High School Football Power Rankings: Oly Still at #1, But For How Long?
Four teams are STILL unbeaten. Olympia, River Ridge, Tumwater and Black Hills. But this week is where it gets really interesting. Olympia – currently the #6 team in 4A in the AP poll – hosts #3 ranked Gig Harbor while Black Hills heads south to face Kelso.
Meanwhile, Tumwater and River Ridge face lesser opponents with the next week more on my mind.
Rainier also has a huge game this week for their chase for the playoffs and maybe the most important game for playoff purposes happens on Thursday when North Thurston and Shelton square off and try to get the jump on the middle pack of the 3A Narrows.
1. Olympia Bears (6-0 overall, 3-0 4A Narrows)
Last week: #1 (no change)
Previous game: Beat Stadium, 44-6
Next game: vs. Gig Harbor (3-0 4A Narrows, 6-0 overall ) – Ingersoll Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: The biggest game of the season to this date is here. Two top-10 4A teams who are both 6-0 and 3-0 in league, Olympia and Gig Harbor, meet on Friday at Ingersoll Stadium. Gig Harbor has outscored their opponents 299-27 this season while the Bears have outscored their opponents 256-59. Unfortunately for the Bears, they lose 1,000 yards and 16 touchdowns with Scott Gunther out with an injury.
2. River Ridge Hawks (6-0 overall, 4-0 2A SPSL)
Last week: #2 (no change)
Previous game: Beat Washington, 48-34
Next game: @ Clover Park (0-4 2A SPSL, 0-6 overall) – Lang Stadium, Lakewood – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: River Ridge built a huge lead and then saw Washington chip away at it until they were within one score. The Hawks finished it out with a 48-34 win and should have an easy time with Clover Park this week before they face Fife on October 23rd.
3. Tumwater T-Birds (6-0 overall, 1-0 2A EvCo)
Last week: #3 (no change)
Previous game: Beat Centralia, 49-6
Next game: vs. West Valley, Yakima (2-4 overall) – Tumwater Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Tumwater is healthy and running the ball has been easy. Jarid Barrett, Dominic Jones and Easton Trakel each rushed for a pair of touchdowns against Centralia. They host 2-4 West Valley on Friday night and will face Black Hills on the 23rd in a Pioneer Bowl that should settle the 2A EvCo.
4. Black Hills Wolves (6-0 overall, 1-0 2A EvCo)
Last week: #4 (no change)
Previous game: Beat Port Angeles, 41-0
Next game: @ Kelso (5-1 overall) – Schroeder Field, Kelso – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Black Hills easily dispatched of a bad Port Angeles team, which comes as no surprise. They continue their best start of the season and will get a huge test on Friday night when they travel to Kelso to face the Hilanders in a non-league game. Win or lose, they will face Tumwater on the 23rd with the 2A EvCo title on the line.
5. Tenino Beavers (5-1 overall, 3-1 2A/1A Evergreen)
Last week: #5 (no change)
Previous game: Beat Aberdeen, 38-7
Next game: vs. Eatonville (1-3 2A/1A EvCo 2-4 overall) – Tenino Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Tenino started slowly, taking a 13-0 lead into the locker room at the half, but finished strong in the second half with a dominating performance over the 2A Bobcats. Thomas Pier ran for 155 yards and three touchdowns for the Beavers, who will face Eatonville at home this week. The Cruisers were garnering top 10 votes earlier this season but are just 2-4 overall now.
6. Rainier Mountaineers (4-2 overall, 3-2 2B Pacific)
Last week: #6 (no change)
Previous game: Beat Tacoma Baptist, 50-6
Next game: vs. Life Christian (4-1 2B Pacific, 4-1 overall) – Rainier HS – Friday, 7:00
Notes: Rainier took advantage of a beat up Tacoma Baptist team on Saturday beating them 50-6. McCoy Bichler scored a pair of touchdowns and will lead the Mountaineers into a big game against Life Christian. The Eagles are 4-1 in league play, a game up on both Ilwaco and Rainier for third place.
7. Shelton Highclimbers (3-3 overall, 2-2 3A Narrows)
Last week: #10 (+3)
Previous game: Beat Central Kitsap, 28-27
Next game: @ North Thurston (2-2 3A Narrows, 3-3 overall) – South Sound Stadium – Thursday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Against Wilson, the Highclimbers missed on a tipped extra point and a missed field goal at the final whistle. One week later, Shelton blocked an extra point with 1:29 left and held on for a 28-27 win over previously unbeaten in league play Central Kitsap. It was the biggest win for the Highclimbers since the 2012 season that featured Ralph Kinne. They now play a huge game on Thursday night against North Thurston, who are also 2-2 in league play. The teams ahead of both the Rams and Highclimbers – Wilson and Central Kitsap – have yet to play Lincoln, so the winner of this game is in a great position for second place in league.
8. Rochester Warriors (4-2 overall, 3-1 2A/1A Evergreen)
Last week: #8 (no change)
Previous game: Beat Eatonville, 25-22
Next game: vs. Montesano (4-2 2A/1A Evergreen, 3-1 overall) – Rochester HS – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Because of their ridiculous league and the ridiculous rules set forth for them to make the playoffs, Rochester is already out. But they have played well despite that and sit at 4-2 this season. But first place Montesano comes to town on Friday night.
9. North Thurston Rams (3-3 overall, 2-2 3A Narrows)
Last week: #7 (-2)
Previous game: Lost to Lincoln, 41-0
Next game: vs. Shelton (2-2 3A Narrows, 3-3 overall) – South Sound Stadium – Thursday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Hard to punish the Rams for losing to Lincoln, who are easily the class of the 3A Narrows and ranked #3 in the AP poll but they lose a couple of spots nonetheless. They can easily get those spots back with a win over Shelton on Thursday. The two teams look to be very evenly matched especially if you look at the Central Kitsap games they have played. The Rams lost 23-22 while Shelton won 28-27.
10. Capital Cougars (1-5 overall, 1-3 3A Narrows)
Last week: #9 (-1)
Previous game: Lost to Wilson, 17-16
Next game: @ Mount Tahoma (1-3 3A Narrows, 1-5 overall) – Mount Tahoma Stadium, Tacoma – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Capital, despite their 1-5 record and loss to Wilson, only dropped a spot in the Scoreczar.org computers to #34. Needless to say, they have played a tough schedule. They should get a reprieve this week when they face Mount Tahoma, who are the last team in 3A despite the same record as the Cougars.
11-tie. Timberline Blazers (1-5 overall, 1-3 4A Narrows)
Last week: #11 (no change)
Previous game: Lost to Gig Harbor, 51-0
Next game: vs. Stadium (1-3 4A Narrows, 2-4 overall) – South Sound Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: The Blazers are now past Gig Harbor, Olympia and Bellarmine with two more league games ahead of them – if this week’s game is played. Stadium had a lot of their gear destroyed and as I type this has not decided whether or not they will be able to play.
11-tie. Yelm Tornadoes (4-2 overall, 1-2 4A Narrows)
Last week: #12 (+1)
Previous game: Beat Evergreen, 25-18
Next game: vs. Bellarmine (3-0 4A Narrows, 5-1 overall) – Yelm HS – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: The Tornadoes racked up over 440 yards of offense in Vancouver on Saturday but had to come from behind to beat Evergreen in a non-league game. At 4-2, they should be higher than tied for 11th but the loss to Timberline is perplexing and makes it hard for me to rank them higher than the Blazers. They currently sit in fourth place in the 4A Narrows but face all three teams ahead of them – Bellarmine, Gig Harbor and Olympia – to close the season. Can they pull an upset somewhere?