Staff writer Meg Wochnick’s top three prep football games to see this week:
No. 6 W.F. West (6-1 overall, 2-1 2A Evergreen Conference) at Capital (3-4, 2-1), 7 p.m. Friday, Ingersoll Stadium
Lots at stake in this one -- a guaranteed home game in the playoffs. The winner will clinch the No. 2 seed from the EvCo, which means hosting a Week 10 crossover game against the second seed from the 2A Greater St. Helens League. After a 0-4 start, surging Capital has outscored its opponents, 136-20, in three victories over Centralia, North Thurston and Black Hills with its defense not having given up more than seven points a game during that span. Jakob Racimo has accounted for six touchdowns (two on defense) and has been a menace on defense and special teams in the past three games, but can Capital’s defense contain Tanner Gueller? The senior quarterback set a single-season school record in last week’s 44-21 win over River Ridge, throwing four touchdowns and has 26 through eight games, eclipsing the previous record of 25.
North Thurston (4-3 overall, 2-2 3A Narrows) at Timberline (4-3, 3-1), 7 p.m. Friday, South Sound Stadium
These teams are going in different directions as they meet for their Lacey Showdown -- Timberline is winners of three straight while North Thurston has dropped three of its past four. This will be the teams’ 49th overall meeting with North Thurston leading the overall series, 27-21. The teams played twice in 1970 and ‘74. The Rams need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive (a loss ends their playoff chances), while Timberline inches closer to a playoff spot. Seven different players scored touchdowns in Timberline’s 60-0 win over Mount Tahoma last week. RB Andrew Paquin is closing in on 1,000 yards rushing; he has 823 through eight games. Hayden Maliska had all three of the Rams’ touchdowns and rushed for 121 yards on 21 carries in North Thurston’s 24-6 win over Shelton to snap its three-game losing skid.
Olympia (4-3 overall, 2-2 4A Narrows) at No. 8 Bellarmine Prep (6-1, 4-0), 7 p.m. Friday, Memorial Field, Tacoma
The Bears’ fate is simple -- win to stay alive. A loss means Olympia is out of the playoff picture for the first time since 2004 when it went 2-5 in Narrows Bay Division play (4-6 overall), but a win, plus a win over Yelm next week and a Central Kitsap loss, makes the Bears the third and final playoff team. The Bears have dropped two straight games, in spite the offense scoring 21 points in both losses, including last week’s 27-21 loss to Gig Harbor where Bears quarterback Derrick Becker threw for 311 yards. Becker is the 4A Narrows’ passing leader with 1,335 yards over eight games. The Lions are the first ranked opponent for the Bears since Olympia’s Week 1 loss to Lake Oswego (Ore.) and RB Nate Goltermann (825 yards, 11 TDs) and QB Lou Millie (53-for-87, 792 yards, 8 TDs). Bellarmine’s only loss was to No. 1-ranked Tumwater (2A), 26-14.
WEEK 8 SCHEDULE
All games at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Yelm (3-4) at Gig Harbor (6-1)
Olympia (4-3) at Bellarmine (6-1)
Mount Tahoma (0-7) at Shelton (0-7)
North Thurston (4-3) at Timberline (4-3)
W.F. West (6-1) at Capital (3-4)
River Ridge (4-3) at Tumwater (7-0)
Black Hills (3-4) at Centralia (2-5)
1A SWW Evergreen
Montesano (3-4) at Rainier (1-6)
Hoquiam (2-5) at Tenino (3-4)
Forks (3-4) at Elma (4-3)
Stevenson (2-5) at Rochester (5-2)
Wishkah Valley (5-2) at Mary M. Knight (3-1), 1 p.m.