The No. 3 Pe Ell-Willapa Valley football team has played two games since October 15. After unseating previously unbeaten No. 6 Raymond-South Bend that day, the Titans didn’t get back on the field until avenging a Week 2 loss to Adna in the district crossover round on November 4.
After earning a bye in the first round of the 2B state playoffs, the Titans will play their third game in just over a month against the very same Ravens they dispatched, 28-14, on the road in South Bend.
“It’s going to be a tough one, the odds are against you,” Titans coach Josh Fluke said. “They’re as good as anyone in the league, beating them twice will be a challenge, we’ve gotta stay positive and have a good game plan going in.”
Compound that with a team that hasn’t had a chance to play in the state semifinals as a combined program since 2015 and a hungry RSB squad that will be looking for revenge, it should make for a chippy game come Friday in Montesano as the two rivals battle it out in the quarterfinals.
After the extended layoff and limited amount of game reps, Fluke praised his players for battling through what has become somewhat of a season-reset for the Titans after so many weeks off.
“We condition at least once a day, we do hard hitting sleds and sprints,” Fluke said. “It’s tough to keep the kids motivated, it's almost like the beginning of the year. The boys are keeping their heads up and getting things done. At least we know now who we need to concentrate on, and we know them really well.”
The Ravens are rolling into yet another matchup with the Titans, having just defeated Kalama in a thriller to make it to the dance, and then soundly defeating Goldendale in the first round to advance to the state quarterfinals.
RSB is led by its backfield, mainly in quarterback Austin Snodgrass and tailback Ty Reidinger, who gets the bulk of the carries to soften up the defense, while Snodgrass can beat you over the top as a passer or on the ground with his speed.
The Titans and Ravens will match up at Montesano High School Friday at 7 p.m.
“We’re just trying to treat it as a regular game,” Fluke said. “It’s been awhile since we’ve been here, but it's a football game, we have to take care of business and do our jobs.
“We’re going to prepare like normal, we’re not going to reinvent the wheel.”