Football in Washington is back in the fall – with everyone playing a nine-week regular season all at the same time.
SBLive chose the top games to see on a weekly basis – starting this weekend when the season kicks off.
Editor’s note: Keep in mind that all schedules during the pandemic remain fluid … so check them regularly!!
WEEK 1 (Aug. 30-Sept. 4)
Skinny: Talent alone – up to 10 potential NCAA Division I recruits will be in uniform – still makes this non-league showdown very intriguing, even if both teams are different compared to the powerhouses from previous years.
Honorable mention: 3A No. 1 O’Dea at 4A No. 4 Union (Sept. 3); No. 7 Lincoln of Tacoma at No. 6 Yelm (Sept. 3); Kentwood at Eastlake (Sept. 4).
WEEK 2 (Sept. 6-11)
Skinny: Three-time defending 4A/3A MCC champion Riverhawks could be on a 19-game league winning streak (if they beat Hanford) heading into this titanic matchup. Both have multi-year starting quarterbacks. Both hate losing.
Honorable mention: Ferndale at 2A No. 4 Lynden (Sept. 10); No. 2 Napavine at No. 3 Onalaska (Sept. 10); 1A No. 6 Zillah at 2A No. 10 Prosser (Sept. 10).
WEEK 3 (Sept. 13-18)
Skinny: This Wesco-vs.-Metro blockbuster will have a different feel – it will be the Vikings’ season debut (COVID-19 game cancellations the first two weeks). Still, worth seeing Jayden Limar and Jason Brown, two of state’s top tailbacks, go at it.
Honorable mention: No. 7 Lincoln of Tacoma at No. 4 Bellevue (Sept. 17); Kamiakin at Richland (Sept. 17); No. 6 Sumner at No. 8 Puyallup (Sept. 17).
WEEK 4 (Sept. 20-25)
Skinny: If there is a 4A SPSL team capable of pinning a loss on the top team in the classification, this might be it. There will be six D1 linemen squaring off in the trenches, led by Pac-12-bound left tackles Vega Ioane (G-K) and David Iuli (Puyallup).
Honorable mention: No. 7 Lincoln of Tacoma at No. 3 Spanaway Lake (Sept 23); Rainier Beach at No. 1 O’Dea (Sept. 24); No. 6 Zillah at No. 4 Connell (Sept. 24).
WEEK 5 (Sept. 27-Oct. 2)
Oct. 1: No. 1 O’Dea at No. 2 Seattle Prep, 7 p.m., West Seattle Stadium
Skinny: Rematch of last spring’s Metro League playoff championship game, won by the Irish, 49-7. Earlier in the season, the Panthers upended O’Dea for the first time since 1980. Can QB Braeden Smith and the crew slay the league’s giant one more time?
Honorable mention: Ferndale at No. 10 Marysville-Pilchuck (Oct. 1); Chiawana at Richland (Oct. 1); Bothell at Mount Si (Oct. 1).
WEEK 6 (Oct. 4-9)
Skinny: Like high-powered quarterbacks who do different things? Ryan McKenna will run plenty (and pass a little) out of the Bullpups’ triple-option attack, and big-armed Luke Abshire might throw 50 times in this game for the Bears. Likely for the 4A Greater Spokane League crown and No. 1 seed to the playoffs.
Honorable mention: No. 8 Eastside Catholic at No. 1 O’Dea (Oct. 8); No. 2 Lakewood at No. 4 Lynden (Oct. 8); No. 1 Odessa at No. 2 Almira/Coulee-Hartline (Oct. 8).
WEEK 7 (Oct. 11-16)
Skinny: The bigger rivalry is Union-vs.-Camas – but this could be Clark County’s best matchup this fall based on returning experience. And there still might be a “Camas” influence as QB Dom Colletto (transferred to Union) could be finding Notre Dame WR commit Tobias Merriweather on big plays.
Honorable mention: No. 7 Bothell at Woodinville (Oct. 15); No. 3 Onalaska at No. 1 Kalama (Oct. 15); No. 1 Graham-Kapowsin at No. 6 Sumner (Oct. 16).
WEEK 8 (Oct. 18-23)
Skinny: Who knows what will happen in the crazy 3A PCL, but it would not surprise anybody if this was for the league title. Abes won last year’s meeting after QB Gabarri Johnson led offense on 90-yard drive in final minutes. That disappointment has stuck in craw of talented Lakes secondary.
Honorable mention: No. 5 Kennedy Catholic at Kentwood (Oct. 22); Peninsula at No. 5 Yelm (Oct. 22); No. 5 Mount Baker at No. 3 Lynden Christian (Oct. 22).
WEEK 9 (Oct. 25-30)
Skinny: Last spring, the two teams combined for 1,019 yards of offense in the Vikings’ 63-35 victory. Grizzlies’ young, talented offensive line should set the tone in the trenches, but how will they deal with all of Lake Stevens’ skill guys, led by RB Jayden Limar and WR Drew Carter?
Honorable mention: Camas at No. 4 Union (Oct 29), 3A No. 9 Mount Spokane at 4A No. 3 Gonzaga Prep (Oct. 29); No. 7 Toppenish at No. 6 Zillah (Oct. 29).