No. 1 King’s (10-0) at No. 4 Hoquiam (10-0)
1:30 p.m. Saturday at Olympic Stadium, Hoquiam
Skinny: Too bad the 1A state bracket broke like this – many feel this could have been THE state championship game. And there have been a couple of days of gamesmanship leading up to the showdown: First, since the contest was originally scheduled for Friday night, King’s asked that the game be moved to Saturday afternoon – which it was. Then the bombshell came down – can the game also be moved to nearby Stewart Field in Aberdeen where there is artificial turf? The Grizzlies did not take too kindly to that request, especially after they opened the state playoffs on a frozen field at Connell in 2010, and at King’s last season. “We deserve to host on our own field – at the best high school stadium this side of the Mississippi,” Hoquiam coach Jason Ronquillo said. “From our end, our team has the mentality that, ‘If you beat us at our place, you deserved to move on.’” As of now, the game is slated to be played on the grass home field of Hoquiam, but the playing surface will be inspected by WIAA District 4 director Rich Frazer at noon Friday before final confirmation is given. King’s won last year’s first-round game, 42-28, in north Seattle – but the Grizzlies will get another shot at Knights’ quarterback Billy Green (167-243, 2,626 yards, 42 touchdowns, two INTs). Hoquiam is paced by tailback Nolan Hoiness (144 carries, 2,039 yards, 29 TDs) and linebacker Ronnie Espedal (122 tackles, 10 tackles for loss).
TNT pick: King’s, 45-42.
“Score Czar” computer pick: Hoquiam, 33-18.