Predicted winners in bold…
Top Half of the Bracket
Curtis vs. Skyline
This is a game many predicted we would see at the beginning of the season and more feel like it will decide the state championship. The teams are offensive juggernauts, with Curtis setting a new SPSL scoring record this season and sophomore quarterback Max Browne breaking KingCo passing records.
Skyline features a passing attack that is a challenge for most high school teams to deal with. Besides a talented quarterback in Browne, the Spartans have a talented group of receivers including Kasen Williams, Jordan Simone and Mike Ford. The Curtis offense is a more balanced attack that would probably lean more towards the run, adding in big passing plays to burn the defense. Tyler Jamison is a seasoned high school quarterback and has great weapons in Rahmel Dockery and C.J. Langlow.
I think that the difference in the game will be in the trenches, where I give the edge to Curtis. Max Hersey and Cornelius Edison lead a talented Viking group that should be able to move the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. In addition, Rahmel Dockery has the ability to change the game on special teams. Dockery returned a kickoff against Skyline in last season's playoff game and I assume that Skyline will avoid kicking him the ball as most teams have this season.
I think this will be a close game, but Curtis is one of a handful of teams in the state that has the athletes to match up with Skyline in the secondary. In addition, I think they will win the battle at the line of scrimmage.
Bottom Half of the Bracket
Bellarine Prep vs. Ferris
Bellarmine Prep had one of the most exciting finishes of the playoffs last week as they toppled Bothell in the final seconds. Prep is led by their quarterback Sefo Liufau and wide receiver Michael Rector. Ferris is a team that will look to keep the ball on the ground. Relying on the legs of Kole Heidinger and quarterback Ben Goodwin.
This Ferris team is very different that the one that many saw in the state title game last season. Quarterback Connor Halliday moved on to Washington State and in turn the Saxons have become more of a run oriented team. I came away most impressed with the size of the Ferris team when I saw them earlier this season. The Saxons are a huge team across the board, from their line to their skill position players.
Bellarmine Prep has momentum and a little playoff mojo travelling with them to Spokane this weekend. However, the trip is one of the reasons that I think Ferris could have their way in this game. In addition to the long bus ride across state, the temperature at game time will be barely above freezing.
This reminds me of when eventual state champion Skyline narrowly escaped Ferris in the Spokane snow two years ago. I think the cold will favor the Saxons and they will pound their way to a victory over Bellarmine.
Curtis vs. Ferris
12/4, Tacoma Dome, 4pm