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High School Sports Blog

The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

November 26, 2008 at 2:19 PM

Semifinal football breakdown

Here’s our breakdown of the four semifinal games involving area teams this week. I’ll be taking the day away from blog tomorrow for Thanksgiving, but we’ll be back this weekend to see who advances to the Gridiron Classic.

Bellevue vs. Capital, Postponed until Monday following bus accident

Capital’s defense has had several strong performances this season, but the Cougs are really up against it this week. There’s nothing quite like going against the wing-T the first time. Only one team in Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff’s reign — Prosser in 2005 — has beaten Bellevue on its first try against the wing-T. The speed it so difficult to handle, and as difficult is that Bellevue plays such disciplined defense that it rarely gives up a big play. I’m not saying the No. 1 team in 3A can’t be beaten, but Capital has its work cut out for it.

THE TIMES’ PICK: Bellevue 27, Capital 13

Skyline vs. Ferris, 1 p.m. Saturday at Joe Albi Stadium, Spokane

I had a good conversation today with Ferris coach Jim Sharkey, who obviously has a lot of respect for Skyline. He said he has never had a harder time finding a team’s weakness than he has this week for Skyline. “They’re so balanced,” he said. “What kind of gets lost is their defense and their special teams are so good.” As irrelevant as a 7-on-7 finish may be, that the Saxons beat Skyline in the summer has to help with Ferris’ confidence, knowing they have gone against this vaunted team’s skill players and hung with them. The Saxons want to keep it close because they have played so well in the second half this season, they might have a shot at the shocker. They could keep it close, but it will be an extraordinary performance if they keep it close enough to make a run at it.

THE TIMES’ PICK: Skyline 24, Ferris 10

Issaquah vs. Central Kitsap, 4 p.m. Saturday at the Tacoma Dome

Hard to read Central Kitsap at this point, but you can’t doubt teams when they have made it this far. The Cougars made it through Olympia, got through Rogers, and now they bring their running game (senior Howie McDonald has 1,800 yards and 21 TDs) against Issaquah, which has given up quite a few rushing yards the past few weeks. The Eagles have also gained a ton, too. Grant Gellatly, who will be featured Friday in the Times, has 499 rushing yards and six touchdowns the past two weeks. The difference could be on the offensive line, where Issaquah has clearly returned to form.

THE TIMES’ PICK: Issaquah 24, Central Kitsap 16

Archbishop Murphy vs. Lynden, 10 a.m. Saturday at the Tacoma Dome

This is a rematch semifinal; ATM beat Lynden 26-15 in its opener, one week before the Wildcats beat Metro League champ Eastside Catholic. Several Wildcats, coach Dave Ward included, said Lynden has improved since the week 1 matchup, but so have the Wildcats. ATM has won its past two games 106-20, and the two-QB system has worked for it — because they both know they’re playing, one doesn’t feel the pressure that the other could replace him. This is an ATM team on a mission after last year. They’re playing for last year’s guys, too, and the bet here is they move on.

THE TIMES’ PICK: Archbishop Murphy 31, Lynden 21



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