Week 3 football preview: Top 5 games to watch, players to see, score predictions

MONROE BEARCATS (1-1) at NO. 1 LAKE STEVENS VIKINGS (2-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Lake Stevens Stadium

Game nugget: Lake Stevens has won the past six 4A Wesco meetings, including a 49-31 victory last season. The Bearcats’ last victory was in 2012 (9-7).

About the Bearcats: When you give up an average of 42.8 points to the same opponent over a four-year stretch, you need to try something different. Monroe will under first-year defensive coordinator Zach Nelson, who has that unit doing a better job of disguising coverages and limiting big plays. RB Blake Rybar (55 rushes, 370 yards, six TDs) has been a handful to start the season, and he needs to force the Lake Stevens defense to come up so QB Gio Fregoso (46-for-65, 502 yards, TD) can find WR Efton Chism III (20 catches, 250 yards) behind the linebackers.

About the Vikings: One of the benefits of coming down and play Lincoln in a non-league game last week – they are going to see a lot of similar things with Monroe’s spread offense. LB Junior Robinson (team-high 30 tackles, 19 of those against Lincoln) has taken the run out of opposing rushing attacks, and CBs Kasen Kinchen and Gabe Ramsey (interception last week) lead a secondary playing sound pass coverage. QB Tanner Jellison (30-for-40, 478 yards, five TDs, one INT) continues to mature rapidly managing this balanced offense.

Scorebook Live pick: Lake Stevens, 40-30.

SKYVIEW (2-0) AT MOUNT SI (2-0)

7 p.m. Friday, at Mount Si High School, Snoqualmie

Game nugget: Mount Si drove down to Vancouver and beat Skyview handily, 52-28, thanks in large part to Cale Millen’s seven touchdown throws and more than 400 passing yards. Three of four starting DBs return for the Storm, and they surely haven’t forgotten.

About the Storm: Skyview returns 18 starters from a team that reached the 4A state playoffs a year ago, and through two weeks, the Storm are off to a strong start by beating Yelm on the road handily, and throttling district rival Columbia River in week two. Head coach Steve Kizer saw his defense peak at the end of last season, and with so many returning starters, he feels it has picked up where it left off. Utah State commit Yaro Duvalko is reliable under center. “He’s matured a bunch,” Kizer said. Running back Jalynnee McGee, who broke his foot midway through last season, is getting more and more carries each week as he works to 100 percent health. He had two touchdowns last week on six carries. 

About the Wildcats: Mount Si graduated a lot from its team that reached the 4A quarterfinals last year, most notably three-star quarterback Cale Millen, who is now playing at Oregon. But the Wildcats return two of Millen’s favorite targets Colby Botten and Brayden Holt, both seniors, and Clay Millen, Cale’s little brother, who also has an Oregon offer, has drawn praise early. He has thrown fiev touchdowns and 503 yards on a 72.5 percent completion rate through two games, per MaxPreps. Can the Wildcats beat an experienced Skyview side for a second straight year?

SB Live’s pick: Skyview 35-28

NO. 8 CENTRAL VALLEY (2-0) AT FERRIS (2-0)

8 p.m. Friday, at Joe Albi Stadium, Spokane

Game nugget: Ferris has not beat Central Valley since 2014. Central Valley beat Ferris 42-21 in a home league game last season. 

About the Bears: Central Valley opened the season with a big road win at Bellevue, a 3A state semi-finalist last season, and responded with a narrow comeback win over Garfield at home in week two. Now, the Bears face their first test from a non-Seattle area team. CV is led by quarterback Matt Gabbert, a 6-foot-5 Division I prospect, who has had as strong a start to the season as any quarterback. Cam Sheley caught an 81-yard touchdown from Gabbert in week two after a breakout week one performance — the wideout has been Gabbert’s top target. The Bears are playing like a team hungry to get back to the 4A state semifinals as they did two years ago, fueled by missing the playoffs altogether in 2018. 

About the Saxons: Ferris is off to a strong start with wins over Moses Lake (40-7) and Lake City (Idaho) to start the season. But in a deep Greater Spokane League, the Saxons face one of its tallest tasks in week three. Jovan Ruffin, a 5-foot-7, 165-pound senior, was the lead back against Lake City, turning 15 carries into 151 and senior Nate Schlosser was not far behind with 12 carries for 146 yards (per the Spokesman-Review). And Jake Davis, a first team all-GSL defensive end, holds down the D-line for a the Saxons, but he will face a big and tough CV O-line. 

SB Live’s pick: Central Valley 42-35

SEQUIM WOLVES (2-0) at NORTH KITSAP VIKINGS (1-1)

7 p.m. Friday, North Kitsap Stadium, Poulsbo

Game nugget: Since Sequim’s last double-digit win season in 2009 (10-2 record), the Vikings have had three 10-or-more-win seasons (2014, 2016-17).

About the Wolves: This rivalry has suddenly got a tad testy. It all stems from Sequim’s 16-14 victory over the Vikings last season, ending their two-year run as 2A Olympic League champions. QB Taig Wiker (25-for-43, 351 yards, three TDs; 112 rushing yards, three TDs) is adjusting well to his new position – and might run it a little more this week without favorite target – WR Michael Young (one-game suspension).

About the Vikings: The biggest question about this team early in 2019 – can North Kitsap score enough points? The Vikings did not score an offensive touchdown in the opening 14-3 loss to Bainbridge, but first-year QB Colton Bower (113 rushing yards, TD) was much more effective last week in a victory over 4A Wesco opponent Kamiak. Bower needs to have a big game on both sides to give North Kitsap a chance.

Scorebook Live pick: Sequim, 22-16.

NO. 2 ADNA AT NO. 5 KALAMA

7 p.m. Friday, at Chinook Stadium, Kalama

Game nugget: Adna may have won last year’s matchup between these two teams, but the Chinooks had the last say. They won the 2B state title, while Adna was upset in the semis.

About the Chinooks: Two-time defending state champion Kalama doesn’t have an easy route to a rebound. The Chinooks lost to Napavine 33-27 last week in a rematch of the 2018 2B state title game after beating 2A Woodland in week one, 26-7. Sophomore Jackson Esary, a first-year quarterback, threw for 212 yards and rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Esary’s most dangerous target out wide is Brennan Vance, an all-state wideout last season. Will Kalama’s experience (14 starts back from its state title team) kick in against a good and proven Adna side?

About the Pirates: Opened the season with comfortable wins over Willapa Valley (33-6) and Wahkiakum (39-21). The Chinooks were the top team in all of 2B last season and held an undefeated record before being upset by Napavine in the 2B state semifinals — the same Napavine that beat Kalama in the finals, 34-25. Adna may have graduated the majority of its starting lineup last year, but it is still a threat. Senior Braden Thomas is under center. He threw and rushed for 1,000 yards last season as a first-year quarterback.

SB Live’s pick: Adna 27-14

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: