All of the Seattle-area teams left in the playoffs roll into the semifinals this weekend behind a stretch of impressive play.
In 4A, Skyline labored through the first half against Roosevelt on Friday, then promptly scored 40 points in the second half. Auburn, meanwhile, has held its last two opponents to just seven points each.
In 3A, Bellevue has allowed just three points in its last four games. Fresh off scoring 42 points in the second quarter against Glacier Peak the week before, Mount Si held Kennedy Catholic to seven points in a 38-7 win. And Eastside Catholic has scored 134 points in its last two games.
And now those teams are about to square off against equally impressive opponents this weekend. The state semifinals are upon us, and to prepare I put together quick looks at each of the playoff teams left in the Seattle area to give you a feel for where those teams stand.
I’ve also included the playoff schedules for all classifications, and top performances can be found at the bottom of the blog.
There will be plenty more to come this week, including previews of the other teams in 4A and 3A, but first, here’s a primer on teams in the area:
Semifinal games this week
– Skyline (12-0) and Camas (12-0) will play on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome.
– Auburn (10-2) and Bellarmine Prep (11-1) will play on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome.
– Mount Si (11-1) and Bellevue (12-0) will play on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome.
– Eastside Catholic (12-0) and University (8-4) will play on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane.
– Capital (10-2) and Lynden (11-1) will play on Friday at 1 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome.
– Tumwater (11-1) and Prosser (11-1) will play on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Lampson Stadium in Kennewick.
– Royal and River View will play on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Lampson Stadium in Kennewick.
– Montesano and Mt Baker will play on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Tacoma Dome.
– La Conner and Morton-White Pass will play on Friday at 4 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome.
– Waitsburg-Prescott and Lind-Ritzville-Sprague will play on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Lampson Stadium in Kennewick.
– Liberty Christian and Cusick will play on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Joe Albi Stadium.
– Lummi and Neah Bay will play on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome.
Playoff teams at a glance
– QB Trey Reynolds: Reynolds has eight touchdowns in Eastside Catholic’s three playoff wins and rushed for more than 100 yards and passed for more than 100 yards in the Crusaders’ 65-34 win against Marysville-Pilchuck on Saturday. Also named the Metro League’s offensive MVP for the second straight year.
– RB Henry Jarvis: A powerful back at 5-foot-10, 210 pounds, Jarvis is a solid and dependable runner. He was named first-team All-Metro and broke at least six tackles on an 80-yard run in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
– DT Deion Fetui: Only a sophomore, Fetui (6-foot-0, 300 pounds) is a load up front. He’s the anchor of an Eastside Catholic defense that has allowed more than 20 points just four times this year.
Strengths: The Crusaders are one of the Seattle area’s most sound and disciplined teams. Led by second year coach Jeremy Thielbahr, the Crusaders might lack true star power (especially with defensive back and WSU commit Markell Sanders out for most of the year with an injury). But they are a team with plenty of steady and reliable players, especially on defense where Fetui and Elijah Pa’aga lead an aggressive front.
Weaknesses: It’s hard to pick flaws for a team that hasn’t lost a game and whose closest game this season was a 14-point win. But, at times this year, Eastside Catholic’s offense has gone a little stale, particularly in a 27-13 win against Meadowdale and a 22-6 win against Seattle Prep.
Wins in the playoffs: 27-13 vs. Meadowdale; 69-13 vs. Kelso; 65-34 vs. Marysville-Pilchuck.
– LB Myles Jack: Jack is simply a monster on defense. He’s so good, in fact, that teams would often game plan to try to run away from him during the season. Against Lincoln in the round-of-32, Jack had six sacks — in the first half. In Week 1, he delivered a vicious hit that knocked the Trinity quarterback out of the game. He then did the same against Peninsula last week. Oh, and he’s also a big-play threat at running back.
– DB Budda Baker: Baker is a lightning-quick player who excels on both sides of the ball. In Bellevue’s 49-10 win against Mount Si earlier this year, Baker returned two interceptions for touchdowns. He doesn’t get many carries at running back, but when he does, many of them end in long gains or touchdowns.
– DT Darien Freeman: Freeman is the anchor of a stingy defense. He doesn’t pile up many stats, but he controls the line of scrimmage and lets talented linebackers Sean Constantine, Myles Jack and Michael Carlson run free.
Strengths: Where to start? The Wolverines have scored more than 40 points this season nine times while pulling their starters by halftime in many of those games. But the real strength of this Bellevue team is defensively, where the Wolverines return a number of two- and three-year starters. Bellevue has allowed 10 points or more just three times this season while racking up six shutouts.
Weaknesses: You’d be hard-pressed to find someone in the state who could pick out a true flaw. But the Wolverines can get complacent, piling up penalties or mental mistakes on the same drive. It’s been coach Butch Goncharoff’s biggest gripe all year, but those stretches usually go as quickly as they came.
Wins in the playoffs: 45-0 vs. Lincoln; 28-0 vs. Ferndale; 40-0 vs. Peninsula
– WR Trent Riley: Riley has hauled in a school-record 25 touchdowns this season. Riley is one of the area’s most explosive and consistent receivers and has six touchdowns in his last three games. He’s also a solid defensive back.
– QB Nick Mitchell: Mitchell, just a junior, has always had a big arm but in his last three games, Mitchell has also became more accurate and consistent. He has 14 touchdowns and more than 600 yards in that stretch, including five touchdowns in a 38-7 win against Kennedy Catholic on Saturday.
– DL/TE Griffin McLain: McLain is a weapon on both sides of the ball, but particularly on defense. He was a KingCo 3A first-team defensive end and also has touchdown catches in each of his last two games.
Strengths: Mount Si’s defense has been tenacious all year. The Wildcats have allowed more than 10 points just twice — once to Bellevue and once to Glacier Peak, which scored most of its points with the game already decided. The Wildcats have four shutouts.
Weaknesses: Mitchell is a viable option to throw the ball, and the defense has been above average all season. But while the Wildcats have solid options at running back, they lack a true big-play threat that can change a game with one run. That hasn’t really hurt them, though, to this point in the year.
Wins in the playoffs: 52-7 vs. Auburn Mountainview; 52-19 vs. Glacier Peak; 38-7 vs. Kennedy Catholic.
– QB Max Browne: He’s a USC commit who is coming off a 310-yard, four-touchdown performance against Roosevelt. He’s also the No. 1 ranked quarterback in the country and has been nearly flawless this season.
– LB Peyton Pelluer: Pelluer is a Washington State commit who controls the middle of a stingy Skyline defense. The Spartans fly all over the field on defense and limit the running game, and most of that starts with Pelluer in the middle.
– RB Cedric Cooper: A transfer from Foster, Cooper doesn’t receive the attention of Browne or his receivers. But he has added another dimension to the Skyline offense this season. Against Roosevelt, he rushed for 195 yards and four touchdowns, avoiding and breaking tackles all night.
Strengths: Skyline is a veteran group that has been tested not only this year but last year as well. The defending 4A state champs have the best quarterback in the state, and that automatically gives them a potent offense. Throw in a handful of talented and speedy receivers, and it’s not hard to see how the Spartans have scored more than 50 points eight times this year.
Weaknesses: The Spartans have started slow in the first half of some games this year. They led just 28-21 against Newport at halftime before pulling away for a 56-28 win. They didn’t score in the first quarter against Lake Stevens before pulling away for a 42-0 win. And they were tied at 14 at halftime against Roosevelt before winning 54-21.
Wins in the playoffs: 59-17 vs. Puyallup; 42-0 vs. Lake Stevens; 54-21 vs. Roosevelt.
– DB Harold Lee: It’s not really fair to label Lee with any one position because he’s as versatile as they come. He has seven interceptions from his cornerback position, but he’s also scored on a touchdown run, on a receiving touchdown, on a kickoff return and on a punt return. He wears neon shoes and is simply dynamic.
– QB Brier Atkinson: Atkinson, a junior, is a capable passer and a tough runner. The Trojans get scoring from a number of players, but Atkinson is a big part of directing the offense. He scored all three touchdowns in Auburn’s 20-7 win against Eastmont two weeks ago.
– DE Kevin Shelton: Shelton is a solid player who also will get a few carries on offense. He even scored a rushing touchdown early in the playoffs. But he’s a big part of an Auburn defense that has only allowed 14 total points the last two games. He also had a sack last week.
Strengths: Auburn is a versatile offense that doesn’t rely on just one player. In a 41-38 win against Olympia in the round-of-32, the Trojans had five players score six touchdowns. That makes Auburn a tough offense to key on.
Weaknesses: The Trojans didn’t fare too well against the two best teams on their schedule this year, losing 31-7 to Kentwood and 43-0 to Federal Way during the regular season. Auburn responded well after both losses, but the Trojans struggled against better competition.
Wins in the playoffs: 41-38 vs. Olympia; 20-7 vs. Eastmont; 21-7 vs. Mead.