Published November 15, 2012
Football: State quarterfinal previews and predictions for Capital, North Thurston, Tumwater and Mary M. Knight
Archbishop Murphy (8-2) at Tumwater (10-1), 7 p.m. Friday, Tumwater District Stadium
This matchup sound familiar? This is the third consecutive year the Wildcats and Thunderbirds have met in the playoffs. In 2010, it was for the 2A state title (Tumwater won, 34-14) and last year, Archbishop Murphy topped Tumwater, 41-6, in the first round of the 2A state playoffs. The Wildcats are known for their run game, led by Alex Galgano (1,069 yards, 17 TDs) and Hans VanderWel (825 yards, 10 TDs). The program had its ups and downs early in the season and are now on a coach-by-committee basis after Bill Marsh resigned in September and Mike Allison was placed on administrative leave. Andrew Browns 152 yards on 12 carries in Tumwaters 45-22 win over Steilacoom last week put the senior running back over the 1,000 yard mark. A victory by the T-Birds would put the program in the state semifinals for the second time in three seasons.
Megs pick: Tumwater, 32-20North Thurston (9-2) at University (7-4), 5 p.m. Saturday, University High School, Spokane
The Rams have certainly put in a lot of mileage during these playoffs. For the second straight week, the team will head east of the mountains for the 3A state playoffs. After Saturdays game in Spokane, the team will have traveled 1,160 miles roundtrip after trips to Kennewick and Spokane. Senior Mo Manning picked up 118 yards rushing on 21 carries and scored two touchdowns in last weeks 35-23 win over Kennewick, and now has 863 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns on the season. The Titans have been on a roll since its 2-4 overall record after a Week 6 loss to Central Valley (47-14). First-year quarterback Jeff Beaty has thrown for 1,956 yards and 20 touchdowns for University after being a junior-varsity wide receiver a year ago.
Megs pick: North Thurston, 27-22
Burlington-Edison (8-3) at Capital (9-2), 4 p.m. Saturday, Ingersoll Stadium
The Cougars are one win away from their third state semifinals berth in five years, but it would be the first time in a Dome. In 2008, Capitals semifinal game against Bellevue was moved to Harry E. Lang Stadium in Lakewood and the 2010 semifinal against Kennewick was in the Tri-Cities. Senior running back Kai Van Sickle topped the 2,000-yard mark after his 51-carry, 350-yard rushing performance in last weeks wild 47-36 first-round win over Lakewood. Van Sickle, who also had a season-high six TDs in that game, now has 2,314 yards on 285 carries and 33 touchdowns. Burlington-Edison racked up 395 yards on the ground in last weeks 35-21 win over Orting. Tailback Tyler Morrison, in just his third game as a full-time starter, ran for 211 yards on 23 carries.
Megs pick: Capital, 36-21
Mary M. Knight (8-1) at Neah Bay (10-0), 6 p.m. Saturday, Silverdale Stadium
This is a history-making game for Mary M. Knight, playing in its first state quarterfinal game in school history. Its opponent? The defending 8-man 1B state champion. Expect two prolific offenses to be on display. The Owls, who run the Wing-T, have averaged 57 points per game and have only given up 17 points per game. Quarterback Kyle Willey leads the team in total touchdowns (38) -- 21 passing and 17 rushing. Nick Dierkop (10 touchdowns) and Cory ONeil (8) have been Willeys top two targets. Neah Bay, meanwhile, averaged 61.6 points a contest while its defense surrenders only 16 points a game.
Megs pick: Neah Bay, 48-32