Bracket Breakdown: Game-by-game analysis, picks in WIAA Class 2A state football quarterfinals

Here’s a game-by-game breakdown of this weekend’s 2019 WIAA Class 2A football quarterfinal playoff matchups.

NO. 11 WASHOUGAL PANTHERS (7-4) at NO. 3 LYNDEN LIONS (8-2)

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2 p.m. Saturday, at Civic Stadium, Bellingham

What to watch for: Lynden is heavily-favored, but surely won’t look past the Panthers, who have now upended top-10 ranked opponents in back-to-back playoff games. The Lions will likely lean on RB Steven DiLorenzo (1,332 rushing yards 11 TDs) to carry the load. For the Panthers to post another upset, they need QB Dalton Payne (2,182 passing yards, 24 TDs) to let it fly. Lynden is seeking its third semifinal berth in the past four seasons.

Pick: Lynden, 35-21.

NO. 7 PROSSER MUSTANGS (9-2) at NO. 2 STEILACOOM SENTINELS (9-2)

7 p.m. Friday, at Mount Tahoma Stadium, Tacoma

What to watch for: Plenty is at stake for the Sentinels, who are trying to reach the state semifinal for the first time in school history. They are 0-9 all-time in quarterfinal games. But this is no ordinary Steilacoom team, led by QB Chance McDonald (2,975 passing yards 40 TDs), who will look often for WR Emeka Egbuka (1,285 receiving yards, 25 total TDs). QB Kaiden Rivera (2,299 passing yards, 19 TDs) has been stellar as Prosser’s new starter (9-1).

Pick: Steilacoom, 38-30.

NO. 6 LAKEWOOD COUGARS (8-2) at NO. 4 HOCKINSON HAWKS (10-1)

2 p.m. Saturday, at Battle Ground District Stadium

What to watch for: Is this the week the Hawks’ two-year reign as 2A champion ends? They rallied to beat Ellensburg (21-15) in the first round, and now have Lakewood’s dual-threat QB Jared Taylor (1,071 passing yards, 1,245 rushing yards, 32 total TDs) coming to town. But don’t ever count out this proud team, especially with QB Levi Crum (2,435 passing yards, 34 TDs; 690 rushing yards, 12 TDs) leading the way.

Pick: Hockinson, 27-23.

NO. 8 ARCHBISHOP MURPHY WILDCATS (8-2) at NO. 1 TUMWATER THUNDERBIRDS

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1 p.m. Saturday, at Tumwater District Stadium

What to watch for: Any time these two small-school powerhouses get together, it is sure to be a dandy – especially in the state playoffs. They have faced off six times since 2010, with Tumwater winning four of those games, including a 10-6 victory in the 2017 semifinals. RB Dylan Paine (1,201 rushing yards, 21 TDs) leads a high-powered Wing-T rushing attack, but the Wildcats are one of the few teams big enough up front (gave up 24 rushing yards to North Kitsap last week) to go toe-to-toe.

Pick: Tumwater, 24-17.

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