Previews, predictions for the high school football state championships
From The Olympian:
No. 2 Eastside Catholic Crusaders (12-0) vs. No. 1 Yelm Tornados (13-0)
Noon Saturday, Sparks Stadium, Puyallup
It’s a matchup of undefeated teams in the 3A state championship game. Yelm, the bracket’s top seed, defeated defending state champion Bellevue, 28-27, in the semifinals, while Eastside Catholic snuck past O’Dea in double overtime, 35-28, in a matchup of 3A Metro League powers. Yelm has shown the ability to win games in different ways this year. Last week’s win was an old-school, ground-and-pound victory featuring a heavy dose of four-star RB Brayden Platt (116 carries, 1,173 rushing yards, 24 TDs), who rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns against Bellevue. WR Kyler Ronquillo (616 rushing yards, nine TDs; 746 receiving yards, 10 TDs) can beat teams in different ways. LB Ray Wright and LB William Carreto play with an edge, and three-star LB Isaiah Patterson has shown the ability to disrupt opposing quarterbacks. Eastside Catholic RB Richie Fotualii-Aliifua (105 carries, 674 yards, 19 TDs) had a monster game last weekend against O’Dea, rushing for 178 yards and five touchdowns in the win. This will be the first meeting between Yelm and Eastside Catholic in the state playoffs. The Crusaders have won four titles (2019, 2018, 2015, 2014). Yelm has never won a state title.
TNT [Tacoma News-Tribune] pick: Yelm, 33-28
Read more from The Olympian.
+ From KING-5 TV News, Seattle: Prep Zone: Yelm football just one win away from first state championship – The Tornados will face off against one of Washington’s best football programs as it seeks the school’s first state title.
+ From The Spokane Spokesman-Review: Yelm coach reportedly assaulted by Bellevue fan at state playoff football game, police say