have not done in the past.” It would have helped ease Jensen’s concerns about slowing down the Grizzlies’ big-play capacity on offense, too, had he not watched Cascade Christian rack up huge chunks of rushing yards on the perimeter Saturday night in a 28-25 loss. His linebacking and secondary corps will need to be much sharper in order to corral Hoquiam’s speedy tailback Nolan Hoiness (25 carries, 265 yards, four TDs), or quarterback Evan Erickson (354 passing yards, six TDs). Yet, even though the Grizzlies are thinking an upset of the 1A powerhouse for the first time since 2003 – it’s a task easier said than done. Montesano is a proud program with a rich tradition. And Jensen’s son – dual-threat quarterback Matthew Jensen (324 passing yards, four TDs) – is capable of shredding a more experienced and very stout Hoquiam defense, led by linebacker Ronnie Espedal, an all-state candidate.
TNT pick: Montesano, 27-24.