Two number ones down, now it’s Shelton’s turn to see if they can hang on to that top spot in the Oly Sports power rankings. It’s pretty remarkable to see six teams still at 5-1 or better and a seventh at 4-2 and then there’s a 2-4 team that still has a fighting chance. But there will be some shakeup in the next few weeks when local teams actually start playing each other. And the big one the week is between Shelton and North Thurston with first place in the Narrows on the line….
1. Shelton Highclimbers (6-0)
Last week: #3 (+2)
Previous game: Shelton 34, Lincoln 28
Next game: vs. North Thurston (5-1) – Highclimber Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Ralph Kinne set the school’s single season rushing record and scored four more touchdowns and Shelton built a 28-7 lead at halftime. But for the first time all season, the Highclimbers were outplayed in the second half and it took a late turnover to give Jake Frakes an opportunity to hook up with David Ajamu for the game winning touchdown with just six seconds remaining. With the win, the Highclimbers clinched a playoff spot and now get to fight with Timberline and North Thurston for seeding.
2. Tumwater T-Birds (5-1)
Last week: #4 (+2)
Previous game: Tumwater 28, North Thurston 12
Next game: vs. Centralia (0-6) – Tumwater Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: The T-Birds are really on a roll. Since dropping the opener to Shelton, they have now won five straight games knocking off Timberline, Capital and North Thurston along the way. Andrew Brown has been fantastic in all phases of the game. The only bump in the road the rest of the way might come from River Ridge, though a rivalry game can always be interesting.
3. Timberline Blazers (5-1)
Last week: #5 (+2)
Previous game: Timberline 41, Foss 8
Next game: vs. Mount Tahoma (0-6) – South Sound Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Timberline’s only hiccup so far came at the hands of those surging Tumwater T-Birds and with win over Foss, the Blazers clinched a playoff spot. After Friday’s spanking of Foss, the Blazers get another tuneup against Mount Tahoma before finishing with North Thurston and Shelton.
4. North Thurston Rams (5-1)
Last week: #1 (-3)
Previous game: Tumwater 28, North Thurston 12
Next game: @ Shelton (6-0) – Highclimber Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: The defense didn’t play too bad allowing just 14 points, but two Tumwater special teams touchdowns did the Rams in. Still, it was a non-league loss and the Rams have already clinched a 3A Narrows League playoff spot and play Shelton and Timberline the next two weeks before finishing with Mount Tahoma.
5. Capital Cougars (4-2)
Last week: #6 (+1)
Previous game: Bellarmine 24, Capital 14
Next game: vs. Black Hills (3-3) – Ingersoll Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Kai Van Sickle rushed for 130 yards and a TD and the Cougars played a tough game against the #3 4A team in the state, holding Bellarmine to their lowest score of the season. Still, the Cougars have lost two of their last three games with only a win against a bad Centralia team between their two losses. And they have a relatively tough schedule remaining with Black Hills, WF West and River Ridge still left on the docket.
6. Tenino Beavers (5-1)
Last week: #2 (-4)
Previous game: La Center 40, Tenino 6
Next game: vs. Montesano (4-2) – Tenino HS – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Tenino had their first test of the season against an undefeated La Center team…and failed. But it was a non-league, road test. This week they get their first home, league test against a good Montesano team that has only lost to #6 Hoquiam and #5 Cascade Christian.
7. River Ridge Hawks (5-1)
Last week: #7 (No change)
Previous game: River Ridge 41, Centralia 34
Next game: @ WF West (4-2) – Bearcat Stadium, Chehalis – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Winless Centralia gave the Hawks a tough test, but backup running back Chris Leiba scored the game winning touchdown in the fourth quarter to spare the Hawks from an embarrassing loss. Brad Wallace scored three times but was forced from the game when he required stitches to his finger. But the Hawks and their struggling defense have a scary road ahead with WF West, Tumwater and Capital coming up.
8. Olympia Bears (2-4)
Last week: #8 (No change)
Previous game: Central Kitsap 17, Olympia 14
Next game: @ Gig Harbor (2-4) – Roy Anderson Field, Gig Harbor – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Again, the Bears’ defense is giving the offense a chance to win a game. Last week the offense did just enough to knock off South Kitsap but this week came up short against Central Kitsap. The Bears are now 2-1 in Narrows League play and play two very winnable games against Gig Harbor this week and Yelm in the final week.
9. Black Hills Wolves (3-3)
Last week: #9 (No change)
Previous game: WF West 24, Black Hills 6
Next game: @ Capital (4-2) – Ingersoll Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Black Hills has lost two straight games and the road doesn’t get any easier with Capital and Tumwater still left to play. But Centralia is there between the two!
10. Yelm Tornadoes (3-3)
Last week: #10 (No change)
Previous game: South Kitsap 45, Yelm 7
Next game: @ Bellarmine (5-1) – Memorial Stadium, Tacoma – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: The Tornadoes have lost three straight games and haven’t been remotely competitive in any of them and next visit #3 ranked Bellarmine. But Gig Harbor and Olympia are coming up and both of those games look possibly winnable.
11. Rochester Warriors (1-5)
Last week: #11 (No change)
Previous game: Montesano 44, Rochester 7
Next game: vs. Forks (3-3) – Rochester HS – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Chin up Warriors, try to keep that coach there for more than one season and get something going.
12. Rainier Mountaineers (0-6)
Last week: #12 (No change)
Previous game: Forks 39, Rainier 0
Next game: vs. Hoquiam (6-0) – Rainier HS – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: No injuries, have fun boys.