A Short-Term Memory Lapse Will Help Bearcats Past Hawks
EvCo No. 3 W.F. West (7-2) vs. GSHL No. 1 Hockinson (7-2)
At Battle Ground District Stadium, Friday, Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m.
W.F. West took its biggest hit of the season in a 52-6 loss to North Thurston on Friday, and will now face Greater St. Helens 2A League champ Hockinson, in Battle Ground, Friday.
“What impresses me most about them, on the defensive side of the ball, is they’ve got some real aggressive kids,” Bearcat coach Bob Wollan said. “Not so much like the Thurston guys, but they’re long and lean — 6-2, 6-3 guys that can run, a real attacking type of defense.”
Tailback Josiah Niemala leads the way for the Hawks, with 297 rushing yards and four touchdowns in his last two games.
“They’re a run-dominated team, but they have the ability to throw the football, so you’ve got to honor that,” Wollan added. “And they’ve shown, offensively, that they’re patient enough to just pound you.”
As far as bouncing back goes, Wollan said the team had a great practice Monday.
“I think it was an opportunity for us to get back out there and try to correct that, and get better,” he said.
Playoff Experience Won’t Play a Factor if the Beavers Move on to State
Evergreen No. 3 Tenino (7-2) vs. Trico No. 2 La Center (7-2)
At La Center High School, Friday, Nov. 4, 7 p.m.
Tenino hits the road Friday night for La Center, where they’ll face a Wildcat team that’s coming off of a big 49-7 win over Kalama last week.
It’ll be a new experience for the Beavers, who haven’t made the playoffs since 2007.
“I told ‘em on Monday, now all that stuff we did before was NFL preseason stuff. It doesn’t matter. No one cares what you’ve done,” Tenino coach Jeff Zenisek said. “Now it becomes, we’re starting the season all over again, against an opponent we haven’t seen.”
La Center (7-2) finished in a three-way tie for first, with Kalama and Toledo, in the Trico standings.
“They’re definitely a ball-control team. They just give you fits,” Zenisek said.
“We need to win it up front, and we didn’t last week (in a 21-14 loss to Hoquiam),” Zenisek said. “We’re really trying to buckle down and get both sides of the ball meaner and tougher, and get after it.”
The winner will likely take the No. 4 seed out of District IV into the State 1A playoffs, though that could change depending on how the other three play-in games turn out.
Ball Possession Will be Key to Indians Advancing to State
Trico No. 1 Toledo (8-1) vs. Evergreen No. 4 Forks (3-6)
At Toledo High school, Friday, Nov. 4, 7 p.m.
Forks might be riding high off a Kansas tiebreaker blowout over Rainier and Elma, but Toledo will look to drive a stake through the Spartans hopes of making their first State 1A Football playoff appearance in three seasons.
Even if Toledo (8-1) is a little banged up, the Indian ground game has shown that it still holds the ability to control the pace of the game which would suck the life out of Forks.
“We got to run the clock with our offense, chug it down the field and keep the ball out of their hands,” Toledo coach Terry Holmes said.
Toledo will rely on halfback Teran Gregson and quarterback Jesse Wallace to carry the load for the Indians.
Much like Toledo, Forks runs a Wing-T offense and has a very speedy solid running back in Shane White Eagle which the Indian defense will have to work to keep the ball out of his hands.
A win would earn the Indians a No. 2 seed in the State 1A Football Playoffs and a matchup against the winner of Nooksack Valley and Cedar Park Christian next weekend.
Young Seagulls Hope to End Pirates Nine-Year State Berth Streak
C2BL No. 3 Adna (8-1) vs. P2BL No. 3 Raymond (6-3)
At Tiger Stadium, Centralia, Saturday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m.
Adna is one win away from its ninth-straight trip to the state playoffs.
The only thing standing in its way is Raymond.
The Seagulls enter the game with a 6-3 record, including a nonleague win over Willapa Valley (31-14) and a 48-20 loss to No. 2 Naselle in which Raymond actually led at halftime.
“They’re a young, up-and-coming, very talented team,” Adna coach K.C. Johnson said. “They’re young enough to make mistakes, but they’re scary.”
Raymond can also put up points, topping 40 points five times, 50 twice and 60 once this season.
The defensive aspect of the game, however, doesn’t worry Johnson.
“Our biggest key is just holding on to the ball and executing,” he said. “That’s what we’ve got to do. As long as we can hold onto the football and execute our offense, we’ll be okay.”
If the Pirates win, they’ll take the No. 5 seed out of District IV into the State 2B Football Playoffs and face the winner of Saturday’s Wahkiakum at Naselle crossover game.
Note: Adna and Raymond’s game was originally set to be preceded by Pe Ell/Northwest Christian and Mossyrock/Ocosta crossovers, but Ocosta had backed out of its 4 p.m. crossover game with Mossyrock. The Vikings were unable find a replacement game, so Pe Ell's game with Northwest Christian was pushed back to 4 p.m.
Tigers Look to Ground and Pound Against South Bend
C2BL No. 1 Napavine (8-1) vs. P2BL No. 5 South Bend (4-5)
At Napavine High School, Saturday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m.
Napavine coach Josh Fay won’t deny it: his Tigers like to run the football.
Napavine has thrown the ball less than 30 times all season and has relied on its ground game to earn an 8-1 overall record and the No. 1 seed from the Central 2B League.
Standing in Napavine’s way to its third-straight State 2B Football Playoff appearance is South Bend (4-5) — the team that ousted the Tigers from last years playoffs.
“The kids are aware of it,” Fay said. “I think they’re just excited to have another opportunity to play South Bend.”
Tucker Stanley (19 touchdowns) and Layne Hellem (9 touchdowns) will carry the load for the Tigers on the ground. Stanley has run for over 1100 yards on the season, while Hellem has tallied over 500 yards on the season.
On defense Napavine Lorenzo Brown will lead the way. Brown has snagged four interceptions and earned four sacks on the season.
A win would give the Tigers the District IV No. 1 seed which would put them up against the District 1/2 No. 3 seed.
Timberwolf Defense Looks to Shine Against North Beach
C2BL No. 2 Morton-WP (7-1) vs. P2BL No. 4 North Beach (3-6)
At White Pass High school (Randle), Saturday, Nov. 5, 4 p.m.
The Timberwolves, owners of a 7-1 record and the No. 5 ranking in the state’s AP poll, will welcome North Beach to Randle for a 4 p.m. crossover game on Saturday.
The Hyaks are 3-6 and went 3-3 in Pacific 2B League action.
“They remind me a lot of, like, a Pe Ell team, that style,” Morton-White Pass coach Aaron Poquette said. “They’re big and physical offensively, and they like to run downhill.”
The Timberwolves are young, with sophomores Brian Reynolds (528 rushing yards, eight touchdowns) and Rylon Kolb (45 for 85 passing, 818 yards, seven TDs) leading an offense that has five players with over 20 carries on the year.
The real star of the team, though, has been the defense — which has given up one touchdown all season, in a 14-7 loss to No. 4 Napavine. The Tigers’ other score came on a fumble return.
The team — in its third year as a combination program — hopes to build on the experience of making the State 2B playoffs last year, where it lost to Orcas Island in the first round.