Here is a breakdown of the two high school football state quarterfinals this week.
3A STATE QUARTERFINALS
NO. 7 TIMBERLINE BLAZERS (11-0) VS. NO. 4 BELLEVUE WOLVERINES (10-1)
7 p.m. Saturday, Bellevue High School, Bellevue
Never miss a local story.
About the Blazers: After upending defending champion Kamiakin in the final seconds last week, this team has momentum. RB Michael Barnes (191 carries, 1,180 yards, 10 TDs) can break off a big run at any time, but this team is built on defense. The Blazers are especially good against the run, limiting opponents to 43.9 yards per game. Timberline will miss LB Mason Simeta (one-game suspension), however. The Blazers are 0-3 against Bellevue in the state playoffs.
About the Wolverines: Look who’s back. After serving a WIAA-imposed postseason ban last year, Bellevue is in the running for a 13th state championship (though, the WIAA imposed this year that two of those titles have been vacated). RB Isaiah Ifanse (207 carries, 2,091 yards, 37 TDs), a former Thurston County resident, reminds some of ex-Wolverines star JR Hasty with his blend of power and speed. LB Quinn Sullivan (team-high 97 tackles, five sacks) leads a swarming, sure-tackling defense. The Wolverines’ last quarterfinal loss came in 2005 to Prosser (38-35).
Olympian pick: Bellevue, 29-18.
2A STATE QUARTERFINALS
NO. 2 TUMWATER T-BIRDS (9-2) VS. STEILACOOM SENTINELS (9-2)
7 p.m. Friday, Harry E. Lang Stadium, Lakewood
About the T-Birds: New coach, same result — Tumwater is back in the 2A quarterfinals for a sixth consecutive season. RB Dylan Paine (221 carries, 1,392 yards, 23 TDs) is a reliable playmaker out of the backfield, and rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns against Steilacoom earlier this season. The Sentinels also have to worry about CB Connor Clark (team-leading four interceptions).
About the Sentinels: The 2A SPSL champions have a chance to make program history Friday as no Steilacoom squad has ever reached the state semifinals. QB JJ Lemming (130 of 240, 2,195 yards, 24 TDs) really likes to push the football downfield to the talented WR duo of TJ Page (44 catches, 927 yards, 10 TDs) and freshman Emeka Egbuka (41 catches, 782 yards, 12 TDs). This is a rematch of a Week 5 game, won 48-12 by the T-Birds.
Olympian pick: Tumwater, 50-35.