Marcel Smith doesn’t even have a page on the college recruiting Web sites. That’s how fresh his story is: even the guys who make it their job to know about every breath every high school football player makes haven’t caught on yet to what he’s doing.
They should. Smith, a Graham-Kapowsin senior, is making himself the story of the season. With six weeks down, and depending on where you’re playing, three or four weeks to go, he heads my list of the storylines we’ve seen so far this year:
1. Marcel Smith. The area’s leading rusher spent almost all of last season on the JV team. Now he’s averaging 247 yards for one of the season’s surprising teams, which is in pole position in the SPSL 4A South. I keep waiting for him to come back to the pack, for him to simply run for 100 or so yards, and every week, he just comes back with another amazing number. This week: 277 yards, four touchdowns.
2. Bothell, Eastlake closing in on showdown. Only moments after an important win against Woodinville last night, some Cougars already had Eastlake on the mind. Much like last season, this one should decide the KingCo 4A champion, unless one of these teams runs into an upset in the last two weeks. Bothell won last year, 17-3, and after last night’s 16-0 win, the Cougs look up to the task of stopping Eastlake’s offense, which scored 57 points Friday night.
3. The rise of Edmonds-Woodway. Unranked before the season, the Warriors have given us no choice but to rapidly move them up. Look at their results: They haven’t even had a close game, and every time it seems they might trip up — like, say, last night against No. 7 Kamiak — they make no doubt about. Friday’s 35-7 victory was the fifth Edmonds-Woodway has won by at least 28 points.
4. The Class 3A scramble. Lakes, Kamiakin, Skyline, O’Dea. Pick one. Because your guess is as good as ours to the best. Lakes has the top athletes in the state, led by TE/DE extraordinaire Kavario Middleton and DB/WR Jermaine Kearse. Kamiakin has the stingiest defense in the state, even if it finally did allow some points last night to 10th-ranked Kennewick. Skyline has already toppled defending state champ Bellevue, and if last night’s win against Interlake says anything, the Spartans’ passing game has really grown since week 1. O’Dea has a must-win against Eastside Catholic for the Metro Mountain tonight, but so far, no team has even come close to the Irish. With a few other teams in the mix, such as Ferndale and Franklin Pierce, the Class 3A playoffs should be incredible. And don’t forget about Bellevue, which hasn’t gone anywhere.
5. Upset special: Renton. The box score will show Renton won 23-22 last night with 46 seconds left, when it stood up Evergreen’s Nuve Kongaika’s rush on a two-point conversion attempt. But it really won when it held down Evergreen’s offense, which was averaging 56 points per game. Believe it or not, Renton right now leads the Seamount with a 4-0 league record. And Evergreen’s showdown next week with Kennedy suddenly means a little less.
So those are my favorite stories of the fall so far. What are yours?
1. Marcel Smith, Graham Kapowsin, football. 277 yards rushing and four touchdowns against Beamer. It’s not even fair anymore.
2. Jake Heaps, Skyline, football. Completed 17-of-19 passes for 285 yards and five touchdowns.
3. Tony Heard, Edmonds-Woodway, football. Big guy, big game. Runs for 208 yards on 24 carries in victory against No. 7 Kamiak.
4. Kendra Kisling, Skyline, volleyball. Had 10 digs and 41 assists as Skyline upsets Newport 3-2. Newport had not previously lost a game, much less a match, this season.
5. La’Quaveous Benning-Dillon, Cleveland football. Ran for 206 yards and two touchdowns as Cleveland broke a 16-game losing streak against Ingraham.
Tonight’s top games
1. O’Dea at Eastside Catholic, football, 6 p.m. at Newport High School. The Metro Mountain is on the line tonight.
2. Rainier Beach at West Seattle, football, 7 p.m. at West Seattle Stadium. So is the Metro Sound, as both these teams would like to keep up with Nathan Hale.
3. Bethel at Rogers of Puyallup, football, 7 p.m. at Sparks Stadium. Neither team would like to fall too far behind Graham-Kapowsin in the SPSL 4A South.