Preview Capsules: It’s Clinching SZN


Well, this past week kind of sucked, huh? Now that the much-needed precipitation seems to be eminent and we’ll probably get to stop chewing on the air, it’ll be time to get well and truly into the homestretch of the regular season. Here’s what’s on tap.


Aberdeen at W.F. West

W.F. West’s first win over Tumwater in 13 years opened the door for another Bearcat first since 2009: a 2A EvCo league title. They can clinch that this week with a week to spare, against an Aberdeen side that with wins over Black Hills and Rochester has solidly put itself for third place in the league. Clear up some space in that trophy cabinet in Chehalis, it could have a new installment soon.


Hoquiam at Centralia

Centralia’s skid has reached seven games, and with a Swamp Cup against top-of-the-league W.F. West looming in Week 9, this non-league battle could be the Tigers’ best chance for a good showing. Hoquiam also comes in on a slide, with back-to-back blowout losses, but both came against ranked opponents, while Centralia’s offense has struggled with just about everybody.

Tumwater at Rochester

Any thoughts of a Thunderbird slide were quickly quashed in a 32-win over Aberdeen last Friday. Turns out Tumwater can still GATA and ROTA its way past most other teams. Next on the docket is Rochester, which hasn’t scored more than 14 points since Week 2. The Warriors have the weapons in their run game, but the Thunderbirds’ defensive front isn’t exactly a great one to pick up momentum against.

Shelton at Black Hills

Black Hills is back on the field with multiple key players returning after multiple weeks out, and the Wolves picked right back up with a much-needed win over Centralia last week. Now, they’ll get the game to define their season. Currently, the Wolves and Highclimbers are both 2-2 and tied for the fourth and final crossover spot in the 2A EvCo. The winner will clinch that slot, while the loser is out.

Tenino at Montesano

A reverse clinching scenario here, with the Beavers heading out to try to play spoiler. Tenino can put itself in the driver’s seat in the 1A Evergreen with a win, but with a game in hand, Montesano can win it outright Friday. This could well be the closest matchup of the weekend; last season saw the Beavers beat out the Bulldogs by six in a thriller. Tenino came close to a top-10 win over Eatonville a couple weeks ago; now it needs to do the job entirely to keep its title hopes alive.

Kalama at Toledo

Into the 2B ranks, and it’s clinching time in Cheese Town. Toledo sits alone as the lone undefeated team in league in the 2B South, and with two games left, a win over Kalama would give the Riverhawks the top spot. The Chinooks have split their first two league matchups with their lone win coming over Wahkiakum, but just because Jackson Esary is gone doesn’t mean they’re not still airing the ball out. Aiden Hill throws more than just about anyone in the league, putting a spotlight on Toledo’s defensive backs this week.

Adna at Onalaska

After a stretch of scoring 18 total points in a four-game losing streak, Onalaska now has cracked 40 in back-to-back wins. Adna, meanwhile, is still looking for something consistent on that side of the ball. Both teams are 1-1 and mathematically out of the league title race, making this one huge for seeding in the South.

Raymond-South Bend at Napavine

This time last week, this game looked like it could have been the best 2B matchup of the regular season in the entire state, between two undefeated top-three teams for the league title. Then, PWV went out and handed RSB its first loss of the season, and suddenly the Ravens look a lot more beatable. It’s still a win-and-clinch situation for Napavine, which still has yet to slow down at all this fall, and will be smelling blood Friday.

Morton-White Pass at Ilwaco

It turns out that we’re not quite out of the era of rematches. Thanks to cancellations early in the fall, the Timberwolves have already taken on the Fishermen once this season, beating them 44-8 in a non-league season-opener. This time around will count toward the standings, with the T-Wolves — who still could finish as high as second in the North with some luck — looking to carry on the momentum gained from a non-league win over W.F. West’s JV squad.

Forks at Pe Ell-Willapa Valley

Pe Ell-Willapa Valley has officially entered the chat. Gone is the Titans’ 1-3 start; they’re now on a three-game winning streak with two coming against ranked opponents, and just pulled the result of the season thus far over RSB. Next up is Forks, which has lost to two of the teams PWV’s beaten, but did just blow out Rainier by 54.

Muckleshoot Tribal at Oakville

Oakville got back in its groove last week, bouncing back from two losses with a 60-42 win over Sound Christian. Now they’ll be hoping for another round of absurd numbers from Eddie Klatush, Ashton Boyd, and their explosive offense against the Kings squad that just beat a heavily-depleted Winlock.