Twin Harbors Grid Picks (Week 8): Postseason storylines continue on the Harbor

Following the storm that stayed away, the Twin Harbors football schedule settles down into a series of key matchups for the eighth week of the regular season.

In other words, let’s dump the notebook:

Elma vs. Forks in elimination game — On Elma’s Senior Night at Davis Field, the Eagles will host the Spartans in a regular season playoff game to decide the third and final district crossover berth on Friday.

Elma earned its spot in this contest by beating Tenino, 26-13, on the strength of 20 unanswered points in the second half.

Avery Brown threw for three touchdowns, two of them in the second half — both to running back Ira Hartford for long scoring plays — for the win over the Beavers.

Elma has been a steadily improved team all season after a rough non-league schedule. Now, the work put in has given the Eagles a chance to extend their season.

“I would say there is no extra pressure (on Friday); Senior Night at our home is enough motivation,” Elma head coach Ron Clark said. “I think we’ve made small gains every week. We still have some challenges to improve on.”

Hartford has been Elma’s biggest offensive threat this season, rushing for 1,015 yards and 12 touchdowns. Defensively, the Eagles have had some troubles, but finished the work in the end. Forks’ offense will pose a big challenge on Friday.

“They are a straight ahead smash-mouth team with real tough runners and a talented tight end,” Clark added.

The 2B gauntlet continues — The Southwest Washington 2B divisions have produced some of the most competitive small-school football this season. The Coastal Division has had its share as well and this weekend will be just as good.

At Oyehut, North Beach will defend its two consecutive Pacific 2B League titles against Pe Ell-Willapa Valley is a pivotal contest on Friday night. Both teams are guaranteed a district crossover berth in November, so this contest is for a path to the division title and a home crossover game.

North Beach has overcome early season injury woes to give itself a chance at adding to its league trophy case. PWV has the Central 2B League trophy shared between the two schools and it eliminated one rival in Ilwaco in dominating fashion on Monday.

The Titans have also progressed forward since the beginning of the season, taking a young, inexperienced squad and molding it into a postseason threat.

“They are getting close; we started slow,” PWV head coach Josh Fluke said. “I knew we had the potential. We just had guys who hadn’t played varsity ball. Each week, they are progressing. It has been a few guys — Kaelin Jurek and Josh and Brad Prestegord — who have been pushing the younger guys. They’ve been in the fire before. I hope we are able to get to the point where we were as a playoff team last year.”

At South Bend, the Indians will host rival Raymond in a matchup that is already fired up, but has added emphasis this week. The Seagulls are one game behind PWV and own a win over the Hyaks.

In the final week of the season, the Gulls — yes, this is a trend: who have overcome a tough non-league season to get into top form — will travel to Pe Ell to take on the Titans for what should be the Coastal Division title game.

The common theme when the district combined the Pacific and Central leagues was how the divisional games would be a brutal brawl at the end of the season. And, it has worked out exactly like that.

Late Double Dip — Taholah has been the benefactor of three bye weeks this season, including last week’s storm postponed game against Naselle. However, the schedule makers will make the Chitwhins pay for it.

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, Taholah will finally get its Homecoming game against Naselle at 7 p.m. at Ben Charley Field. Then, with two days to prepare and recouperate, Taholah will hit the road to Matlock to finish the Coastal 1B League against Mary M. Knight on Saturday, Oct. 29.

In the past, district 2B teams have had tiebreaker games on Tuesday before playing crossover game on Friday and Saturday, so a two-day break between games isn’t out of the ordinary. Even still, it is a rough ask for a small roster team like the Chitwhins.

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Editor’s Note: Remember, these picks are for entertainment purposes only. They are not meant to be taken seriously, just as a conduit for one’s opinion on the games at hand. Have fun.

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Coastal 1B League

Taholah Chitwhins (1-0, 2-2) at Washington State School for the Deaf Terriers (1-1, 1-3) — Taholah has had a very good record in recent years with State Deaf when the two teams have met on the field. The Terriers picked up their first win last week against Mary M. Knight. … Chitwhins 42, Terriers 18.


Evergreen 2A Conference

Aberdeen Bobcats (0-3, 2-5) at Rochester Warriors (0-2, 0-7) — Based on common opponents, Aberdeen owns a 1-2 record on Rochester (a win over Elma, losses to Montesano and Chehalis). On scoring differential, Aberdeen owns a minus-31 to Rochester’s minus-106 in those games. So, in an unscientific conclusion … Bobcats 35, Warriors 12.

Evergreen 1A League

(4) Montesano Bulldogs (2-0, 7-0) at Tenino Beavers (0-3, 3-4) — Riding a high from last week’s big last-second win over Hoquiam, the Bulldogs are cruising and working toward the district crossovers and the state postseason. The Beavers, based on their loss to Elma last week, are on the outside looking in now. … Bulldogs 42, Beavers 6.

Forks Spartans (1-1, 3-3) at Elma Eagles (1-1, 2-5), Davis Field — It doesn’t get any more simple than this: the winner of this contest will be the No. 3 seed entering the district crossovers. Head-to-head tiebreaker will fall to the winner and both teams have wins over Tenino. Simple. Win and you are in. Lose and you are out. … Eagles 49, Spartans 28.

Southwest Washington 2B Coastal Division

Pe Ell-Willapa Valley Titans (3-0, 5-2) at North Beach Hyaks (2-1, 4-3), Lt. Davis Field, Oyehut — The Hyaks, who won the Pacific 2B League title two years running, still have aspirations of a league title. It starts here against a PWV squad that dismantled Ilwaco in Menlo. … Titans 42, Hyaks 21.

South Bend Indians (0-3, 2-5) at Raymond Gulls (2-1, 4-3) — Raymond, like PWV, has grown and improved as the season moved along. This doesn’t bode well for South Bend, but the Tribe nearly knocked off North Beach if the red-zone turnovers didn’t happen. … Gulls 32, Indians 14.

Ilwaco Fishermen (2-1, 4-3) at Ocosta Wildcats (0-3, 2-4), Griffin Field, Westport — The Fishermen were caught, cleaned, deboned and served with a heaping side of Titan rice on Monday night. The Wildcats are trying to shake off a loss to Raymond on Tuesday. … Fishermen 35, Wildcats 6.


Hockinson Hawks (6-1) at Hoquiam Grizzlies (4-3), Olympic Stadium — Another big test for Hoquiam, which will have to shake off a last-second loss to Montesano. How Hoquiam responds against the current Greater St. Helens 2A League leaders will tell the Twin Harbors how it’ll perform over the next couple of weeks. … Hawks 28, Grizzlies 26.

Rob Burns: (360) 537-3926;; Twitter: @RobRVR