Staff writer Lauren Smith’s top three area high school football games to watch this weekend:
Columbia River (2-1) at Black Hills (3-0), 7 p.m. Friday, Tumwater District Stadium
A one-point deficit turned into a loss for Class 3A Columbia River last week. Centralia racked up 436 rushing yards to upset the Chieftains, 41-40. Columbia River beat Black Hills, 45-7, in last year’s matchup, but visit a Wolves team that has outscored opponents, 118-45 this season. Black Hills has been heavily reliant on its offensive line to create space to run — RB Jordan March led the Wolves last week against North Kitsap with 99 yards on 14 carries. Each of Black Hills’ three TDs last week in the 21-6 win were on the ground. The Black Hills defense has allowed only one TD in its past eight quarters.
No. 10 Olympia (3-0) at Timberline (1-2), 7 p.m. Friday, South Sound Stadium
The Bears swiped the No. 10 spot in the Class 4A Associated Press Washington state poll after rocketing to a 3-0 start. Olympia added to its scoring onslaught with a 48-7 win over South Kitsap last week to open Class 4A Narrows league play. Junior RB Scott Gunther ran for his second consecutive 200-yard game, and is averaging 9.1 yards per carry on the season. The Blazers went on their own scoring surge last week against league rival Yelm, as they snapped a two-game losing streak with a 35-21 win. Timberline scored on four of five possessions in the first half, and split time between QBs Jacob Henning (165 yards passing, one TD) and Trenton Horn (124 yards passing, one TD). Creativity and unpredictability could be key for Timberline, as it meets a Bears defense that’s given up 14 points in 12 quarters of play. Olympia won last year’s meeting, 38-6.
Tenino (2-1) at Elma (3-0), 7 p.m. Friday, Montesano High School
The 10th-ranked Beavers narrowly lost to No. 7 Hoquiam last week, 20-13, in each team’s Class 1A Evergreen opener. Tenino RB Thomas Pier — who rushed for 580 yards in the first three games — will look for room to run after being held to 75 yards last week. Elma has limited opponents to 14 points or less in each of its first three games, while the offense has put up 120. The Eagles scored four TDs last week to beat Rochester, 26-14. Eagles QB Tristan Robinette and RB Cory Marsh scored two TDs apiece. In last season’s matchup, the Eagles routed the Beavers, 44-14.
THIS WEEK’S GAMES
(All games at 7 p.m. Friday)
Olympia at Timberline
Foss at Capital
Tumwater at Lake City (Idaho)
Columbia River at Black Hills
River Ridge at Orting
Yelm at South Kitsap
Rochester at Forks
Lincoln at Shelton
Tenino at Elma
Ocosta at Rainier
Centralia at Kelso
Olympic at W.F. West