* CLASS 3A SEMIFINAL
No. 3 Mount Si (11-1) vs. No. 1 Bellevue (12-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Tacoma Dome
Coaches: Charlie Kinnune is in his 21st season at Mount Si (115-93 record). Butch Goncharoff is in his 13th season at Bellevue (156-12 record).
Road to the semifinals: Mount Si defeated Glacier Peak in the first round (52-19), and Kennedy Catholic in the quarterfinals (38-7). Bellevue defeated Ferndale in the first round (28-0), and Peninsula in the quarterfinals (40-3).
About the Wildcats: These two 3A KingCo rivals played in Week 7 – a game won by the Wolverines, 49-10, in Snoqualmie. So how can Mount Si turn the tide? First, it needs to get pressure on Bellevue’s backfield with all-KingCo DL Griffin McLain and the rest of the front seven to disrupt gaps for Wolverines’ wing-T offense (having seen it a month ago should help). Then, the Wildcats need to get the football to explosive, big-play WR Trent Riley (school-record 25 TD catches) in space. QB Nick Mitchell (149-271, 2,221 yards, 32 TDs) will be responsible for delivering it to him – and the quarterback has been hot recently with 655 yards and 13 TDs in three playoff games.
About the Wolverines: Realistically, who can dethrone the four-time defending 3A champions, ranked No. 2 in the country in a few major polls? Specifically, how do you score on them? With DT Darian Freeman starting it up front, and LBs Sean Constantine, Myles Jack and Michael Carlson roaming the second tier – Bellevue has allowed just three points in three playoff games. Speaking of the UCLA-bound Jack, he will be the best athlete on the field – and has 19 sacks this season. Just when you might get a beat on RB John Nguyen (1,058 rushing yards, 15 TDs) and the running game, Goncharoff is letting QB Jack Meggs (12-22, 290 yards, four TDs in past two games) go make a big play.
TNT pick: Bellevue, 31-12.
“Score Czar”/Computer pick: Bellevue, 28-7.