High School Football Power Rankings: Surprising Domination

tornado-avatar3Today’s power rankings reflect the hot starts for seven teams and are based more on surprise factor than anything.

Tumwater has surprised no one, that’s why they sit at #7 despite likely being the best team in the area.

So Yelm gets the nod at #1 because they have shocked me to this point. Yeah, neither of their opponents have been very stout, but I did not expect the domination that they have shown to this point.


1. Yelm Tornadoes (2-0)
Last week: 1a (no change)
Previous game: Beat Foss, 41-8
Next game: vs. Timberline (0-2) – Yelm Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM

Notes: Yelm has been mighty impressive so far, albeit against competition that doesn’t look particularly strong nor play at the same level as the Tornadoes. But Brandon Thompson is a legit weapon accounting for four touchdowns so far but what might be more impressive is that the Tornadoes have spread around the scoring. Daylon Matthews has thrown for five touchdowns to three different receivers. They also called me out on Twitter for not believing before their opener and so they get the #1 slot for the time being. The test will come this week when Timberline comes to town.

2. Olympia Bears (2-0)

Last week: 1i (-1)
Previous game: Beat Capital, 41-7
Next game: vs. South Kitsap (1-1) – Ingersoll Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM

Notes: 83-7. Olympia has absolutely bowled over Ferris and Capital in the first two games. Like Yelm, it might be hard to judge just how good these Bears are because of the competition. Ferris, after dropping a 42-0 decision to Oly, lost to Couer D’Alene 40-0 this week. Nonetheless, Scott Gunther – like Thompson – is a big time threat with 216 yards and three touchdowns in the Spaghetti Bowl. The ease of the Bears victories this season has been surprising and has earned them the #2 spot this week.

3. Black Hills Wolves (2-0)

Last week: 1d (-2)
Previous game: Beat Rochester, 42-7
Next game: vs. North Kitsap (1-1) – Tumwater Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM

Notes: Of all the teams locally, would you guess that Black Hills has scored the most points? 97 points. They upset #10 ranked 1A squad Montesano in week one and dropped Rochester, who were coming off an emotional win over Centralia, back to earth. Lots of different Wolves have gotten into the act but that offense will get a test when they see North Kitsap on Friday night. The Vikings – previously ranked #6 in 2A – have allowed just 10 points this season but are coming off a 10-3 loss to WF West on Friday night.

4. Rainier Mountaineers (2-0, 1-0 2B Pacific)

Last week: 1e (-3)
Previous game: Beat Kittitas, 34-6
Next game: @ Raymond (2-0) – Raymond HS – Friday, 7:00 PM

Notes: Rainier is off and running, literally. On Friday night, the Mountaineers racked up 400+ yards and four touchdowns on the ground with McCoy Bichler accounting for three of those. The fast start for the Mountaineers mirrors last season and like last season, they now face one of the 2B Pacific’s traditional powers in Raymond. The Seagulls, ranked #8 in the AP 2B poll, barely beat Life Christian in their opener, 26-25, before beating up on Chief Leschi last week.

5. Tenino Beavers (2-0)

Last week: 1g (-4)
Previous game: Beat Castle Rock, 39-20
Next game: @ Hoquiam (2-0) – Olympic Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM

Notes: Thomas Pier has already rushed for 497 yards and eight touchdowns for the Beavers. Thomas Pier is really good. The Beavers moved into the AP’s #10 spot in 1A and will likely move up a little bit after this week but now it gets real with a trip to Hoquiam on Friday night. The Grizzlies have posted 96 points themselves in wins over Meridian and Stevenson.

6. River Ridge Hawks (2-0)

Last week: 1g (-5)
Previous game: Beat North Thurston, 19-13
Next game: vs. Franklin Pierce (0-2) – South Sound Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM

Notes: It was a rivalry dogfight at South Sound Stadium on Friday night and River Ridge did just enough to pull out the victory. Now 2A SPSL play begins and the Hawks get a rematch with Franklin Pierce, who gave the Hawks their only regular season loss last season on a last minute field goal. But Franklin Pierce has allowed 129 points to Lakes and Sumner to open their season.

7. Tumwater T-Birds (2-0)

Last week: 1j (-6)
Previous game: Beat Timberline, 48-10
Next game: @ LaCenter (0-2) – LaCenter Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM

Notes: Look, Tumwater should probably be #1. They look dominant and are doing what they have done so far without Easton Trakel for both games and QB Noah Andrews last week. They just have so many weapons. And this week they travel to 0-2 1A LaCenter.

8. North Thurston Rams (1-1)

Last week: 1f (-7)
Previous game: lost to River Ridge, 19-13
Next game: @ Wilson (0-2) – Stadium Bowl, Tacoma – Friday, 7:00 PM

Notes: The Rams fought hard against a good River Ridge team but just couldn’t get enough going on offense to pick up the win. They will open 3A Narrows League play in Tacoma when they take on a Wilson squad that is struggling mightily. The other Rams are 0-2 and got shutout by Olympic in week one and were shocked by an improved Stadium squad last week.

9. Shelton Highclimbers (1-1)

Last week: 1b (-8)
Previous game: Lost to Sumner, 34-3
Next game: @ Foss (0-2) – Mount Tahoma Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM

Notes: If you just look at the score, this looks like a blowout. Like Shelton laid a giant egg. But the Highclimbers trailed just 14-3 deep into the third quarter and held their own for a good portion of the game against a good Sumner team and their stud Connor Wedington. Turnovers eventually killed Shelton and they ran out of gas in the end but the improvement in this squad was evident. They now open 3A Narrows League play against a Foss team that looks very beatable.

10. Timberline Blazers (0-2)

Last week: 11 (+1)
Previous game: Lost to Tumwater, 48-10
Next game: @ Yelm (2-0) – Yelm HS – Friday, 7:00 PM

Notes: Uli Maae was the only Blazer to get on the board for the Blazers in their loss to Tumwater. The defense kept the T-Birds down for a little while before Tumwater went nuts in the second half. They will need that defense to step up against a Yelm team that looks really dangerous if they want to open 4A Narrows play with a win.

11. Capital Cougars (0-2)

Last week: 12 (+1)
Previous game: Lost to Olympia, 41-7
Next game: @ Lincoln (2-0) – Lincoln Bowl – Friday, 7:00 PM

Notes: Lose to your rival 41-7 and lose your starting quarterback with a broken arm late in the game. What a tough start for the Cougars. And now they have to go to Lincoln, who look just as good as they did before Jon Kitna chased the money to Texas.

12. Rochester Warriors (1-1)

Last week: 1c (-11)
Previous game: Lost to Black Hills, 42-7
Next game: vs. Elma (2-0) – Rochester High School – Friday, 7:00 PM

Notes: Yeah, Rochester is 1-1. They got an emotional win in their opener against Centralia. So what makes them drop all the way into the #12 spot this week? With their loss to Black Hills, they are already eliminated from the playoffs. They are the only team that is already assured to not be playing in the postseason. This is nothing personal, Warriors, and I will move you up throughout the season despite the playoffs being out of reach. But man, your situation stinks.

Posted on September 15, 2015, in Football. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m one of the coaches over at Black Hills. I truthfully do not understand how Rochester is expected to win two 2A opponents + 75% of their schedule to qualify for the playoffs. How are these decisions / formulas reached at league offices?

    • I don’t get it either. If I’m not mistaken, there is another reclassification this summer so they will hopefully rectify this. It also is a bit of a punishment for not wanting to break up traditional rivalries and play in the other Evergreen Conference.

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