It’s officially do-or-die time. Win or go home. Loser-out, the winner takes all. After nine weeks of glorious prep football, 12 Chronicle area football teams have qualified for district crossover weekend, just one win away from state. Five Chronicle teams won league championships in W.F. West, Tenino, Toledo, Napavine, and Mossyrock.
Read the full list and slate of games below.
Winning its first league championship since 2009, the Bearcats will play at Centralia Tiger Stadium for the second consecutive weekend to get another game in on a turf field against the Greater St. Helens League No. 4, Woodland, led by former Kalama coach Sean McDonald.
While the Bearcats have scorched everyone they’ve played save for No. 1 Lynden, the Beavers have been up and down. After riding a three-game win streak near the beginning of GSHL play, Woodland is 0 for 3 in its last matchups, dropping games to Hudson’s Bay, Mark Morris, and Ridgefield.
The only common opponent between the teams is Ridgefield; The Bearcats beat the Spudders, 38-28 in Week 1 while the Beavers lost in the last game of the regular season, 32-14.
While the Thunderbirds are used to winning the 2A Evergreen outright, they aren’t really in uncharted waters, hosting a crossover and staring at a potential state title run with just one regular season loss.
They’ll welcome the Spudders to Tumwater District Stadium on Saturday, who had a tough start to the year but finished strong as the GSHL’s No. 3.
The only common opponent between Ridgefield and Tumwater is W.F. West, as both teams fell to the Bearcats near the first half of the season.
Advancing through a dramatic Kansas Tiebreaker Monday night, the Wolves will get an extra day’s rest to play the GSHL’s No. 2 Mark Morris on Saturday down in Longview for its first postseason action in recent years.
Though the Monarchs suffered an early defeat to GSHL champ Washougal, they’ve responded to win their last five games, while the Wolves have had to scrap to make the postseason.
The Monarchs and Wolves have no common opponents.
Getting set to host its second district crossover in as many years, but this time as a league champion, the Beavers come into the postseason as a potential state title contender as long as they take care of business this week first.
The Knights are 4-4, with no common opponents to the Beavers, and with a losing record in the Trico at 2-3.
The Tigers are looking to continue their jaunt through District 4 against a Mules squad that does not have a single win in league play.
Expect Napavine to secure its 10th running clock win of the season Thursday night at home.
In a rematch between two programs on opposite ends of momentum, Friday night in Menlo should get interesting, and maybe even testy, between the Highway 6 rivals.
The Pirates defeated the Titans on a last-minute touchdown in Week 2 in Adna, but further west in Menlo, and with some momentum after defeating Raymond-South Bend on the road, the Titans appear to be the new favorites here, though they are on a two-week layoff after both Forks and Rainier canceled their football seasons before playing PWV.
Adna, on the other hand, is fresh off a 36-6 loss to Kalama, and hasn’t scored in double figures on offense since a 33-0 win against Stevenson Oct. 7. If the Pirates hope to win and make it the state, they’ll need to rely on a defense that has been steady for most of the year.
Another rematch in 2B D4, the Timberwolves and Loggers met in last season’s crossover — a dominant Ony win — but under much different circumstances.
The Loggers won the coin toss to determine seeding and finish second in the Southwest Washington League South, and will host MWP with a 2-2 league record with many fresh faces, including new playmakers Rodrigo Rodriguez and quarterback Kayden Mozingo.
On the other side, the Timberwolves had a strong start to the year, but finished fourth in a stacked North division, led by Carter Dantinne, Brecken Pelletier, and Judah Kelly. Expect this matchup to be much closer than it was a year ago.
Choosing to play on some turf before a hopeful state run, the Riverhawks will head a bit south to play a one-win Ilwaco squad for a state bid at Kelso.
The Fishermen did not win a league game, while the Riverhawks dropped just their season opener to Raymond-South Bend before an unbeaten run to end the year, including a 4-0 league mark.
One of just two unbeatens left in The Chronicle’s coverage area, Mossyrock will play host to a pretty sound Darrington squad from the Northwest league on Saturday with a trip to state on the line.
Picking up more and more votes and shooting up polls, the Vikings have yet to play anyone close this season, other than a 62-42 defeat of Naselle a few weeks back.
Darrington, meanwhile, is 6-3 with losses to Neah Bay, Quilcene, and Crescent. The teams have several common opponents: Quilcene, Evergreen Lutheran, Muckleshoot Tribal and Concrete. The Vikings have won all the matchups while the Loggers dropped a contest to Quilcene.
Squeaking into the district crossover round, the Cardinals will have an uphill battle against Neah Bay on the Olympic Peninsula on Friday.
Ranked as the No. 2 team in the state in most polls, Neah Bay is unbeaten on the year with signature wins against Naselle, Darrington, Lummi, and Quilcene. The Cardinals, who have been riddled with injuries in recent weeks, are hoping a couple weeks off from rest have them ready to go against one of the top 8-man teams in the state.