TIMBERLINE BLAZERS (5-2) AT NORTH THURSTON RAMS (1-6)
7 p.m. Friday, South Sound Stadium, Lacey
About the Blazers: If RB Anthony Hathaway (183 carries, 1,125 yards, nine TDs) continues the pace he’s been on, the Blazers could run away with another one. Hathaway put up 275 yards on 29 carries and three TDs last week against Gig Harbor, and has dipped below triple digits in rushing only once this season. This is the first time since 2013 that the longest-tenured rivalry in Thurston County, which began in 1970, will be a league game.
About the Rams: Last season, North Thurston won, 38-32, after dropping three straight to the Blazers. QB Jake Harn threw for 300 yards and four TDs for the first time in program history, connecting several times with WR Brandon Morgan and TE Darren Sroor. This season, North Thurston has struggled to produce offensively, and has been limited to a TD or less in five games. The Rams lead the series, 29-22.
Olympian pick: Timberline, 49-17
BLACK HILLS WOLVES (4-3) AT NO. 2 TUMWATER T-BIRDS (6-1)
7 p.m. Friday, Tumwater District Stadium, Tumwater
About the Wolves: Black Hills hasn’t won a Pioneer Bowl since 2009, losing last year’s meeting, 42-14, after both teams came into the game undefeated and ranked in Class 2A. The Wolves have an uphill battle this year, too, with RB Conner Furu (77 carries, 661 yards, eight TDs in five games) out for the season with an ACL tear.
About the T-Birds: This will be the final Pioneer Bowl that Sid Otton coaches in, and he’s coached in all of them since the rivalry game began in 1999. Tumwater leads the series, 14-3, and has won the last six meetings by a combined score of 276-70. The active streak is the longest by either program in the series.
Olympian pick: Tumwater, 42-14
2B CENTRAL/PACIFIC — MOUNTAIN
NO. 8 RAINIER MOUNTAINEERS (6-1) AT NO. 1 NAPAVINE TIGERS (7-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Napavine High School, Napavine
About the Mountaineers: When the season began, coach Terry Shaw’s roster was thin. It still is, but Rainier has been one of the bigger surprises in the area after it jetted out to a 5-0 record for the first time since 1990. Bruising RB Ian Russell has become a bigger factor in recent weeks after finishing with 14 carries for 108 yards and two TDs against Life Christian, while adding a 26-yard field goal.
About the Tigers: Napavine has been the top-ranked team in 2B since the first preseason poll was released in August. The Tigers have outscored opponents 289-47, shut out two teams — including Adna, the only team to defeat Rainier — and allowed more than one TD only twice.
Olympian pick: Napavine, 33-24
Week 8 schedule
Games at 7 p.m. Friday unless otherwise noted. Games at host high school, unless otherwise noted.
Olympia (5-2) at Puyallup (4-3)
Gig Harbor (4-3) at Capital (4-3), at Ingersoll Stadium
North Thurston (1-6) at Timberline (5-2), at South Sound Stadium
Shelton (3-4) at Central Kitsap (2-5)
Yelm (4-3) at No. 5 Peninsula (7-0)
2A SPSL — SOUND
No. 3 River Ridge (7-0) has a bye
Black Hills (4-3) at No. 2 Tumwater (6-1)
No. 9 W.F. West (7-0) at Centralia (3-4)
Aberdeen (2-5) at Rochester (0-7)
Forks (3-3) at Elma (2-5)
No. 4 Montesano (4-0) at Tenino (3-4)
2B CENTRAL/PACIFIC — MOUNTAIN
No. 8 Rainier (6-1) at No. 1 Napavine (7-0)