The playoffs are finally here as seven Twin Harbors teams have their sights set on a state-playoff berth with a win in this weekend’s crossover round.
King’s Way Christian at Montesano
When and Where: 7 p.m. Friday at Jack Rottle Field
Players to Watch: Montesano — Trace Ridgway QB; Sam Winter WR/LB; Aydan Darst RB/LB; Brent Hollatz RB/DB
Possibly the greatest compliment one can give the Montesano Bulldogs this season would appear on its surface to be anything but.
Simply put, the Bulldogs’ romp through the regular season can be summed up in one word: Monotonous.
And that’s a good thing when you’re the team on the right side of blowout after blowout.
Montesano (9-0 overall) destroyed its regular-season competition, dominating in all facets of the game in blowing out all nine opponents it’s faced.
Monte scored no less than 41 points in a game, averaging a gargantuan 52.9 points per game this season.
Monte’s defense has been just as superb, holding opponents to just five points per game this season, including four shutouts. The Bulldogs, who are ranked fourth in the state in the latest maxpreps.com 1A rankings, have allowed just 13 points in league games this season and shut out arguably its toughest opponent in 2019 —the 10th-ranked Hoquiam Grizzlies —by a score of 48-0.
King’s Way Christian (5-4) looks to be Monte’s latest victim entering Friday’s crossover contest, but the Knights are by no means a pushover.
The Knights average 33.44 points per game on offense this season and allowed 22 points per game defensively. But those numbers belie King’s Way Christian’s performances this season, as the Knights’ scoring average has been bolstered by two Trico League blowout victories over Stevenson (49-0) and Seton Catholic (42-7) to end the regular season. But against better competition, the Knights have faltered, losing to Elma (34-8), Ridgefield (42-14) and Castle Rock (41-33).
The Knights’ best performance of the season, arguably, was a 38-21 loss to No. 5 La Center on Oct. 4.
Hoquiam at Castle Rock
When and Where: 7 p.m. Friday at Castle Rock High School
Players to Watch: Hoquiam — Dane McMillan QB; Matt Brown RB/LB; Cameron Bumstead WR
And so we’ve come full circle.
The Hoquiam Grizzlies dominated Castle Rock 48-12 to open the season.
Then the Rockets (7-2) went on a seven-game winning streak before losing 42-39 to eventual Trico League champion La Center to close out the regular season last week.
Castle Rock can put up points, scoring 30 or more in eight of nine game in 2019. The Rockets have also given up points, and not just to better-quality opponents, but to some lower-tier teams as well. The Rockets allowed 29 points to Tenino (2-7), and have held just two opponents to less than 20 points this season (Elma, Stevenson).
Hoquiam, the No. 10 team according to maxpreps.com, has two of its three losses to state-ranked opponents this season (La Center, Montesano) and has been impressive in wins over Columbia-White Salmon, Elma and Forks this season, to name a few.
The Grizzlies (6-3) have rushed for over 217 yards per game this season and passed for 180.9 yards per contest, most of those going to receiver Cameron Bumstead, who has averaged 108 receiving yards per game this season to go along with 12 touchdowns.
Aberdeen at Ridgefield
When and Where: 6 p.m. Saturday at Ridgefield High School
Players to Watch: Aberdeen — Ethan Morrill RB; Cody Beemis QB; Dylan Richie RB
Aberdeen earned the No. 3 seed in the 2A Evergreen League with a rousing victory over Black Hills at a Kansas tie-breaker on Tuesday in Centralia.
The Bobcats’ prize for winning the three-team tie-break? A date with Ridgefield in a 2A State crossover game.
Aberdeen (3-6) has had a bit of a resurgence under new head coach Todd Bridge as the Bobcats have been competitive in five of its last six games. The Bobcats defeated Centralia (46-30) and Rochester (50-6) in that time frame and were within one score in the second half of losses to Black Hills and WF West.
Aberdeen exacted some revenge on Black Hills at Tuesday’s Kansas tiebreaker when Dylan Richie ended the Wolves’ season with a short touchdown plunge that secured a playoff spot for the Bobcats.
Aberdeen has scored 22.3 points per game this season, an improvement of 10 points per game compared to last season.
Bobcats running back Ethan Morrill has emerged as the feature back in Bridge’s Wing T offense. The senior running back ran for a season-high 315 yards and five touchdowns in a 50-6 victory over Rochester on Oct. 25.
Ridgefield (5-4) ended its regular season with two straight Greater St. Helen’s League losses but placed second in league.
The Spudders sport a balanced offense that rushed for 161.9 yards per game while passing for 126.4 yards per contest.
Ridgefield gives up nearly as many points as it scores, allowing 24.8 points per game while scoring at a 29.4 point clip.
Elma at La Center
When and Where: 7 p.m. Friday at La Center High School
Players to Watch: Elma — Cody Vollan QB; Brady Shriver RB; Isaiah O’Farrill RB
Elma locked up the third and final playoff spot in the 1A Evergreen League with a gritty 27-24 road victory over Ilwaco to end the regular season.
Elma (5-4) gets rewarded with a date against one of the top teams in the 1A classification, the 5th-ranked La Center Wildcats.
The Eagles are getting healthy at the right time as quarterback Cody Vollan was back in the lineup against Forks, passing for 200 yards and four touchdowns against the Spartans.
Running back Isaiah O’Farrill complemented backfield running mate Brady Shriver well, rushing for a season-high 134 yards in the victory.
La Center (9-0) ran the table en route to a 1A Trico League title, beating good teams such as Hoquiam and Castle Rock along the way.
The Wildcats scored 34.7 points per game this season while allowing 14.4 per game.
(All games 7 p.m. Friday unless noted)
Raymond vs. Toledo at Kelso High School (7 p.m. tonight)
Rainier at Pe Ell-Willapa Valley
Adna at Ocosta
Taholah at Crescent (1 p.m. Saturday)