When it gets this late into the season, it’s tremendous to see the kind of matchup we get tonight: No. 2 Bothell at No. 3 Eastlake. It’s rare enough to see two undefeated teams go this far before meeting. But for two of the top teams to meet to likely decide one of the top conferences, that’s about as compelling as it gets.
Yet no matter what happens tonight in Sammamish, it won’t match the significance of a 4-yard touchdown run by Bonney Lake backup Mario Harris that gave Bonney Lake a 49-42 overtime win against Enumclaw. Because that run, and the 21-point Bonney Lake comeback that preceded it, could mean the difference betweeen Bonney Lake playing in November or not.
If Enumclaw wins, Bonney Lake would sit fifth in a league that receives three playoff spots, plus the fourth-place team plays vs. the fourth-place Seamount team for the final Class 3A playoff spot. But now Bonney Lake is in fourth and could be tied for third — or even second — by the time the weekend’s over.
The games that determine who’s in and who’s out are the ones that really count in the final three weeks. So with the assistance of our prep staff, I put together a brief look at the area conferences to show where teams stand and which games mean the most. I’ll update this the next two Fridays.
Records are league records only.
Playoff spots: five.
In the mix: No. 2 Bothell (5-0), No. 3 Eastlake (5-0), Inglemoor (4-1), Woodinville (4-2), Ballard (3-3), Juanita (2-3), Roosevelt (2-3), Redmond (2-4).
Key games this week: Bothell at Eastlake, Woodinville at Roosevelt.
The skinny: Either Eastlake or Bothell can clinch a playoff spot this weekend on the Sammamish plateau. Either way, both are probably in. Woodinville’s two losses are to Bothell and Eastlake; otherwise, the Falcons have looked good. Ballard could become the first city school to make the 4A playoffs since 2003, when the Beavers finished as state runners-up.
SPSL 4A North
Playoff spots: three.
In the mix: Federal Way (4-0), Kentridge (4-1), Kentwood (3-1), Kent-Meridian (2-2), Kentlake (2-2).
Key games this week: Kentridge 43, Jefferson 20 (Thursday); Kentwood at Kent-Meridian.
The skinny: Federal Way is sitting pretty right now. Kentridge and Kentwood can each make its life much easier with a win this weekend. Tahoma can get into the mix with a victory.
SPSL 4A South
Playoff spots: four
In the mix: No. 9 Graham-Kapowsin (4-0), Puyallup (4-1), Rogers (3-1), Bethel (2-2), Emerald Ridge (3-2), Curtis (2-2).
Key games this week: Curtis at Rogers, Graham-Kapowsin at Bethel.
The skinny: Can anyone stop Graham-Kapowsin’s running game? Bethel, needing a victory to stay among the contenders, gets its shot tonight. This division is far from settled, though.
WesCo 4A North
Playoff spots: three.
In the mix: No. 5 Oak Harbor (5-0), Lake Stevens (4-1), Snohomish (4-1), Marysville-Pilchuck (4-2).
Key games this week: Lake Stevens at Oak Harbor, Cascade at Marysville-Pilchuck.
The skinny: What a shame that one of these teams won’t be in the postseason. If Lake Stevens can’t top Oak Harbor — no one’s done it yet — the last two weeks will be very interesting.
WesCo 4A South
Playoff spots: three.
In the mix: No. 4 Edmonds-Woodway (6-0), Kamiak (4-1), Mariner (4-1), Jackson (3-2).
Key games this week: Kamiak at Jackson, Mariner vs. Lynnwood.
The skinny: If Jackson can’t beat Kamiak this weekend, its path to the playoffs will be a rocky one, with Edmonds-Woodway waiting in the season finale. The Warriors, by the way, can clinch a playoff spot this weekend with a win.
Playoff spots: four.
In: No. 3 Skyline (6-0)
In the mix: No. 7 Bellevue (5-1), Newport (4-1), Issaquah (3-2), Liberty (3-3), Mount Si (2-3).
Key games this week: Skyline at Issaquah, Newport at Mount Si.
The skinny: Skyline can’t finish worse than fourth, and the Spartans can make Issaquah sweat a little with a victory tonight. Newport finishes with Bellevue and Issaquah, so a victory against Mount Si could help the Knights avoid an anxious final two weeks.
Metro League Mountain
Playoff spots: two.
In the mix: No. 4 O’Dea (3-0), No. 10 Eastside Catholic (2-1), Bishop Blanchet (2-1), Bainbridge (2-2).
Key games this week: Bishop Blanchet at O’Dea, Bainbridge 21, Seattle Prep 7 (Thursday).
The skinny: O’Dea clinches a playoff spot and the division with a victory against Blanchet; the Irish already have a victory against Eastside Catholic. Bainbridge needs help to get in.
Metro League Sound
Playoff spots: two
In the mix: Nathan Hale (3-0), West Seattle (3-0), Chief Sealth (1-2), Cleveland (1-2), Rainier Beach (1-2).
Key games this week: West Seattle at Nathan Hale, Cleveland at Chief Sealth.
The skinny: Most likely, Nathan Hale and West Seattle will both move on. Tonight’s winner will definitely be playing in November. The loser of Cleveland and Chief Sealth definitely won’t.
Playoff spots: two.
In the mix: Meadowdale (3-2), Arlington (2-3), Lynnwood (2-4).
Key games this week: Monroe at Arlington.
The skinny: It says something about Lynnwood, which didn’t win a game last season, that it’s still in the mix, but it could take an upset against Mariner tonight to stay in play.
Playoff spots: three, plus pigtail with SPSL 3A.
In the mix: No. 8 Renton (5-0), Kennedy (4-0), No. 9 Evergreen (3-1), Lindbergh (2-2), two teams at 1-3.
Key games this week: Kennedy at Evergreen.
The skinny: Renton, Kennedy and Evergreen have given no reason to think they won’t be playing in the postseason. Lindbergh has a hold on the pigtail spot for now.
Playoff spots: three plus pigtail with Seamount.
In the mix: No. 5 Franklin Pierce (4-0), Auburn (3-1), Auburn Riverside (3-1), Bonney Lake (3-2), Enumclaw (2-3).
Key games this week: Bonney Lake 49, Enumclaw 42 (OT on Thursday night), Auburn Riverside at Franklin Pierce.
The skinny: Franklin Pierce clinches a playoff spot with a victory, and Bonney Lake’s stirring comeback means the world right now.
1. Anthony Ellis, Redmond, cross-country. Won meet at Beaver Lake Park with time of 16 minutes, 6 seconds.
2. Kate Bennett, Bellevue, girls soccer. Big night in KingCo 3A soccer. Bennett scores both goals to lead Wolverines past Mount Si 2-0, and senior Bonnie Young scores unassisted to give Issaquah a 1-0 win against rival Skyline. Issaquah (10-0-1) and Bellevue (8-1-2) tied in their first match; they meet again next Thursday.
3. Lamardray Fuller, Beamer, football. Beamer has 205 yards and three touchdowns, but it’s not enough against Emerald Ridge.
Tonight’s top games
1. Bothell at Eastlake, football, 7:30 p.m. So maybe it’s not the biggest game on the plateau this decade, as several of you have noted, but it’s up there.
2. Kennedy at Evergreen, football, 8 p.m. With Renton still undefeated, these two are playing to keep pace.
3. Lake Stevens at Oak Harbor, football, 7 p.m. WesCo North could be decided with this one.
And if you’ve made it this far, you deserve a treat. So here it is, Jim Mora in all his glory: