No. 1 Bellevue (1-0) at No. 5 Bothell (0-1)
Tom Bainter and his Bothell Cougars are trying to develop a mentality, which is an oft-used set of words in football. Yet for Bainter those words carry a pretty clear meaning, and he can point to a recent game to explain them.
The Cougars jumped out to a 14-0 lead against No. 1 Skyline last week, looking the part of a top-10 team in the state. But then, after halftime, Bothell didn’t score and didn’t stop the Spartans from calmly marching right back into the game, then pulling away for a 33-21 win.
“We didn’t see the same energy throughout the game,” Bainter said. “Our demeanor changed a little bit as the third quarter wore on and we got down by two scores.”
And so when Bainter talks about developing a mentality, he is really talking about moments like that Skyline game, when one team kept its cool and another lost a little of its edge. The good news for the Cougars: They get another crack at a No. 1 team, this time playing Bellevue, 3A’s top-ranked team, Friday night at 7 p.m.
“We’re probably playing the two best programs in our state,” Bainter said. “So here we go again.”
Bothell is loaded with talent. Darrin Laufasa and Danny Wilson, who is 100 percent after leaving last week’s game for a while with an injury, form arguably the best running back tandem in the state. Sophomore quarterback Ross Bowers is a player many think will be the next Max Browne. Dylan Lindsey is a talented offensive lineman, and the Cougars are experienced all over the field.
Yet Bainter thinks his team is still needs to take that next step, which starts by developing the same traits he admires in programs like Skyline and Bellevue.
“With Skyline, you want their poise, their ability to play the same way no matter what the score is, no matter what time in the game it is,” Bainter said. “The great thing about Skyline is they’re never down, never out.”
“Bellevue, they play the same way every play. It’s 100 percent, all you got, not saving anything for in the fourth quarter. Those two teams are just a little different when you watch them play their opponents. Having the ability to witness that firsthand is an incredible opportunity for our team to see it and learn from it and grow with it. If you want to be a team that accomplishes the goals we’ve set for ourselves, you’ve got to grow fast, learn quickly and play the best.”
Which is actually what Bothell is doing these first two weeks.
Bellevue is fresh off a dramatic overtime win against Trinity from Euless, Texas. That win vaulted the Wolverines in many national polls, and it will be interesting to see how they respond after such a hyped and emotional game.
No. 6 Issaquah (1-0) at No. 3 Mount Si (1-0)
Coaches always say that film never lies, and if that’s the case, Issaquah coach Chris Bennett noticed a truth about Mount Si, his team’s Friday night opponent.
“I think every time we’ve played them it’s been a physical game, and they’re a tough club,” Bennett said. “But, more so now, when I watch them on film, they have a lot more athletes to go with that physical brand of football.”
Mount Si is ranked third in 3A, in large part, because of those skill position players, including Trent Riley, Jimbo Davis and Hunter Malberg, to name only a few. Throw in tight end Griffin McLain and running back Riley Reed and Mount Si is pretty deep.
Issaquah, ranked sixth in 4A, played inconsistent in a 24-13 week 1 win against Interlake. Running back Jack Gellatly rushed for 175 yards and three touchdowns, and he will be a major factor in how Issaquah does against a Mount Si team capable of stacking up with many bigger schools.
“Usually, we think our starters are pretty equitable to any 4A starters,” Mount Si coach Charlie Kinnune said. “We think that 4A has an edge in depth, so if they take on an injury the chance of them bringing on someone more competent than we might be able to is possibly there. But I think we can play with most 4As, and we’ve proven that.”
“We’ve always played the good 4A schools, and we want that,” Kinnune added. “The kids love it. Are you kidding me?”
Issaquah and Mount Si are about 20 minutes apart, which only adds another layer to a game that, as Kinnune put it, “has all the elements.”
Other games to watch:
Eastside Catholic (1-0) vs. Eastlake (0-1): The first-ever meeting between two schools separated by just a mile. In fact, when putting the schools in Google Maps, you only need to know three roads to get from one school to the other. Oh, and Eastside Catholic is ranked fifth in state.
Roosevelt (1-0) vs. Kennedy Catholic (0-1): Kennedy Catholic dropped its opener against Mount Si, then dropped out of the 3A rankings. The Lancers are looking for a bounce back win against Roosevelt, while the Roughriders are looking to go 2-0 following last week’s upset of Seattle Prep.
Kentridge (0-1) vs. Auburn Riverside (1-0): The Ravens look to get to 2-0 against a Kentridge team that lost its opener against South Kitsap.
Lakes (0-1) vs. Bellarmine Prep (1-0): Not in our coverage area, I know, but Bellarmine Prep is our second-ranked team in 4A while Lakes is No. 4 in 3A, although Lakes did lose its opener.
Cascade (1-0) vs. Shorecrest (0-1): Can the Bruins make it two in a row after losing 24 straight?
Archbishop Murphy (1-0) vs. University City (San Diego): The Wildcats get a chance to prove themselves outside of Washington.