Prep Football Preview: Ranked league opponents on deck for several Harbor teams

Aberdeen, Hoquiam and Montesano to face top-10 league foes on Friday

Three Harbor schools take on ranked opponents this week with Aberdeen, Hoquiam and Montesano all looking to pull off upsets as we preview Week 6 high school football games.


When and where: 7 p.m. Friday at Eatonville High School

Players to watch: Montesano — Jayden McElravy QB/LB, Kaleb Ames WR/LG, Mateo Sanchez OL/LB. Eatonville — Job Kralik QB, Dylan Norman RB.

For well over a decade now, the 1A Evergreen League title ran through Montesano.

But since the Eatonville Cruisers entered the league in 2021, that has changed.

Riding a four-game winning streak and fresh off two impressive wins, Montesano will face a true test when the Bulldogs square off against top-ranked Eatonville on Friday in a game that will have eyeballs on it from across the state.

The Cruisers (5-0 overall, 1-0 1A Evergreen) — reigning league champs and state runner-up — are coming off its closest contest this season, taking a lead in the fourth quarter and holding off a last-minute scoring opportunity in a 27-22 win over then sixth-ranked Tenino last week.

Eatonville (5-0) is led by senior quarterback Job Kralik (22-29, 469 yards, 6 TD, 48 carries, 464 yards, 13 TD) and junior running back Dylan Norman (101 car., 673 yds., 5 TD) and a defense that has allowed 18 points per game this season.

Montesano (4-1, 0-0) is in the midst of a four-game winning streak that has included wins over previously unbeaten Castle Rock and a one-loss 2A Shelton team.

During the current streak, Montesano’s offense has exploded for 44.5 points per game while its defense has held opponents to just 25 points total, including two shutouts.

The Bulldogs has had a different player step up and play huge in each game during the streak. Quarterback Jayden McElravy, receiver Bode Poler, running back Ethan Blundred and linebacker Gabe Bodwell are just a few notable names that have had monster games at one time or another during the streak.

If ninth-ranked Monte can keep playing the way it has during the win streak and clean up a few areas of concern — namely penalties — an upset is well within the Bulldogs reach, and possibly a league title to go with it.

Aberdeen running back Jeremy Sawyer, seen here in a game against Centralia on Sept. 16, 2022. Sawyer will return to the field against reigning-league champion Tumwater on Friday in Tumwater.

DAILY WORLD FILE PHOTO Aberdeen running back Jeremy Sawyer, seen here in a game against Centralia on Sept. 16, 2022. Sawyer will return to the field against reigning-league champion Tumwater on Friday in Tumwater.


When and where: 7 p.m. Friday at Tumwater High School

Players to watch: Aberdeen — Aidan Watkins RB/LB, Trey Anderson RB/LB, Jeremy Sawyer RB/LB. Tumwater — Alex Overbay QB, Carlos Matheney RB, David Malroy WR.

If ever there was going to be a time for Aberdeen to pull off what would arguably be the biggest upset in program history, this week may be it.

On Friday, the Bobcats will travel to Tumwater to take on a Thunderbirds team that has shown some uncharacteristic chinks in the armor.

Tumwater (4-1, 1-1 2A Evergreen) — the No. 2 ranked team in the 2A class at the time — was shocked last Friday in dropping its first game to WF West in 13 years.

And it wasn’t that close as the Bearcats looked dominant in the 28-7 win.

Aberdeen (3-2, 2-0) is a half-game behind WF West for the top spot in the 2A Evergreen Conference with a 2-0 league record.

The Bobcats offense will get a boost this week with the return of all-league senior running back Jeremy Sawyer after serving a two-game suspension after a controversial personal-foul call against Centralia on Sept. 16.

In his absence, the Bobcats dropped a road game to No. 4 Prosser 52-14 followed by a key 24-14 league win over Black Hills last week.

Aberdeen will undoubtedly be looking to prove itself against a T-Birds team coming off a rare league loss.

This game may very well hinge on Tumwater’s response from a rare league loss and how competitive Aberdeen can be against a wounded, albeit slightly, Thunderbirds team.

We’ll find out Friday evening.


When and where: 7 p.m. Friday at Olympic Stadium, Hoquiam

Players to watch: Hoquiam — Zander Jump QB, Owen McNeill WR/DB, Jake Templer RB/LB. Tenino — Dylan Spicer RB, Cody Strawn QB,

Hoquiam (3-2, 1-0) will face its second ranked opponent in three weeks when the Grizzlies host No. 8 Tenino (4-1, 1-1) on Friday at Olympic Stadium.

Coming of a rousing 33-31 win over Elma last week, the Grizzlies will be facing a Beavers team that dropped two spots in the latest rankings after a last-minute loss to No. 1 Eatonville in Week 5.

Hoquiam found success running the football with Anthony Burtenshaw and Jake Templer in last week’s win as the Grizzlies racked up over 250 rushing yards and used a late defensive stand to hold off an Eagles rally in the 33-31 win.

Hoquiam’s air attack also found some success last week, particularly when quarterback Zander Jump threw long to tall wideout Owen McNeill for two touchdowns in the second half.

The Grizzlies will likely need a similar all-around effort and then some if they are to upset Tenino, which outgained Eatvonville 313-275 on the ground led by senior running back Dylan Spicer, who gashed the Cruisers for 241 yards and two touchdowns of more than 80 yards apiece.


When and where: 6 p.m. Friday at Davis Field, Elma

Players to watch: Elma — Carter Studer QB/OLB, Gibson Cain WR/DB, Kyren Hackney WR/DB. South Whidbey — Josh Sterba QB, Cole Tschetter RB, Elijah Dixon WR.

Elma will have to wash the bitter taste of a tough loss out of its mouth when it takes on South Whidbey on Friday at Davis Field.

The Eagles (2-3) are coming off a 33-31 loss to Hoquiam in a game where they had the ball in Hoquiam territory with less than a minute to go but couldn’t pull off the comeback.

Elma is led by junior quarterback Carter Studer and his two favorite targets in receivers Gibson Cain and Kyren Hackney who have led Elma to over 700 yards through the air this season.

Against South Whidbey (5-0) the Eagles are facing a Falcons team that has scored no less than 34 points in a game this season and has scored at least 44 points in each of its last four games.

The Falcons feature a balanced offense that has gained 891 yards through the air and 858 on the ground this season, led by quarterback Josh Sterba (53-73, 786 yds, 8 TD) and running back Cole Tschetter (59 car., 392 yds., 8 TD).


When and where: 7 p.m. Friday at Raymond High School

Players to watch: RSB — Austin Snodgrass QB/DB, Ty Reidinger RB/LB, Ferrill Johnson RB. Rainier — Jake Meldrum QB, Jared Sprouffske RB, Hunter Howell WR.

Raymond-South Bend (5-0, 2-0 2B Pacific-Coastal) will look to continue its magical season when the Ravens host Rainier (1-4, 1-2) on a Friday in a Raymond High School homecoming game.

Unranked to start the season, the Ravens have shot up the ranks to No. 5 and are one of three remaining undefeated teams in the 2B classification.

RSB scored a season-low 20 points in a 20-7 win over Forks last week as turnovers kept the Ravens from putting more points on the scoreboard. But the Ravens defense has held its last three opponents to under 10 points per game, including holding then-ranked Adna to just a safety two weeks ago.

Ravens senior standout quarterback Austin Snodgrass (45 carries, 534 yards, 12 TD) and running backs Ty Reidinger (75 car., 403 yds., 4 TD) and Ferrill Johnson (39 car., 534 yds., 5 TD) have led an RSB rushing attack that has amassed 1,519 yards through the first five games of the season, an average of 304 yards per game.

Rainier is coming off its first win of the season, a 38-13 thumping over Ilwaco that saw quarterback Jake Meldrum pass for 233 yards and three touchdown and rush for 89 yards and two more scores.

Friday’s matchup has all the makings of a “trap game” for the Ravens, as next up is league-rival Pe Ell-Willapa Valley followed by what could be a matchup for the league title against No. 1 Napavine.


When and where: 7 p.m. Friday at Pe Ell High School

Players to watch: PWV — Kolten Fluke QB/LB, Blake Howard RB/LB, Derek Fluke RB/LB. Ilwaco — Kyle Morris QB, Boston Caron RB.

After a brutal schedule to start the season, Pe Ell-Willapa Valley gets a bit of a reprieve when it hosts Ilwaco on Friday in Pe Ell.

The Titans (2-3, 2-1 2B Pacific-Coastal) excelled in cruising to a 41-8 win last week over a two-win Morton-White Pass team and will face a winless Ilwaco squad that lost handily to a previously winless Rainier team last week.

PWV rushed for 274 yards as a team last week, led by running back Blake Howard’s 120 yards and three touchdowns.

Similar to its aforementioned rival — the Raymond-South Bend Ravens — Friday’s game against a one-win opponent is a “trap game” for the Titans as a quick look at the schedule shows PWV facing off in a highly-anticipated matchup against RSB next week.


Sound Christian at Taholah (5 p.m. Friday) — The Chitwhins (0-3) will look to pick up its first win of the season when it hosts the Lions (1-4) this week.

Ocosta at North Beach (7 p.m. Friday) — Ocosta (3-1) and North Beach (1-1) are both coming off wins last week and will square off in an 8-man contest on Friday in Ocean Shores.

Wishkah Valley at Lake Quinault (1 p.m. Saturday) — Lake Quinault (4-0) has been dominant this season and looks to continue its winning streak when it hosts Wishkah Valley (1-3) in a 6-man matchup Saturday afternoon.