If there were any lessons to be learned by last week’s rousing, incredible atmosphere created by the 3,000 or so fans attending the Myrtle Street Rivalry at Olympic Stadium it is this: High school football is back in all its original glory.
The season that kicked off with that spark of enthusiasm continues with some interesting matchups and season debuts for Twin Harbors teams.
Mark Morris at Aberdeen
When and Where: 7 p.m. Friday at Stewart Field
Players to Watch: Aberdeen — Kale Goins, QB; Jeremy Sawyer, RB; Trey Anderson, RB; Drew Lock, WR/DB. Mark Morris — Kellen Desbiens, QB; George Mosier, RB; Owen Huhta, RB; Tim Sears, LB.
Aberdeen looked good on both sides of the ball in last week’s 40-8 rout over Hoquiam, and the Bobcats victory was keyed at the point of attack on both sides of the football.
Simply put, it all began with the play of Aberdeen’s offensive and defensive lines.
The predicted strength for Aberdeen entering the season was its size up front and that bore out against the Grizzlies. Led by senior captain Tyler Andres and massive sophomores Jabron Brooks and Paul Baltazar, the offensive line opened lanes for backs Trey Anderson and Jeremy Sawyer to exploit and the defensive front was constantly in the Hoquiam backfield, leading to six Aberdeen sacks.
Mark Morris, on the other hand, got off to a slow start in a 38-20 loss to Castle Rock on Friday.
The Monarchs and Rockets combined to score 58 first-half points in an offensive shootout that turned into a defensive struggle after halftime.
Mark Morris was out of sync due to four offensive linemen and a tight end being sidelined because of COVID-19 quarantines. Those players should be back by Friday, meaning the Monarchs should have some more continuity and depth compared to their season-opening loss.
Playing in his first varsity start, Monarchs quarterback Kellen Desbiens went 18-for-35 for 197 yards.
If Aberdeen can shore up the football — the Bobcats committed three turnovers over the final quarter-and-a-half of play — it can make things very difficult for Mark Morris.
Cascade Christian at Montesano
When And Where: 7 p.m. Friday at Jack Rottle Field
Players to Watch: Montesano — Jayden McElravy, QB; Isaiah Pierce, RB/LB; Alex Sweet, TE/DE; Mateo Sanchez, OL/LB. Cascade Christian — Byson Vasquez, RB; Jake Mosby, RB.
After a minor COVID scare, which amounted to nothing more than a few positive tests, the Montesano Bulldogs will begin their season when they host the Cascade Christian Cougars on Friday in Monte.
Many questions surround the Bulldogs heading into the opener as there are many big shoes to fill from a team that finished undefeated and ranked third in the 1A class last season.
Jayden McElravy has been getting the first-team snaps as quarterback in practice and look for Monte to get the ball to senior running back Isaiah Pierce, one of just a handful of returning starters from last season’s squad.
The Bulldogs are also hopeful league defensive MVP senior linemen Kenny Koonrad will be available for Friday’s game, but that was not a certainty as of earlier this week.
But regardless of how many new names and faces dot the Bulldogs starting lineup, Montesano’s expectations are as they have always been: Win each game, win league, win district then win state.
Cascade Christian, a program that has made multiple state appearances in recent years, was easily handled by La Center in a 43-10 loss in Week 1.
Hoquiam at Nooksack Valley
When and Where: 6 p.m. Friday at Nooksack Valley High School
Players to Watch: Hoquiam — Nakota Brown, RB/LB; Zander Jump, QB/DB; Chris Hauss, RB/LB; Owen McNeill, WR/LB. Nooksack Valley — Joey Brown, QB; Nick Dkystra OL/DE; Caleb Kingma, WR/LB.
Hoquiam will look for its first win of the season when the Grizzlies travel to just outside the Canadian border to take on Nooksack Valley at 6 p.m. on Friday.
The Grizzlies will look to bounce back from its 40-8 loss at the hands of Myrtle Street rival Aberdeen when they take on the Pioneers, who defeated 2A Sehome 9-7 in Week 1.
The Pioneers defense forced four turnovers, including two interceptions in the end zone, in the low scoring victory.
Look for Nakota Brown to get the bulk of the touches for the Grizzlies after feature-back Kohltan Philamalee left the Aberdeen game in the first quarter with a shoulder injury and will be unavailable on Friday.
Centralia at Elma — Canceled
Elma’s scheduled Week 2 matchup against the Centralia Tigers has been canceled due to an Eagles player testing positive for COVID earlier this week.
Elma’s next scheduled contest is at Castle Rock at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 17.
Other games (7 p.m. Friday unless noted)
Raymond-South Bend at Toledo — The Ravens look to bounce back from a 32-0 loss to Wahkiakum last week when they face Toledo, which beat Rainier 48-42 on Sept. 3.
North Beach at Charles Wright Academy — The Hyaks open their season when they face Charles Wright Academy, which lost to Seton Catholic 51-8 last week.
Adna at Pe Ell-Willapa Valley — These two teams ended last season with PWV pulling off a thrilling 3-0 win in overtime. PWV throttled Ilwaco 40-6 in one half while Adna was blasted by Napavine 44-6 in Week 1. Game time 1 p.m. Saturday at Crogstad Field in Menlo.
Wiskhah Valley at Mary M. Knight — Two Grays Harbor County small schools open the season with a 1B Coastal (8-man) matchup at 1 p.m. Saturday in Elma.
Clallam Bay at Lake Quinault — The Elks open the season hosting Clallam Bay in a 1B Coastal League game at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
Idle — Ocosta, Taholah