The No. 6 Clatskanie Tigers are in a weird spot.
At 5-0 in the OSAA Special District 1 West, Clatskanie won the league and figured to get the highest ranking out of it. But they didn’t. Of the three playoff teams out of SD1-W, they actually got the lowest seed and will only get a single home game. Amity, which Clatskanie beat, figures to get at least two homes games.
Though that’s probably frustrating, it won’t matter to Clatskanie in the least. The Tigers never worry about that kind of stuff and instead focus on winning football games and improving. Remember, before the start of their five-game winning streak that saw wins over Rainier and Amity, the Tigers lost to 4A La Grande 43-0. It wasn’t catastrophic and ended up not mattering at all.
And so, ranked sixth, Clatskanie gets to host a playoff game and welcomes St. Mary’s of Medford, a high-flying squad with a good quarterback and lots of receivers.
There’s also the interesting Week 1 result on St. Mary’s schedule that suggests this won’t be a forgetful first round matchup.
Amity just barely slipped past St. Mary’s 34-32 way bay in September. Clatskanie beat Amity 42-6, true, but the Tigers had to slip past Rainier, and the Warriors and Columbians played a close one.
Comparing results isn’t always enlightening, but it’s something to keep in mind as the Crusaders come to town.
Oh, and if both the No. 6 (Clatskanie) and the No. 4 (Amity) win, they’ll meet in the second round. In Amity.
SPANAWAY LAKE AT KELSO7 p.m. at Schroeder Field
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Deonte Hayes, WR, Spanaway Lake: The Sentinel junior has caught 42 passes for 575 yards and nine touchdowns this season from two different quarterbacks. He caught four scores in a 51-0 win over Mt. Tahoma in September has caught three touchdowns in his last two games.
Josh Webb, RB, Kelso: Webb was held to just 21 yards and no touchdowns last week, but he still has 1,216 yards and 17 touchdowns on just 107 carries this season. That’s a per-carry average of 11.4 yards, which is just bonkers.
Spanaway Lake Outlook: The Sentinels finished fourth in the Pierce County League at 4-5 (4-3), and just one of those losses (48-0 to league champ Lincoln) weren’t close. The Sentinels roll into Schroeder Field feeling good about themselves and have a right to.
Kelso Outlook: The playoffs have been rough for the Scotties the past decade and a half. Since getting to the semifinals against Jake Locker and Ferndale, they are 2-10 in the playoffs with the only wins coming over Seattle Prep, two losses to O’Dea and a loss to Eastside Catholic. Now, though, Kelso gets Spanaway Lake, which backed into the playoffs and has to make the long trip down to Cowlitz County.
HOQUIAM AT CASTLE ROCK
7 p.m. in Castle Rock
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Malaki Eaton, RB, Hoquiam: The senior rushed for 303 yards and three touchdowns in the Grizzlies’ season finale last week, a 42-13 win over Forks. Eaton rushed for a touchdown in Hoquiam’s Week 1 48-12 win over the Rockets, but has come on much stronger in recent weeks.
Wyatt Partridge, RB, Castle Rock: The junior bowling ball was held under 100 yards for the first time this season, rushing for just 81 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. He still has a mind-boggling 1,943 yards and 21 scores on the year, two numbers which have to put him at the top of the state regardless of classification.
Hoquiam Outlook: Throwing out the Week 1 result, Hoquiam has one common opponent with Castle Rock: La Center. The Wildcats beat the Grizzlies 48-14 in Week 3. That’s not to say that Castle Rock will win or that Hoquiam will, either, but it’s interesting.
Castle Rock Outlook: The Rockets are revenge-minded with the Grizzlies coming to town. They’re also playing well. They haven’t scored fewer than 39 points since Week 2 and have allowed 40 or more just twice, and both were losses. The Rockets are also dealing with several important injuries which could be massive.
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MADRAS AT RAINIER
7 p.m. at Chris Corl Memorial Field
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Treyvon Easterling, RB, Madras: The senior is 220-pounds of dump truck who rushed for 149 yards and five touchdowns in Madras’ 49-7 win over Salem Academy in the White Buffaloes’ season finale. Madras didn’t score earlier in the season against Rainier.
David Katon, RB, Rainier: The Columbian offense is finally running at full power as all of their backs have returned from injury. Katon is the stalwart, rushing for three touchdowns last week and generally being a force in the center of the Rainier Diesel offense.
Madras Outlook: Since losing 44-0 to No. 5 Rainier, No. 12 Madras is 4-1 with a 39-12 triumph over Dayton, which Rainier beat 68-44. So Madras enters the first round of the playoffs with considerable momentum and is already familiar with the drive, the locker room and the turf at Chris Corl Memorial Field.
Rainier Outlook: It seems strange to think that two losses constitutes a disappointing Rainier season, but it hasn’t been entirely smooth for the Columbians. They sustained some injuries to key players in key positions and lost a couple close games to good teams (Clatskanie, Amity). Perhaps it’s good Rainier gets Madras, which it has already handled. The thing, though, is a second matchup with Amity looms.
WINLOCK AT NAPAVINE
7 p.m. in Napavine
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Bryce Cline, QB, Winlock: The Cardinals senior rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 137 yards and three more touchdowns in the Cardinals’ playoff-clinching win over Wahkiakum last week. Cline and his bevy of receivers have been putting up huge point totals all season, and now get to test their mettle against the Tigers.
Laytham Demarest, QB, Napavine: The Tigers senior rushed for 226 yards and four touchdowns in the Tigers’ 51-6 drubbing of Rainier to finish its season. All season, Demerest has been an explosive runner while having enough throwing potential to keep defenses honest.
Winlock Outlook: It’s been a really good season for Winlock. They made a postseason game for the first time in years. Coach Ernie Samples was guarded before the season and did a fantastic job with the Cardinals this year. It’s not a done deal that Winlock falls in Napavine, but it’ll be a huge challenge to knock off the second-ranked Tigers.
Napavine Outlook: Outside of one game against Onalaska, the Tigers have waxed about everyone they’ve played. It seems clear that Napavine, Onalaska and Kalama are the three best teams in the 2B ranks, with Friday Harbor quietly looming. Napavine can’t make any assumptions against a pretty good Winlock team.
WAHKIAKUM AT ONALASKA
7 p.m. in Onalaska
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kaden Anderson, QB, Wahkiakum: The 6-foot-3 Anderson rushed for the Mules’ only touchdown a week ago and has been a big part of the offense all season. With another year to play, the Mules have time to further develop Anderson in the 2B Central River Division.
Ashton Haight, FB, Onalaska: Known colloquially as The Feral Hog, Haight is the dive back in Onalaska’s triple option attack. Two weeks ago, in a blowout win over Adna, Haight rushed for 278 yards and three touchdowns. He’s a load, that’s for sure.
Wahkiakum Outlook: The reward the Mules get for advancing to the crossover round is…Onalaska. Those football gods again. Perhaps a silver lining here for Wahkiakum is just getting a 10th game, especially after it was outscored 144-17 in its final three games.
Onalaska Outlook: The Loggers are looking to unseat the presumptive kings of 2B: Napavine and Kalama this season. So far, it’s been a success. Onalaska has already beaten Napavine (36-13), which in turn beat Kalama (33-27) some weeks ago. This Week 10 Crossover is the first of five postseason steps Onalaska needs to take and it’s safe to say it isn’t looking at step four or five yet.