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If I were a handicapper . . . these would be the early Gridiron Classic lines

Post by Todd Milles / The News Tribune on Nov. 25, 2012 at 10:51 am with 2 Comments »
November 25, 2012 10:54 am

The final milepost of the 2012 high school football season – Gridiron Classic week – has arrived, and 12 teams will play for six state championships next weekend in Tacoma:

Here is my take on the six games:

Defending champion Skyline was Skyline on Saturday – very impressive in dismantling a good Camas squad – while Bellarmine Prep survived a grueling grinder to advance to its first state title game.

Under offensive coordinator Brian Jensen, the Lions run a good, clean, efficient pro-style offense – a potential headache for a spread team such as the Spartans because of its ball-control nature. But Bellarmine Prep was far from mistake-free Saturday against Auburn, and that is a legitimate concern heading into this game.

The Lions have Drew Griffin and Garrett McKay as reliable weapons on the perimeter, but the biggest matchup is how will they defend Skyline in the spread, from No. 1 to No. 5 receiver? Max Browne, the star Skyline quarterback, will surely find out early and often.

Installed favorite: Skyline by 18.

Chatted with Seattle Times reporter Jayson Jenks coming out of the Tacoma Dome on Saturday night about undefeated Eastside Catholic. He seems to think the Metro League champions match up better against four-time 3A champion Bellevue because of their offensive consistency.

Now matching up is a relative term, because this might be the best team for a single season we have seen in state history.

Enough said. Won’t try and break it down Xs and Os; just hoping for a semi-competitive game Friday night. For a half, anyway.

Installed favorite: Bellevue by 28.

Again, a game on paper that seems like a no-brainer in Lynden’s favor. The Lions put forth perhaps the most impressive showing Friday in dominating Capital. Their passing game looks virtually unstoppable.

I will pose this – how well will they defend Tumwater’s Wing-T offense?

In 2010, the Thunderbirds went to Lynden and won in the early 2A round. And last season, the Lions were on their heels for three quarters before pulling out a win over Archbishop Murphy.

Installed favorite: Lynden by 12.

Props to Montesano for recovering from its early-season swoon. The Bulldogs’ offensive line has come together, and their rushing attack has controlled games in the playoffs, including in an upset over No. 1 King’s.

But here comes Royal. Big, bad Royal. Strong Royal. Favored Royal.

Installed favorite: Royal by 10.

Well, No. 1 Morton-White Pass got a bit of a break Saturday – it won’t have to face the team it lost to in the title game in 2011 in Waitsburg-Prescott, which was dumped by Lind-Ritzville-Sprague, 21-7, in the semifinals.

History says Eastern Washington schools seem to fare a bit better at this level – winning the title seven times since 2000. History won’t prevail this time around.

Installed favorite: Morton-White Pass by 7.

Yes, defending champion Neah Bay has a star in quarterback Josiah Greene. But No. 1 Liberty Christian has standouts all across the board, and most of them are seniors. The Patriots have been building toward this season – and they have arrived as the No. 1 team.

Installed favorite: Liberty Christian by 13.

Leave a comment Comments → 2
  1. mrtman33 says:

    “I will pose this – how well will they defend Tumwater’s Wing-T offense?”, asks an inquisitive Mr. Milles.

    Since Lynden plays Ferndale and their Wing T every year…
    and since Lynden plays Archbishop Murphy and THEIR Wing T virtually every year…

    I propose that it will not be an issue.

    How well will Tumwater defend RB Luke Christianson?

    If he’s stifled…how well can they defend the four Lynden wideouts that go 6’2, 6’3, 6’3 and 6’3?

    And finally, if those two options are taken away…who is left to contain the versatile AP All-State QB Josh Kraght??

    Those are the questions that matter.

    Will be a great game pitting the Lynden D against the son of former Lynden basketball great Derric Croft…Tumwater QB Jayden Croft.

  2. Sideshow_Bill says:

    4A Prediction
    Skyline @ Bellarmine Prep
    Two exciting quarterbacks will be on display in this game. Max Browne is elite, however, and will lead Skyline to another state title. Spartans over Lions: 38-26

    3A Prediction
    Bellevue @ Eastside Catholic
    The last two undefeated teams in 3A face off in the final. But, this is Bellevue’s world…we can just hope EC makes a game of it. Wolverines over Crusaders: 39-27.

    2A Prediction
    Lynden @ Tumwater
    Tumwater has made a living at upsets, with two straight underdog wins. They’ll need a third to take State. Lions over Thunderbirds: 37-21.

    1A Prediction
    Royal @ Montesano
    Royal is simply dominant. Montesano hasn’t seen a defense like this since their loss to Hoquiam. However, Royal hasn’t seen a defense like Monte’s since Quincy and River View. Wait, they still won those games. Knights over Bulldogs: 36-23.

    2B Predictions
    Morton-White Pass @ Lind-Ritzville-Sprague
    La Conner showed what a good defense can do against MWP. LRS’s defense is even better. But, MWP’s is the best in the state. I don’t expect very many points on the scoreboard, but The Oracle says Timberwolves over Broncos: 27-12.

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