Here’s a breakdown of this weekend’s 2019 WIAA Class 4A football championship matchup:
NO. 2 CAMAS PAPERMAKERS (13-0) vs. NO. 5 BOTHELL COUGARS (11-2)
4 p.m. Saturday, at Mount Tahoma Stadium, Tacoma
Game nugget: For two programs with such state tradition, especially over the past decade, they have only met once previously – in the 2018 district round, won 36-35 by the Cougars.
Coaches: Jon Eagle is in 12th season at Camas (121-21 record). Tom Bainter is in his 20th season at Bothell (181-55 record).
State championships: Camas in 2016. Bothell in 2014.
Road to the Gridiron Classic: Camas – Defeated No. 15 Eastmont (41-0) in the first round, No. 7 Puyallup (56-27) in the quarterfinals and No. 11 Mount Si 35-14) in the semifinals. Bothell – Defeated No. 12 Kentwood (17-14) in the first round, No. 4 Graham-Kapowsin (30-27) in the quarterfinals and No. 8 Woodinville (31-21) in the semifinals.
About the Papermakers: Yes, the “Revenge Tour” is in full swing – and it is fitting that it ends this weekend with a matchup against Bothell, which is the last team to hand them a loss. No offensive line in the state, anchored by LT Tristan Souza, has been better at pushing around opposing defensive lines, which has led to a huge coming-out campaign for RB Jacques Badolato-Birdsell (1,343 rushing yards, 26 TDs). Expect QB Blake Asciutto to dial up a few big-chunk pass plays downfield to WR Jackson Clemmer (41 catches, 1,068 yards, 16 TDs) as well.
About the Cougars: Is it time to stop doubting the 4A KingCo champions? This is a team that has gotten on a roll at the right time, which has given do-everything RB Christian Galvan (797 rushing yards, nine TDs) needed time to recover from a nagging ankle injury that kept him out multiple weeks. He had 22 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown last week against Woodinville. Bothell’s defensive front seven, led by DE Gabe Johnson, DT Elijah Vaotogo and LBs Ryan Metz, Colin Fisherkiller and Blake Bickhaus, is performing at as high a level as Bainter has ever seen in his coaching tenure.
Scorebook Live WA pick: Camas, 37-28.