In this edition of TFQ, we’ll take a look at how Roosevelt is on pace to continue an upward trend in the program and how Nathan Hale controls its own destiny. We’ll also look at a couple of league races and two out-of-the-area showdowns between ranked teams.
I’ll also take a look at two of the best defenses in the area, if not the entire state, in Bellevue and Mount Si.
But first, I want to pass along something that I think is really cool. Drew Anderson was a friend of mine in college who passed away in October of last year. Drew was a copy editor – and a really good one at that – but above anything else, Drew was just a genuinely sweet person. A friend named Sarah Kelly wrote a blog post in honor of Drew that asks a simple but difficult question: Could you go a day without complaining? Drew had muscular dystrophy and got around on a motorized scooter, but, as Sarah says, he never complained about anything. Ever. Please take the time to read about Sarah’s idea to go a day without complaining in honor of Drew here and consider giving it a try.
And now on with the show.
A story worth watching
Every Friday night or Saturday morning for the last few weeks, I’ve immediately jumped to the scores of two teams. One is Bellevue. The other is Mount Si.
My reason for doing so is simple: I want to see if either defense finally cracked and allowed a touchdown in the first three quarters of a game. That’s right, through five games this year Mount Si has yet to allow a touchdown in the first three quarters of a game. And, true, Bellevue did allow 24 points against Trinity from Euless, Texas, in Week 1, but Trinity is a Texas powerhouse and since then Belleuve has allowed only one touchdown in four games.
Not coincidentally, Bellevue and Mount Si are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the 3A rankings. The schools might have the best defenses in all of 3A and perhaps in the entire state.
And those defenses will play on the same field when the teams meet a week from Friday in one of the biggest games of the year.
Bellevue features playmakers all over the field. The Wolverines have Division-I linebackers in Sean Constantine and Myles Jack, who has produced the two biggest hits I’ve seen this season. They have Michael Carlson, who scored two defensive touchdowns in a game earlier this year. They have Darien Freeman, who controls the interior of the line. And they have Budda Baker, who is a threat on offense but a valuable piece of the puzzle at safety.
The Wolverines haven’t allowed a touchdown in three games.
Mount Si has posted three shutouts this season, including against then-ranked opponents Kennedy Catholic and Issaquah. The Wildcats have given up 14 points the entire season, and both scores came in the fourth quarter against Mount Si’s backup defense.
“Fast, fearless and physical,” said Interlake coach Jason Rimkus, whose group scored eight points against Mount Si. “Well-coached is the bottom line with those guys. Their secondary runs the show and the front seven do the heavy lifting.”
That’s also the way Mount Si coach Charlie Kinnune sees it. Kinnune knew what he had in the secondary. Defensive backs Hunter Malberg, Trent Riley, Jimbo Davis and Tyler Button all returned this year as proven players.
Kinnune wasn’t as sure with his group up front. But through five games, the front seven has produced at a high level. Griffin McLain and Blake Herman have been forces at defensive ends while Hank Van Liew and Evan Johnson lead the linebackers.
Kinnune said, so far, this is the best unit he’s had in his 21 years at the school.
“It’s a 10-game schedule,” he reminded, “but, right now, through the first five games I don’t recall us playing like this.”
And here’s the really fun part: There’s a good chance both teams could enter with those streaks intact on Oct. 12. Bellevue plays Interlake, which scored eight points in the fourth quarter against Mount Si. The Wildcats play Lake Washington, which didn’t score against Bellevue.
Big games and bits and pieces‘
Roosevelt does it again
A previous version misspelled Matt Nelsen’s name.
Before boarding the bus bound for Issaquah, Roosevelt coach Matt Nelsen kept reminding his players about the atmosphere and setting awaiting them on Friday.
It was, Nelsen said multiple times, a perfect setting for high school football, and he wanted his guys to enjoy it.
“The school is incredible, and you can tell there is so much tradition and history,” Nelsen said. “They had a huge crowd, and the field is so awesome. We talked about it as a team going into, how exciting it is to travel over there. A lot of the guys have never even been to Issaquah, and we talked about how exciting an opportunity it was to experience that type of setting.”
You know the only thing that can make experiencing a setting like Issaquah’s even better? Getting back on that same bus with a win, which is exactly what Roosevelt did by beating the Eagles 21-17.
Roosevelt, which has improved by one win every year, is in position to do so once again. After winning four games last year, the Roughriders (3-2) have a good shot at getting at least five wins this year with Newport, Garfield and Ballard left on the schedule.
“I’m just glad they get the positive feedback of the hard work that they put in,” said Nelsen, who’s in his sixth year.
After the game, Nelsen said someone told him that most football games feature three momentum changes, which is something he hadn’t heard of before. But then he thought about the Issaquah game and realized that held true.
Roosevelt jumped out to a 14-7 lead at halftime behind a 1-yard touchdown run by Taku Shiozaki and an 18-yard run from Mitchell Bouldin.
Then, throughout the third quarter and into the fourth, Issaquah grabbed the game’s momentum as Kui Osterhout scored on a 12-yard pass from Jack Neary and Alex Shane booted a 37-yard field goal. Issaquah led 17-14 into the fourth quarter.
But then the Eagles, who had at least four turnovers in each of their first four games, had another costly mistake. With Issaquah driving with about eight minutes left in the game, here’s the way Nelson saw the play unfold:
“Their quarterback is big, and we thought we had him sacked,” he said. “I’m all excited about that, and he breaks two tackles. And then I’m hanging my head, and the next thing he throws it and we get a tipped ball, jumped and got an interception. All in one play it kind of summed up the emotions of the whole game for me.”
Mitchell Shepherd, a senior captain, hauled in that interception and Shiozaki tacked on his second touchdown run of the game on the ensuing drive.
Issaquah once again rode running back Jack Gellatly, who had a touchdown in the first half and wore down a physical Roosevelt team.
“He was just so powerful, and we just kept sending guys in there to hit him and hit him and hit him,” Nelsen said. “We were already down a couple guys. A couple of our players by the end were looking at me like, ‘I’m tired of tackling that kid.'”
And yet the Roughriders weren’t too tired to still enjoy their first win in three tries against traditionally tough Issaquah.
Nathan Hale sitting in the driver’s seat of the Sound Division
With three games left in the season, Nathan Hale sits in the driver’s seat of the Metro League Sound Division after hanging on to beat Rainier Beach two weeks ago and handling Cleveland 42-18 on Friday.
The Raiders are 4-1 this season with their lone loss coming to Roosevelt. They knocked off Rainier Beach 41-40 last week in a game that gave them control of their own destiny in the Sound Division. They have Chief Sealth, Ingraham and West Seattle left on their schedule.
Hale quarterback Winston Hallam-Eames passed for five touchdowns against Cleveland. He has 10 touchdowns this season, including seven in his last two games. Aaron Mandell (nine touchdowns) and Aiden Gold (five touchdowns) are also two of the Raiders’ biggest weapons.
Other conference races to keep an eye on
Bothell started the season off 0-3, which came as a surprise to many around the area. But the Cougars have won two straight and sit at 2-0 in league play.
Running back Danny Wilson rushed 247 yards and three touchdowns two weeks ago in a win against Eastlake, and he added two more rushing touchdowns and 137 yards in a 35-7 win against Redmond on Friday. Quarterback Ross Bowers also tossed two touchdown passes for the second straight game.
In that same division, Woodinville is 1-0 in league play and appears to be Bothell’s biggest competitor for the division crown. The Falcons bounced back with two consecutive wins after a 42-10 loss to Newport in Week 3.
In the Metro League Mountain Division, Eastside Catholic and O’Dea appear headed for a showdown when they play on Oct. 12, which just so happens to be the same day Mount Si plays Bellevue. That game will likely decide the division winner.
Eastside Catholic is 5-0 overall and 2-0 in league play and should only get better as quarterback Trey Reynolds continues to get healthier. O’Dea is 1-0 in league play and 4-1 overall, with the Irish’s only loss coming two weeks ago against Issaquah.
Since then, though, O’Dea’s defense, which drew the ire of coach Monte Kohler in that Issaquah game, has allowed only 14 points.
In WesCo 3A South, Glacier Peak and Meadowdale are both undefeated and 2-0 in league play. Fittingly, they meet on Oct. 19 in the final game of the season. Both should still be undefeated in league play by the time that rolls around.
Both are also extremely balanced and can put up big offensive numbers.
OK, so I get complaints maybe once a week from people who feel that I disrespect southwest Washington or places outside of the Seattle area because I don’t cover those. There’s a pretty easy explanation for that: I really only cover things in our coverage area, and those places don’t fall into that.
But today I’m going to make an exception.
It wasn’t a great weekend of matchups in our area, so I’m going to step outside the box and write a little about two games between two ranked teams.
On Friday the Camas Papermakers (what a great name, by the way) knocked off perennial power Skyview 42-17. According to the Columbian, Nate Beasley rushed for 231 yards while John Norcross scored five touchdowns.
Camas was ranked sixth going into that game while Skyview was ranked fifth. It was also Camas’ first game in the 4A Greater St. Helens League. Skyview lost to Skyline in the 4A state championship last year and held an early lead before Camas rallied.
“It’s definitely going to be a statement for us,” Beasley told the Columbian. “We needed to show people we can play in the 4A league and we belong here.”
Consider it done.
In the other game between ranked teams in the state, No. 8 Gonzaga Prep surprised many (including myself) by hanging on to beat second-ranked Mead 33-27 on Thursday. Both teams entered the game undefeated.
According to the Spokesman-Review, Gonzaga Prep didn’t wrap up the game until Trevor Cote intercepted a pass in the end zone in the final seconds. The Spokesman-Review story also said that was Mead’s fifth turnover of the game.
Mead coach Sean Carty told the Spokesman-Review that “we’re not out of it,” and he’s right. But, much like Camas’ win, this was a big statement game for Gonzaga Prep, which bumped up in the rankings accordingly.
Source: Some stats from Everett Herald
Lindbergh’s Daniel Wiitenan had 18 carries for 163 yards, one rushing touchdown and one receiving touchdown.
Bellevue’s John Nguyen had 12 carries 274 yards four touchdowns.
Clover Park’s Brandon Pritchett had 28 carries for 341 yards and six touchdowns.
Eastlake’s Drew Lewis had 21 carries for 242 yards and three touchdowns and also had five catches for 60 yards and a touchdown.
King’s Billy Green completed 18 of 23 passes for 340 yards and five scores with one interception.
Kentwood’s Jackson Huerta intercepted two passes, returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown and had a touchdown catch.
Jefferson’s Niko DelaCruz had 302 total yards and three touchdowns.
Nathan Hale’s Winston Hallam-Eames threw five touchdown passes.
Auburn’s Harold Lee rushed for 170 yards and three touchdowns, including on runs of 49 and 52 yards.
Lake Stevens’ Conner Coleman had six receptions for 193 yards and three touchdowns.
Marysville-Pilchuck’s Kacey Walker had 171 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown.
O’Dea’s Tatum Taylor scored two rushing touchdowns, including a 75-yarder, and also had an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Rainier Beach’s Keiwuan Miller had four touchdowns – two rushing and two receiving.
Graham-Kapowsin’s Teague James had four rushing touchdowns.
1. Skyline (Sammamish) (5-0) beat Garfield 67-16
2. Federal Way (5-0) beat Puyallup 63-20
3. Camas (5-0) beat No. 5 Skyview 42-17
4. Gonzaga Prep (Spokane) (5-0) beat No. 2 Mead 33-27 Thursday
5. Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma) (4-1) beat Stadium 58-7
6. Mead (Spokane) (4-1) lost to No. 8 Gonzaga Prep 33-27 Thursday
7. Kentwood (Covington) (5-0) beat Kentridge 38-6
8. Skyview (Vancouver) (3-2) lost to No. 6 Camas 42-17
9. Ferris (Spokane) (4-1) beat North Central 31-12
10. Newport (Bellevue) (3-2) beat Ballard 48-7
Dropped out: None
1. Bellevue (5-0) beat Juanita 49-0
2. Mount Si (Snoqualmie) (5-0) beat Sammamish 63-0
3. O’Dea (Seattle) (4-1) beat Ingraham 48-7
4. Eastside Catholic (Sammamish) (5-0) beat Seattle Prep 22-6
5. Glacier Peak (Snohomish) (5-0) beat Shorecrest 56-0
6. Meadowdale (Lynnwood) (5-0) beat Shorewood 49-0
7. Kamiakin (Kennewick) (4-1) beat Richland 25-13
8. Mercer Island (4-1) beat Interlake 29-15
9. Kennedy Catholic (Burien) (3-1) beat Hazen 35-0 Thursday
10. Timberline (Lacey) (4-1) beat Lincoln 28-13
Dropped out: None
1. Othello (4-0) beat Ephrata 43-14
2. Capital (Olympia) (4-1) beat Centralia 48-3
3. Lynden (4-1) beat Sehome 41-0
4. Prosser (4-1) beat No. 7 Ellensburg 38-7
5. Lakewood (5-0) beat South Whidbey 42-13
6. Tumwater (4-1) beat W.F. West 21-20
7. Ellensburg (4-1) lost to No. 4 Prosser 38-7
8. East Valley (Spokane) (5-0) beat Colville 28-7
9. Archbishop Murphy (Everett) (2-2) idle
10. Mark Morris (Longview) (4-1) beat Aberdeen 42-6
Dropped out: None