All the preliminaries are over in the area’s largest leagues – it’s playoff time. While there are some good football teams playing Week 10 consolation games this week, the preview will concentrate on the games that will send teams to the state tournaments.
District 8 4A playoffs
Hanford (6-3) at Gonzaga Prep (6-2), Friday at 6 p.m.: By virtue of its 31-7 win over Mead on Oct. 4, G-Prep earned the No. 1 seed from the Greater Spokane League 4A to the district playoffs and the luxury of hosting a first-round game.
That’s no small thing. First, the Bullpups avoid a long bus ride to the Tri-Cities. Second, not to take anything away from Hanford, but G-Prep avoids having to face Chiawana, one of the top 4A teams in the state.
The Bullpups have bounced back after their 34-0 loss to Ferris by knocking off Central Valley and Lewis and Clark, but both games were close. In the case of last week’s one-point win over LC, G-Prep needed to rally from a 20-7 halftime deficit.
Hanford is a formidable opponent for the Bullpups. The Falcons averaged 32.8 points – but allowed 28.9 points – and have scored 50 or more points in three games this season.
Last week, Hanford allowed a 21-7 first-half lead over Richland evaporate, but came back to beat the Bombers 34-28 – only the second time in school history Hanford has beaten Richland in football. Easton Wise-Hyde, the MCC passing leader with 25 touchdown passes, went 27 of 36 for 376 yards with four TD passes.
Dave Nichols: GP 28-21. Sam Adams: Han 28-21.
Mead (7-2) vs. Chiawana (8-1), Friday at 6 at Edgar Brown Stadium: Mead outlasted Ferris 21-16 last week to nab the GSL second seed and has reeled off four straight wins since their loss to G-Prep.
In the win over Ferris, Nick Terrill carried 21 times for 95 yards with two touchdowns while Evan Wiersma had 141 yards on six catches with a 55-yard catch-and-run TD.
Ryan Blair led the GSL with 1,313 yards passing yards and 18 TD passes. Wiersma led the league in TD catches with seven.
Chiawana enters weekend play ranked No. 6 in state 4A by the Associated Press. The Riverhawks averaged 37.9 points and allowed just 6.8 per game. They held opponents to seven points or fewer six times this season, including the past three.
The Riverhawks’ workhorse is Gabe Schilz, who averages 6 yards per carry and has 16 total touchdowns – 14 on the ground.
DN: Chi 34-14. SA: Chi 24-21.
District 8 3A playoffs
Kamiakin (7-2) vs. Mt. Spokane (7-2), Friday at 6 at Albi Stadium: It’s a battle of top-10 teams in the state and only one can move on to the state tournament.
The No. 6 Mt. Spokane Wildcats will be led, as always, by Kannon Katzer. The dynamic runner has amassed 1,955 yards with 30 total touchdowns in parts of nine games this season – there were several games he didn’t play much if at all in the second half due to overwhelming leads.
Katzer carried for 307 yards with two TDs in last week’s 42-8 win over Shadle Park in the 3A title game.
Kamiakin, ranked No. 10, averaged 33.9 ppg and allowed 20.8. The Braves had the MCC’s second-best offense and third-best defense and have their own powerhouse back – Tuna Altahir has rushed for 1,331 yards on 174 carries (7.6 per) with 19 total TDs.
DN: MtS 35-31. SA: MtS 21-17.
Shadle Park (5-4) vs. Kennewick (8-1), Friday at 7 at Lampson Stadium: The Highlanders earned the GSL’s second 3A berth but will run into a buzzsaw when they travel to take on the Lions.
Shadle Park is led by a quarterback tandem – Ryan Schmidt and Logan Doyle are both among the passing leaders in the GSL – and the Highlanders scored as many points in league this season as G-Prep (131).
Kennewick is ranked No. 8 in 3A, averaged 29.4 points and allowed 18.3. The Lions were third in offense in the MCC and second on defense. Myles Mayovsky had over 1,300 all-purpose yards with 16 TDs, second in the league.
DN: Ken 28-14. SA: Ken 35-14.
District 5/6/7 2A playoffs
Toppenish (6-3) at Clarkston (8-1), Friday at 7: The No. 7 Clarkston Bantams were perfect through the Great Northern League this season with their only blemish a loss to Lewiston in September.
Clarkston’s big-play offense was in form last week in a 34-7 win over East Valley as Kaeden Frazier hooked up with Steve Baiye on TD passes of 25 and 60 yards.
Two of Toppenish’s three losses came to highly ranked teams: 2A Hockinson and 1A Zillah. The Wildcats edged East Valley (Yakima) 34-32 in a Central Washington Athletic Conference 2A playoff last week to earn a bid to the crossover. Toppenish averaged 36.5 points and allowed 14.5.
DN: Cla 24-13. SA: Cla 33-14.
Pullman (6-3) at Othello (5-4), Friday at 7: The Pullman Greyhounds won a three-way tiebreaker against West Valley and Cheney on Tuesday to claim the GNL’s second bid to the Week 10 playoffs.
Carson Coulter scored on a 2-yard run against Cheney. Isaiah Strong caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Coulter in the second game against West Valley in the college-overtime rules tiebreaker.
It’s a rematch of a nonleague contest on Oct. 25 which Pullman won 13-7 as the Greyhounds got an 11-yard touchdown pass from Coulter to Ethan Kramer and a pair of field goals by Samuel Tingstad. Othello also fell to West Valley 26-19 earlier in the season.
The Huskies topped Selah (3-6) 13-10 in the CWAC playoffs to earn a bid to the crossover.
DN: Pull 20-10. SA: Pull 14-13.