A lot is happening at differences paces around the state of Washington. More high school football teams are playing mid-week as the COVID-condensed season rolls on, while some leagues have already finished their seasons.
Here is a quick recap of last week’s highlights, and a look forward to Week 6 storylines and games to follow.
THREE THINGS WORTH REVISITING FROM WEEK 5
Hazen student manager Kai Sasaki scores touchdown
Late in the fourth quarter of Newport (Bellevue)’s 42-8 win over Hazen, Highlanders student manager Kai Sasaki scored on a designed run play and ensuing two-point conversion in the fourth quarter against Newport. Sasaki, a special needs student at Hazen, has been around the football team for three years.
“Everyone knows Kai,” Hazen coach Chris Bennett said.
Bennett started having discussions with Sasaki’s family last summer into fall about potentially suiting him up for a game. With the pandemic threatening a season, doubt loomed as to whether or not they would get the chance.
On Friday, the moment was right. The schools’ athletic directors discussed it as Hazen drove down the field late in the fourth quarter, and Bennett called the play. After Sasaki scored, Hazen went to line up to kick a PAT when a referee stepped in. “One of the refs was like, ‘hey, forget the PAT, let him run in the two-point conversion,’ ” Bennett said. “And (Newport coach Drew) Oliver was like, ‘yeah, for sure.'”
“Great by all parties involved, and Newport high school and coach Oliver for setting it up and letting it happen naturally in a game that was dominated by them,” Bennett said. “It was within the flow of the game, it was pretty cool. Something that young man and his family will remember for a long time.”
Gabarri Johnson flashes first show-stopping moments
In Lincoln’s PCL duel with Lakes, the much hyped sophomore dual threat QB showed why he had the Pac-12 knocking on his door before starting a game. His 96-yard drive, last-second TD pass floated with perfection to Darius Bailey and the ensuing two-point conversion run lifted Lincoln to a 22-21 win.
Lynden Christian ends 2021 run with a bang, crowned unofficial area champs
The Lyncs pulled away from a Mount Baker in a game that may as well have been a 1A state semifinal on Saturday. It was the last game of the season for both teams, since there will be no playoff in the pandemic-condensed season. For a Lyncs team that dominated its schedule, not getting a shot at a potential playoff rematch with Royal, which beat LC 26-22 in the 1A state title last year, has been a tough reality to grapple with. As Royal continues to plow through a big school schedule, Lyncs coach Dan Kaemingk is trying to fight the urge not to think of what could have been, had they had a chance to make another playoff run.
REWIND SBLIVE’S WEEK 5 COVERAGE
As game coverage continues, we’re beginning to roll out lists identifying the top players at each position across the state. They will be rolled out by position group over the next several weeks. Find those below:
Last week’s SBLive Washington podcast: Steilacoom’s DJ Fryar
(3A) Seattle Prep 15, (3A) O’Dea 14 (STORY)
(4A) Glacier Peak 40, (2A) Archbishop Murphy 6 (4 OBSERVATIONS)
(3A) Mt. Spokane 19, (4A) Central Valley 15 (PHOTO GALLERY)
(2B) Napavine 42, (2B) Onalaska 28 (5 OBSERVATIONS)
(1A) Lynden Christian 33, (1A) Mount Baker 14 (5 OBSERVATIONS)
TOP 10 PLAYS FROM WEEK 5
Who should be the WaFd Bank athlete of the week? VOTE HERE
EARLY WEEKDAY COVERAGE OF WEEK 6
SBLive Washington podcast: Union’s Tobias Merriweather
(4A) Camas 38, (4A) Skyview 31, 2OT
(3A) Spanaway Lake 34, (3A) Lincoln 7
TOP STORYLINES TO FOLLOW IN WEEK 6
Sam Huard’s all-time passing record chase on pace to end Saturday
Huard, the No. 1 pro-style QB prospect in the country, is 333 yards away from eclipsing a record that until the pandemic, seemed inevitable. He’s eclipsed that mark in the first half the Lancers’ first two games. He threw for 515 yards (and seven touchdowns) against Tahoma, then 444 yards and six touchdowns against Decatur on Friday. Entering Saturday’s 4A NPSL matchup with Kentwood, Huard has thrown for 12,704 yards and 145 touchdowns
As it stands here are the all-time Washington high school passing leaders:
- Brett Rypien, Shadle Park: 13,044 yards
- Max Browne, Skyline: 12,953 yards
- Sam Huard, Kennedy Catholic: 12,712 yards
GSL-leading Gonzaga Prep has something to play for coming off COVID cancelation
After receiving news late Friday that its home game against University was called off due to a COVID flare-up at U-Hi, the Bullpups are eagerly, and cautiously, preparing to face Ferris (1-3).
Head coach Dave McKenna received a phone call at 2:06 p.m. Friday that the game was called off, a mere hours before kickoff.
“Just to get back onto the field to be awesome,” McKenna said. “We want to win, but more importantly we want to play. Hit each other all week, then game gets canceled due to nobody’s fault. It’s tough.”
The matchup against the Saxons will be the Bullpups’ first time playing in front of a 25 percent capacity stadium all year, and it will be a chance for G-Prep, which leads the 4A GSL standings, to avenge a 34-0 loss to Ferris in 2019 — “they hammered us, physically thumped us,” McKenna said.
Is this the year North Creek gets Woodinville?
Head coach Torrey Meyers doesn’t just play in a tough enough league — the 4A KingCO — to give North Creek plenty of challenges in a condensed schedule. The Jaguars are the new kids on the block in a North Shore School District with powerhouses Woodinville and Bothell. After dropping a close game to Bothell, 23-13, last week, North Creek faces a more evenly matched 1-1 Woodinville team. Is this the first year since the school opening in 2017 the Jaguars beat the Falcons?
Kennewick/Kamiakin play with short turnaround for one another
Kennewick and Kamiakin will have just four days to prepare for one another, in what will be a much-awaited MCC season finale. As some leagues around the state look to squeeze in games to maximize the shortened seasons, the Lions (4-0) face Southridge (0-4) on Thursday on the road. Kamiakin (3-1) plays Pasco (1-3) on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Lampson Stadium. Kennewick hosts Kamiakin on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
TOP THREE WEEK 6 GAMES ON TAP
1 p.m. Saturday at Highline Memorial Stadium, Burien
Skinny: Most people tuning in — in person or via stream — likely won’t be doing it just to see who wins. Huard could break the state’s all-time passing record and based on his first two games, could hit his needed mark — 333 yards — it in the first half.
Live streaming link: JustAGame Live.
SBLive Washington’s pick: Kennedy Catholic, 41-21.
7 p.m. Friday at Northeast Athletic Complex, Seattle
Skinny: Seattle Prep played giant killers once, beating O’Dea for the first time in 41 years down its starting quarterback last week. Can they do it again? The Panthers could be the first this season to even put points on the board against the two-time defending 3A state champs.
Live streaming link: YouTube.
SBLive Washington’s pick: Eastside Catholic, 21-7.
1 p.m. Saturday at Art Crate, Spanaway
Skinny: Enumclaw went down two classifications, from the 4A NPSL to the 2A SPSL. Eatonville classed down from the 2A SPSL to the 1A EvCo. In the last game of UW-bound Caden Jumper’s high school career, Eatonville will host Enumclaw in what should be a hard-nosed, physical battle.
Live streaming link: YouTube.
SBLive Washington’s pick: Enumclaw, 21-17