The T-Birds are still #1
I predicted a pretty mediocre local high school football season, I have to admit. I figured Tumwater would be good (yeah, tough call) but wasn’t sold on Randy Swilley and Tenino and didn’t expect anything more than average from most of the other schools. But if the first two weeks are any indication, I could be very, happily wrong.
Tumwater stays #1 though Tenino is closing in after the T-Birds just barely pulled off a pair of victories. Meanwhile, Timberline is 1-1 but looks strong, River Ridge looks like the class of the 2A SPSL and Rainier is making waves as a 2B team.
1. Tumwater T-Birds (2-0)
Last week: #1 (no change)
Previous game: Beat Timberline, 35-33
Next game: vs. La Center – Tumwater Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Two weeks, two close calls for the T-Birds. Tumwater only won the game on Thursday night because Timberline killed themselves with penalties and once they compiled a few, didn’t get the benefit of the doubt from the officials on close calls. Like the play that sealed the win for Tumwater. A 4th down slant that was broken up on a hit that was either early or illegal and probably both but was not called.
2. Tenino Beavers (2-0)
Last week: #2 (no change)
Previous game: Beat Castle Rock, 39-19
Next game: vs. Hoquiam – Tenino Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Thomas Pier scored five touchdowns in virtually every way possible and the Beavers moved to 2-0 with two resounding victories. The single wing is working and Tenino is rolling. Still glad I don’t have to call any Tenino games, though. Next up: 1A Evergreen play when Hoquiam comes to town.
3. Timberline Blazers (1-1)
Last week: #3 (no change)
Previous game: Lost to Tumwater, 35-33
Next game: vs. Yelm – South Sound Stadium – Thursday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Timberline played well and nearly knocked off Tumwater. The difference was a missed PAT and a failed two-point conversion to make up for it in the second quarter. And multiple penalties at inopportune times that led t0 the officials calling everything close against the Blazers. Considering this is almost the same team that lost 44-0 to the T-Birds last year, you can see the strides that they have made and has to be one of the favorites now that 4A Narrows League play opens.
4. River Ridge Hawks (2-0)
Last week: #5 (+1)
Previous game: Beat North Thurston, 28-16
Next game: @ Franklin Pierce – Franklin Pierce HS, Tacoma – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: River Ridge knocked off North Thurston for the first time since 1998 and now look poised for a big season with the move to the 2A SPSL. The rest of the league is just 3-10 over the first two weeks and the Hawks open play against 0-2 Franklin Pierce on Friday.
5. Rainier Mountaineers (2-0 overall, 1-0 in 2B Pacific)
Last week: #6 (+1)
Previous game: Beat Kittitas, 33-0
Next game: vs. Raymond – Rainier HS – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: The Rainier defense has yet to give up a touchdown in wins over South Bend and Kittitas and are loving life as a 2B school. This week, they host what might be the game of the week in the South Sound when Raymond comes to town. The 2B Pacific comes down to Raymond, North Beach and the Mountaineers so this is one of the biggest games in a very, very long time for the Mountaineers.
6. Black Hills Wolves (2-0)
Last week: #7 (+1)
Previous game: Beat Rochester, 43-14
Next game: @ North Kitsap – North Kitsap HS, Poulsbo – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Chase Morrow threw for four more touchdowns and the junior quarterback who was slated to be the backup looks to be the real deal for the Wolves. However, they have played 1A Montesano and a team in Rochester that was 1A last year and is rebuilding after losing most of the top players to graduation. We’ll see where this Black Hills team is this week when they travel to Poulsbo to face a good North Kitsap team.
7. Capital Cougars (1-1)
Last week: #8 (+1)
Previous game: Beat Olympia, 17-7
Next game: vs. Lincoln – Ingersoll Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: The Cougars defense has been outstanding giving up just 14 points to high powered Tumwater and just seven to Olympia. They made stop after stop in the second half of the Spaghetti Bowl to lead them to the big rivalry win. The offense, however, is one dimensional. Connor Kennedy had almost all of the yardage in the first half and the majority of it in the second half. It worked against Olympia but it will really have to work against Lincoln this weekend.
8. Yelm Tornadoes (2-0)
Last week: #10 (+1)
Previous game: Beat Foss, 26-24
Next game: @ Timberline – South Sound Stadium – Thursday, 7:00 PM
Notes: The Tornadoes start fast, don’t they? With wins against better non-league opponents in Foss and Steilacoom compared to the last few years, there is a little bit of hope in Yelm. But that 4A Narrows League is tough and they will have to show something on Thursday night against Timberline to assuage my fears for their league season.
9. Olympia Bears (1-1)
Last week: #4 (-6)
Previous game: Lost to Capital, 17-7
Next game: @ South Kitsap – South Kitsap HS, Port Orchard – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Perhaps dropping the Bears this low isn’t fair. The Bears did drop a ranked team in the first week and were ranked #10 in the state. But they didn’t look good in the second half of the Spaghetti Bowl at all and now I’m doubting how good they actually are. A lot of questions will be answered when they open 4A Narrows play on Friday night in Port Orchard.
10. Shelton Highclimbers (1-1)
Last week: #11 (+1)
Previous game: Lost to Sumner, 51-14
Next game: vs. Foss – Highclimbers Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Yeah, the Highclimbers lost big, 51-14, but there were some things to take away from this game. Jake Henry played well again rushing for more than 160 yards and two touchdowns and a bunch of their top players including Brian Nault were sick all week. And yet, they battled well in the first half against a very good Sumner team. Next they host Foss in their 3A Narrows opener and with the Falcons not playing particularly well in the first two weeks, Shelton suddenly looks like a team that could pick up more than one regular season win – which is all that I predicted they would do this season.
11. North Thurston Rams (0-2)
Last week: #9 (-2)
Previous game: Lost to River Ridge, 28-16
Next game: vs. Wilson – South Sound Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: For the first time in program history, the Rams lost to both Timberline and River Ridge. As a North Thurston alum, let me just say this: UGH!
12. Rochester Warriors (0-2)
Last week: #12 (No change)
Previous game: Lost to Black Hills, 43-14
Next game: @ Elma – Rottle Field, Montesano – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Rochester were eliminated from the playoffs in week one and then got throttled by Black Hills. Now, without anything to play for but fun and pride over the next seven weeks, the Warriors open league play against Elma.