Four 5-0 teams remain in the area: Olympia, River Ridge, Tumwater and Black Hills. Of those four teams, River Ridge and Tumwater look like the two teams that could come out of the regular season unscathed. Olympia has been the most impressive team so far and they could also emerge from the 4A Narrows unbeaten, but a big upset of Gig Harbor would have to be in the cards for that to happen.
1. Olympia Bears (5-0 overall, 2-0 4A Narrows)
Last week: #1 (no change)
Previous game: Beat Issaquah, 32-14
Next game: @ Stadium (1-2 4A Narrows, 2-3 overall ) – Stadium Bowl, Tacoma – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Scott Gunther continues to run wild for the Bears and they have moved up to #7 in 4A in the latest AP poll. Issaquah held them to their lowest point total of the season but they still won comfortably and will next face a much improved Stadium team in Tacoma. As long as they don’t look past the Tigers (highly unlikely), the Bears are setup to host Gig Harbor in a battle of unbeatens on Friday, October 16th.
2. River Ridge Hawks (5-0 overall, 3-0 2A SPSL)
Last week: #3 (+1)
Previous game: Beat White River, 40-6
Next game: @ Washington (2-1 2A SPSL, 3-2 overall) – Franklin Pierce HS – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: River Ridge had no problem with White River and has to thank Washington for knocking off Fife to give the Hawks sole possession of first place in the 2A SPSL. Now the Hawks have to face Washington on the road in a game that turns out to be far more important than previously expected.
3. Tumwater T-Birds (5-0 overall)
Last week: #4 (+1)
Previous game: Beat Columbia River, 54-14
Next game: @ Centralia (2-2 overall) – Tiger Stadium, Centralia – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Easton Trakel is back for the T-Birds after missing the first four weeks of the season, giving the T-Birds even more firepower. They showed that off by hammering Columbia River. They kick off their 2A EvCo schedule on Friday against Centralia who didn’t play last week after Centralia High School was evacuated because of a threat.
4. Black Hills Wolves (5-0 overall, 1-0 2A EvCo)
Last week: #2 (-2)
Previous game: Beat WF West, 24-21
Next game: vs. Port Angeles (1-4 overall) – Tumwater Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: The Wolves got the big win over WF West but it was the closest game any of the top four teams have played this season, hence the slight drop in the power rankings. This week they host Port Angeles and should blow them out, but after that it really gets tough. This week is their last home game, they take on undefeated Kelso in a non-league road game on the 16th and then are the road team in the Pioneer Bowl on the 23rd before ending the season at Centralia.
5. Tenino Beavers (4-1 overall, 2-1 2A/1A Evergreen)
Last week: #5 (no change)
Previous game: Beat Forks, 47-14
Next game: @ Aberdeen (0-3 2A/1A EvCo 0-5 overall) – Stewart Field, Aberdeen – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Last season, after they lost to Hoquiam, the Beavers lost five of their next six games including losses to Elma and Forks. This season, the Beavers bounced back from their loss to the Grizzlies and have buried both the Eagles and the Spartans (a game in which they didn’t even throw a pass). Next up is Aberdeen, who they should also bury, before finishing with Eatonville, Montesano and Rochester.
6. Rainier Mountaineers (3-2 overall, 2-2 2B Pacific)
Last week: #6 (no change)
Previous game: Lost to North Beach, 54-22
Next game: @ Tacoma Baptist (1-4 2B Pacific, 1-3 overall) – Viking Stadium, University Place – Saturday, 7:00 PM
Notes: The Mountaineers led #3 North Beach 22-20 at the half before the Hyaks took control. Now Rainier has both Raymond and North Beach past them, they can focus on four winable games ahead of them, the biggest of which is in two weeks when they host Life Christian.
7. North Thurston Rams (3-2 overall, 2-1 3A Narrows)
Last week: #7 (no change)
Previous game: Beat Foss, 28-7
Next game: vs. Lincoln (3-0 3A Narrows, 5-0 overall) – South Sound Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: The Rams got the easy win over Foss, as they should have, but now Lincoln comes to town. The #3 team in 3A will be without their star quarterback, Joey Sinclair, but Willie Hamilton has filled in nicely for the Abes.
8. Rochester Warriors (3-2 overall, 2-1 2A/1A Evergreen)
Last week: #10 (+2)
Previous game: Beat Aberdeen, 27-6
Next game: @ Eatonville ( 1-2 2A/1A Evergreen, 2-3 overall) – Eatonville HS – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Rochester beat two of the three 2A teams that they played this season but because of their loss to Black Hills and Elma, they are out of the playoffs. Maybe it doesn’t really matter because the next four weeks are really tough. Eatonville this week, then Montesano, Hoquiam and Tenino to finish the season.
9. Capital Cougars (1-4 overall, 1-2 3A Narrows)
Last week: #8 (-1)
Previous game: Lost to Central Kitsap, 31-20
Next game: vs. Wilson (2-1 3A Narrows, 2-3 overall) – Ingersoll Stadium – Friday, 7:30 PM
Notes: According to the Scoreczar.org computer, Capital is the #33 team in 3A despite their 1-4 record. At #30, #31 and #32 are three 4-1 teams, Mountlake Terrace, Hanford and Cleveland. That tells you a lot about the strength of their schedule over the first five weeks. Do not be surprised if the Cougars ran the table from here on out to finish 5-4. Wilson, Mount Tahoma, North Thurston and Shelton are all very winnable games.
10. Shelton Highclimbers (2-3 overall, 1-2 3A Narrows)
Last week: #9 (-1)
Previous game: Lost to Wilson, 24-23
Next game: vs. Central Kitsap (3-0 3A Narrows, 3-2 overall) – Highclimbers Stadium – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: The Highclimbers came within inches of beating Wilson despite being thoroughly dominated on both sides of the ball by the Rams. Shelton gained just 128 yards total while Wilson gained 204 yards on 10-of-15 third down conversions. The Highclimbers took advantage of special teams mistakes before two special teams mistakes of their own doomed them in the end. Still, this team could beat Central Kitsap this weekend and finish with winnable games against North Thurston, Mount Tahoma and Capital.
11. Timberline Blazers (1-4 overall, 1-2 4A Narrows)
Last week: #10 (-1)
Previous game: Lost to Bellarmine, 33-6
Next game: vs. Gig Harbor (3-0 4A Narrows, 5-0 overall) – South Sound Stadium – Thursday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Bellarmine last week, Gig Harbor this week. Ouch. They get Stadium, Puyallup and South Kitsap in the final three weeks.
12. Yelm Tornadoes (3-2 overall, 1-2 4A Narrows)
Last week: #10 (-2)
Previous game: Lost to Stadium, 40-37
Next game: @ Evergreen (2-3 overall) – Mckenzie Stadium, Vancouver – Friday, 7:00 PM
Notes: Brandon Thompson rushed for four touchdowns but the Tornadoes fell after a late Stadium touchdown. They travel to Vancouver for a non-league game this week but face Bellarmine, Gig Harbor and Olympia over the last three weeks with only one of those at home. Oof.