Staff writer Meg Wochnick's top three football games to see this week
No. 3 Bellarmine Prep (5-0) vs. No. 2 Tumwater (5-0), 7 p.m. Friday, Tumwater District Stadium
It’s a midseason nonleague game featuring the defending state runners-up from Class 4A and 2A, respectively, and a win over a Class 4A top 5-ranked team could set the tone for the rest of the season for the Thunderbirds. Despite five turnovers, the T-Birds escaped with a 35-28 win last week over No. 6-ranked W.F. West on the road, capped off by Gabe Gleizes’ game-saving interception in the end zone. With Gleizes’ pick-6 earlier in the game, Tumwater’s defense/special teams has totalled 36 points (six TDs) through five games. Last year’s defense set a school record with 58 points scored. The T-Birds’ defense faces a Bellarmine Prep offense that totals nearly 200 yards a game on the ground. QB Lou Millie is effected through the air (34 of 51 passing, 579 yards, 7 TDs) and on the ground (295 yards, 46 carries, 3 TDs). At 5-foot-4 and 122 pounds, RB Nathan Goltermann leads the Lions in rushing (443 yards, 5 TDs).
Foss (4-1, 2-1 3A Narrows) at Timberline (2-3, 1-1), 7 p.m. Friday, South Sound Stadium
Are the Blazers back on track? The defending 3A Narrows League champions could be with a win over the Falcons. After defeating previously undefeated Lincoln, 26-20, sealed with Jeff Winstead’s game-saving interception in the end zone, a win Friday puts the Blazers in a better spot to grab one of three playoff spots from the 3A Narrows. Andrew Paquin, who became a starter at running back in Week 2 with the season-ending injury to Asan Neil-Evergin, had a game-high 155 yards rushing on 28 carries against the Abes to put his season total at 591. Foss, which already has equaled its win total from 2012, will gets its second true league test in the Blazers and have a 2-1 league record, thanks to its ground game. Five players have 100-plus-rushing yards, led by Devon Clark (274 yards, 46 carries, 3 TDs). Clark also is the team’s leading tackler (18). Patiole Pesetea, also a fullback, leads Foss with 4.5 sacks.
North Thurston (3-2) at Capital (1-4), 7 p.m. Friday, Ingersoll Stadium
Both teams are headed in different directions in this nonleague matchup. The Rams have dropped two straight and only mustered 121 yards of offense in a 29-9 loss to 3A Narrows leader Wilson. The trio of Hayden Maliska, Josh Ramirez and Josh Mosquero have totalled 705 of the Rams’ 799 rushing yards over five games, yet the 36 team rushing yards against Wilson was a season-low. The league schedule gets a little easier down the stretch; two of their final three opponents currently have winless records (Shelton, Mount Tahoma). Capital got its first win (50-6 over Centralia) after a 107-yard rushing performance by tailback Conner Kennedy, which was the junior’s fourth 100-plus-yard rushing game. A win would boost their confidence returning to league play next week because their final three opponents -- No. 6 W.F. West, Black Hills, River Ridge -- currently have a combined 10-5 record.
Week 6 football games
All games at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Olympia (4-1) at Central Kitsap (3-2), 7:30 p.m.
Yelm (2-3) at South Kitsap (1-4)
Foss (4-1) at Timberline (2-3)
Lincoln (4-1) at Shelton (0-5)
2A Evergreen Conference
Black Hills (3-2) at W.F. West (4-1)
1A SWW Evergreen
Forks (2-3) at Rainier (1-4)
Elma (2-3) at Hoquiam (1-4)
Bellarmine Prep (5-0) at Tumwater (5-0)
North Thurston (3-2) at Capital (1-4)
La Center (5-0) at Tenino (2-3)
King's Way Christian (5-0) at Oakville (0-4), 6 p.m.
Montesano 32, Rochester 31