No. 10 Medical Lake (10-1) vs. No. 5 Pullman (10-1), Albi Stadium, today, 7:30 p.m.: Yes, the game is a rematch, but that isn’t all bad.
“I’m just glad we’re still in it to play,” Medical Lake coach John Giannandrea said. “Pullman is a great team with good coaches and some outstanding, talented people.”
Don’t expect a repeat of the first game.
“We’re going to show up this time… that’s the big thing. We’ve just got to be ready to play. I don’t want to make excuses. We didn’t play very well, we put the ball on the ground, we had some picks. We had six or seven turnovers in the first half. You can’t do that against any team, especially a good team like Pullman. We feel good about the second half … we played a lot better.
Pullman coach Bill Christie is wary.
“Usually, when you lose a game like that, you want a rematch. When we lost to Chewelah, our kids wanted a rematch. I’m sure Medical Lake feels the same way.
“Since the first time we played them, they’ve obviously improved quite a bit. It’s not a game you can go in and feel it’s going to be the same game. We’re playing for all the marbles now.”
The winner plays the winner of Eatonville (10-0) and Elma (10-1) in the 10 a.m. game Saturday at Grid Classic III.
No. 2 Colfax (10-0) vs. No. 3 Okanogan (11-0), Lampson Stadium, Kennewick, Saturday, 4 p.m.: Colfax’s Bulldogs were the best last week when they whipped the Cashmere Bulldogs 42-14 but they have to prove it again against the Okanogan Bulldogs. Okanogan is big and physical, something Colfax has seen before but coach Doug Curtis said, “These guys are really athletic, too, not just big.”
Okanogan proved that by ending defending champion Royal’s 23-game winning streak, 34-16.
Quarterback Sol Homer is 112-197 for 1,780 yards and 23 touchdowns. The top receiver is Tyson Martin, who has 38 catches for 662 yards and seven TDs. He intercepted four passes against Royal. Zach Spate has 30 catches for 422 yards and five TDs.
Injuries have limited top rusher Justin Goroch to defense, though he has 761 yards. Chris Judd, who has 571 yards and 11 TDs, is picking up the slack.
Tyler Neely anchors both lines. A 6-foot, 250-pound sophomore, Neely, the coach’s son, was unanimous all-league both ways. Defensive end Pat Delfield has nine sacks and 125 tackles.
“It don’t get any easier that’s for sure,” Curtis said. “We knew a lot more about Royal City than Okanogan. We just have to beat them off the ball, the backs have to hit the hole quick and we have to throw on time.”
Okanogan coach Denny Neely said, “Colfax has two great inside linebackers and that will cause us some problems. They’re going to try to take our wide game from us. They’re a well experienced, big, strong football team.”
The winner plays the winner of Lynden Christian (9-3) and Concrete (12-0) in the 1 p.m. Saturday game at Grid Classic III.
No. 5 Colton (7-3) vs. No. 1 Rosalia (9-0), Albi Stadium, today, 5:30 p.m.: Rosalia coach Jim Hereford isn’t worried about his players losing focus despite their earlier 66-44 win vs. Colton.
“These kids are so excited with the position they’re in, they want to keep going,” he said. “They know it’s hard to beat a team twice, they’re up to the challenge. This is one of the most focused teams I’ve been around.”
The Spartans must stop Nick Bates, who has rushed for more than 2,350 yards, including a state record 595 in one game.
“It will take a team effort, everybody going to the ball,” Hereford said. “That’s the big thing on defense, it takes everybody, eight guys on the field going to the ball.”
Rosalia counters with its own big-play guys, Scott DeGon and Bill Lathrop have averaged better than 200 yards a game.
The winner meets the winner of Clallam Bay (6-3) and Taholah (8-1) in the Friday, 4 p.m., game at Grid Classic III.