High School Sports

Who will win? High school football games to watch, predictions for the state championships

Tumwater seniors Jakob Holbrook (22) and Ethan Wilmovsky celebrate as time expires on the T-Birds' 10-6 state semifinal victory over Archbishop Murphy during Satuday's 2A state football semifinal at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup on Nov. 25, 2017.
Tumwater seniors Jakob Holbrook (22) and Ethan Wilmovsky celebrate as time expires on the T-Birds' 10-6 state semifinal victory over Archbishop Murphy during Satuday's 2A state football semifinal at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup on Nov. 25, 2017. toverman@theolympian.com

Tumwater and Hockinson will play for the Class 2A state championship Saturday morning. The T-Birds are making their ninth title game appearance in program history. The Hawks are appearing for the first time.

2A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP

NO. 3 HOCKINSON (13-0) VS. NO. 2 TUMWATER (11-2)

10 a.m. Saturday, Tacoma Dome

Road to the Dome: Hockinson Defeated Pullman (first round), Liberty of Issaquah (quarterfinals) and West Valley of Spokane (semifinals). TumwaterDefeated Lynden (first round), Steilacoom (quarterfinals) and Archbishop Murphy (semifinals).

Coaches: Hockinson — Rick Steele. Tumwater — Bill Beattie.

About the Hawks: Here’s some perspective on QB Canon Racanelli (237-333, 3,805 yards, 53 TDs) entering the title game. Through last week’s semifinals, he's eighth on the state’s all-time list for single-season passing TDs. That’s just two behind former Lincoln star Jordan Kitna (55 in 2014), while Prosser’s Kellen Moore (67 in 2013) tops the list. Racanelli has thrown for more than 300 yards in seven games this season to his trusted receiving corps, which includes sophomore Sawyer Racanelli (79 catches, 1,642 yards, 25 TDs). The dual-threat QB (106 carries, 595 yards, 16 TDs) has reached the end zone four or more times in every game, and has the Hawks averaging 46 points per game.

About the T-Birds: Tumwater has five state titles in its history (2010, 1993, 1990, 1989, 1987), and is making its fourth appearance in the championship game in six years. The T-Birds shocked the state in last week’s semifinals, knocking out defending state champion Archbishop Murphy with a herculean defensive effort. They held 2A’s top-ranked team to negative rushing yards, less than 100 total yards, and didn’t give up a defensive TD. For the season, Tumwater is allowing just 12 points per game, while averaging 330 rushing yards and 39 points. Tumwater has four running backs with more than 500 yards this season, led by sophomore Dylan Paine (290 carries, 1,698 yards, 24 TDs).

Olympian pick: Tumwater, 31-28.

Lauren Smith: 360-754-5473, @smithlm12

STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE

Schedule for all six Gridiron Classic games at the Tacoma Dome.

CLASS 1B

NO. 1 SUNNYSIDE CHRISTIAN (13-0) VS. NO. 5 ALMIRA-COULEE-HARTLINE (11-2)

4 p.m. Friday

Road to the Dome: Sunnyside Christian — Defeated Cusick (quarterfinals) and Odessa (semifinals). ACH — Defeated Naselle (quarterfinals) and Lummi (semifinals).

Coaches: Sunnyside Christian — Jeremy Thomas. ACH — Brandon Walsh.

Olympian pick: Sunnyside Christian, 40-21.

CLASS 3A

NO. 2 O’DEA (11-1) VS. RAINIER BEACH (9-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Road to the Dome: O’Dea — Defeated Mercer Island (first round), Ferndale (quarterfinals) and Bellevue (semifinals). Rainier Beach — Defeated Mt. Spokane (first round), Peninsula (quarterfinals) and Garfield (semifinals).

Coaches: O’Dea — Monte Kohler. Rainier Beach — Corey Sampson.

Olympian pick: O’Dea, 29-24.

CLASS 2A

NO. 3 HOCKINSON (13-0) VS. NO. 2 TUMWATER (11-2)

10 a.m. Saturday

Road to the Dome: Hockinson — Defeated Pullman (first round), Liberty of Issaquah (quarterfinals) and West Valley of Spokane (semifinals). Tumwater — Defeated Lynden (first round), Steilacoom (quarterfinals) and Archbishop Murphy (semifinals).

Coaches: Hockinson — Rick Steele. Tumwater — Bill Beattie.

Olympian pick: Tumwater, 31-28.

CLASS 1A

NO. 1 ROYAL (13-0) VS. NO. 3 MERIDIAN (13-0)

1 p.m. Saturday

Road to the Dome: Royal — Defeated Freeman (first round), Okanogan (quarterfinals) and Newport (semifinals). Meridian — Defeated Hoquaim (first round), Montesano (quarterfinals) and La Center (semifinals)

Coaches: Royal — Wiley Allred. Meridian — Bob Ames.

Olympian pick: Royal, 34-21.

CLASS 2B

NO. 1 KALAMA (13-0) VS. NO. 2 LIBERTY OF SPANGLE (13-0)

4 p.m. Saturday

Road to the Dome: Kalama — Defeated Adna (first round), Pe Ell/Willapa Valley (quarterfinals and Napavine (semifinals). Liberty — Defeated Lyle/Wishram (first round), DeSales (quarterfinals) and Asotin (semifinals).

Coaches: Kalama — Sean McDonald. Liberty — Mike Dewey.

Olympian pick: Liberty, 33-28.

CLASS 4A

NO. 2 RICHLAND (13-0) VS. NO. 1 WOODINVILLE (13-0)

7:30 p.m. Saturday

Road to the Dome: Richland — Defeated West Valley of Yakima (first round), Gonzaga Prep (quarterfinals) and Central Valley (semifinals). Woodinville — Defeated Kentwood (first round), Graham-Kapowsin (quarterfinals) and Sumner (semifinals).

Coaches: Richland — Mike Niedhold. Woodinville — Wayne Maxwell.

Olympian pick: Richland, 17-14.

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