CLASS 3A STATE PLAYOFFS
NO. 2 EASTSIDE CATHOLIC (9-1) AT NO. 10 TIMBERLINE (8-2)
7 p.m. Friday, South Sound Stadium, Lacey
About the Crusaders: The two-time defending 3A state champions are coming to visit, and they’re still loaded with talent. Just last week, WR Hunter Bryant racked up 262 yards on nine catches for five — yes, five — touchdowns, and he’s not even the top target QB Ze’Shaun Lewis (157 of 222, 2,436 yards, 25 TDs) has had this season. Led by WR Marcus Stoebner, the Crusaders have combined for 2,444 receiving yards this season.
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About the Blazers: To keep this game within reach — Eastside Catholic’s average margin of victory this season is 26 points — Timberline’s steady defense needs to channel what it did against Peninsula in the 3A South Sound Conference title game two weeks ago. Workhorse RB Anthony Hathaway (262 carries, 1,527 yards, 10 TDs) missed some time last week against Oak Harbor with a wrist injury, but is likely to return to pacing the Blazers’ offense again this week.
Olympian pick: Eastside Catholic, 31-21.
CLASS 2A STATE PLAYOFFS
WASHINGTON (7-3) AT NO. 2 TUMWATER (9-1)
7 p.m. Friday, Tumwater District Stadium, Tumwater
About the Patriots: This is the first time since 1990 that Washington has advanced to the state playoffs, and it drew a juggernaut. The Patriots will have to control the tempo — they’re paced by multi-purpose QB Martin Mendiola (59 of 149, 711 yards, 9 TDs; 79 carries, 445 yards, 12 TDs) — to prevent Tumwater from advancing out of the first round for the fifth straight year.
About the T-Birds: Tumwater is entering familiar territory. In the program’s 55-year history, this will be its 27th trip to the state playoffs, all under coach Sid Otton (360-111 in 43 seasons at Tumwater). The T-Birds shut out W.F. West, 42-0, for the 2A Evergreen Conference title two weeks ago, and Washougal, 44-0, in last week’s district playoff game.
Olympian pick: Tumwater, 42-24.
BLACK HILLS (6-4) AT NO. 4 LYNDEN (9-1)
1 p.m. Saturday, Civic Stadium, Bellingham
About the Wolves: It’s been a tough draw at this juncture each of the seven times Black Hills has advanced to the state playoffs, and it has never made it out of this round. They’ve lost to Lynden here once before, 14-7, in 2009. It will take a stellar performance by the Wolves, led by RB/WR hybrid Kyler Nygren (837 offensive yards, eight total TDs), to upend the fourth-ranked Lions this time around.
About the Lions: Four of the past five years, Lynden has advanced to the 2A state championship game — and it has won twice (2012, 2013). The Lions missed the trip last season with a loss to eventual state semifinalist Sedro-Woolley in the district round, but haven’t lost this year since Week 2, 27-20, to Ferndale, which is the fifth-ranked team in 3A.
Olympian pick: Lynden, 35-21.
W.F. WEST (9-1) AT NO. 7 RIVER RIDGE (8-1)
6 p.m. Saturday, South Sound Stadium, Lacey
About the Bearcats: This is the first time in a long time coach Bob Wollan has seen River Ridge’s film — the programs haven’t played since the Hawks joined the 2A South Puget Sound League in 2014. He noticed what most others do — River Ridge has athletes everywhere, and it likes the big play. The Bearcats, who edged Columbia River, 7-6, last week will try to stymie that.
About the Hawks: Last year, the Hawks lost a stunner to North Kitsap in this round — and, yes, they remember vividly. River Ridge’s two Division I commits, QB Kelle Sanders (63 of 115, 1,117 yards, 13 TDs), a Washington State commit, and RB Trey Dorfner (158 carries, 1,218 yards, 23 TDs), a Wyoming commit, are its two biggest offensive threats.
Olympian pick: River Ridge, 31-17.