The fifth-ranked team in Class 4A went against an undefeated league rival, lost both of its top rushers in the first half, and still went on to score 44 points and win by two scores.
The third-ranked team in Class 3A faced a playoff team from a year ago and shut it out, making that the second playoff team it has shut out in four games.
The eighth-ranked team in Class 3A looked like the days of old, running all over another league opponent for its third consecutive no-doubt-about-it victory.
Our top-ranked teams showed why they’re so highly regarded on Thursday night, and this is how:
Puyallup 44, Bethel 31.
Skyline 28, Mount Si 0.
Bellevue 43, Liberty 10.
Three tough games. Three convincing victories.
The e-mails came in all week. This is Bethel’s week, they said, and once Puyallup falls, you’ll have to give the Braves some love. But the only thing that fell in Puyallup where the Vikings’ two rushers, D.J. Williams and James Shafer, who left with injuries in the first half (Williams later returned).
So cue up quarterback Alec Elliott, who missed his first nine passes, but recovered with three second-half touchdowns. In a game that could very well decide the SPSL 4A South — Emerald Ridge remains undefeated so far, too — Elliott carried his team to the win when the Vikings could have folded.
Another QB, Skyline’s Jake Heaps, added to his already impressive totals this season (although he did have three first-half interceptions Thursday). With three more touchdowns — two passing, one rushing — Heaps has 11 in the past three games. Not that the Spartans particularly need all of them. After shutting out Mount Si, Skyline has allowed 20 points in four KingCo 3A games, and only second-ranked Kamiak (no points allowed yet) has looked better on defense in Class 3A so far.
Skyline shut down the Bellevue offense in 6-0 win in week one, but no one’s been able to do it since. As they have been known to do, the Wolverines have been running over everyone. It doesn’t quite matter who’s running either, as Bellevue has seemingly had a different standout in each game. Last night, QB Tommy Castle and RB David Nguyen had two scores each (Nguyen had one on a fumble recovery).
But these three teams aren’t the only ones who showed something on Thursday night. Bothell, No. 2 in 4A, breezed 48-0 through Garfield. And how about Kentwood volleyball, the nation’s 32nd ranked team, which swept Kentridge last night to stay undefeated? They might go through the whole regular season unscathed. And let’s not forget Lake Washington soccer, which won KingCo 4A last season but then watched Woodinville win the state title, beat the Falcons 2-1 when Molly Enger put in her second goal of night with less than four minutes to play. The Kangaroos (4-1) have rebounded from their season-opening loss quite well, I must say.
Tonight, there are more opportunities for teams to show us just where they stand. In the North, Oak Harbor and Snohomish are both undefeated, but only one team will remain that way tomorrow. The same goes for Eastside Catholic and Bainbridge, as we might see who could challenge O’Dea for the Metro title.
So who will we be talking about tomorrow?
1. Cory Burk, Bothell, football. Returned a punt for an 80-yard youchdown and a kickoff for a 90-yard score in 48-0 win against Garfield.
2. Tyler Van Sligtenhorst, Rogers, football. Threw for 214 yards and four touchdowns and added a 3-yard rushing touchdown in impressive 43-0 win against Beamer.
3. Erica Jornlin, Garfield, volleyball. Senior had 18 kills and 10 digs in sweep against Franklin.
Tonight’s top games
1. Eastside Catholic at Bainbridge, football, 7 p.m. It’s one week four, but this one could have a big say in who wins the Metro title.
2. Snohomish vs. Oak Harbor, football, 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Both of these undefeated needed fourth-quarter comebacks to win last week, so maybe this one was on their minds?
3. Cedarcrest at Archbishop Murphy, football, 7 p.m. Neither of these 3-0 teams have won an in-state game by fewer than 30 points so far.