Week 5 Preview: Four Score and Five Leagues to Go
There’s a lot of toughness throughout the Lewis County prep football teams, and watching the NFL and college football through the first few weeks has brought attention to some of the questions the game of football faces moving forward.
If you follow the NFL, I’m sure you’ve heard, read or seen some of the calls that have been made in regards to roughing the passer. In the Seahawks game, Russell Wilson was sacked early in the first quarter, only to draw a flag for roughing the passer and earning an automatic first down. Although the Hawks didn’t translate the extra set of downs into points, it has already come into play in changing the outcome of a game in the Packers/Vikings game in Week 2 with Clay Matthews’ hit on Kirk Cousins.
Matthews again drew a penalty this past week with a hit on Washington quarterback Alex Smith. Having watched these plays, I understand what the league is trying to do in protecting players. But at what point does that ruin the whole premise of a violent game?
From my standpoint, I don’t agree with the flags. I think it is a detriment to the game when defensive players are flagged for what appears to be a routine football play.
Looking at those tackles, I’m not sure what else he should do differently in regards to the tackle. He tackled a quarterback exactly as has been taught through generations of football, wrap him up and bring him to the ground.
Quarterback has always been my favorite position in football. It commands the most internal leadership qualities of a person and shows how well one person can lead a group of people to work towards a common goal. But the protection of quarterbacks needs to be curtailed at some point, because when you sign the dotted line to play a sport that has the biggest, fastest and strongest players, injuries should try to be prevented, but should be accepted as a possibility.
Defense is getting more and more difficult to play and not everyone can or wants to play quarterback or offense.
From a local angle, I don’t feel like I’ve seen anything different from the physical standpoint of Lewis County football teams from the previous years I’ve covered it. There have been some tough injuries but for the most part, I don’t feel there has been any hit that has fallen into the category of roughing the passer or leading with your helmet.
Perhaps the NFL should look more at high school football and how the game is played at its most basic level to inform their rules in the future.
As we enter Week 5 of the prep football season, it’s time to move into league games for Lewis County football teams.
Centralia is fresh off their first win of the season over Fort Vancouver and is back in the friendly confines of Tiger Stadium to welcome Aberdeen to open EvCo play.
The Bobcats are winless this season and are coming off a 36-14 loss to Kelso. Aberdeen has lost three games to 1A schools in Elma (42-0), Hoquiam (28-7) and Montesano (40-8).
The Tigers have had an effective ground game this season, averaging 218 yards per game with a three game sample size. Centralia’s defense may not always hold teams on the scoreboard, but are holding teams to 298 yards of total offense while producing 375 yards offensively.
W.F. West will face a tough test, traveling to Tumwater to take on undefeated Black Hills. The Bearcats are coming off a 29-14 loss to Washougal on the road, and have been outscored 51-23 in the two road games this season.
The Wolves are coming off a 37-13 home win against Pullman and have defeated Bremerton (50-19), Chief Sealth (41-13) and Prairie (33-28). W.F. West won 11-10 last year in Tumwater. The Warriors face the toughest league test this week, welcoming undefeated and No. 2 ranked Tumwater to Rochester. Evergreen defeated Rochester 41-12 last week in Vancouver and the Warriors are on a three game losing streak after an opening week win against Tenino.
The Thunderbirds defeated McNary, Ore., last Friday 57-13. Tumwater also has wins against Timberline (35-6), Yelm (17-14) and Bellarmine (35-14).
Tenino has a tough opponent to try and earn their first win when they head to Hoquiam to take on the Grizzlies. The Beavers lost 21-0 to Seton Catholic at home in Week 4 and have been outscored by opponents by a combined 165-44.
Hoquiam is undefeated and is coming off a 28-20 win over Columbia-White Salmon on the road. The Grizzlies have clawed their way past Castle Rock (27-7), Aberdeen (28-7) and La Center (40-14) so far this season.
It is about to get spicy in the Southwest Washington 2B football scene with league games getting underway.
The division with the most to sort out during league play is the Mountain Division. Five of the six teams are undefeated and the only team with a loss is No. 3 Napavine, losing to Kalama on the road in Week 2.
Napavine has to travel to Adna this Friday. The Tigers won 39-20 against Wahkiakum last Friday while Adna defeated Toledo 33-15 in Toledo. Adna averages 220 yards per game on the ground to account for 274 yards per game of total offense this season while Napavine has been more balanced, rushing for an average of 194 yards per game with an average of 350 yards of offense per game.
The game may come down to defense, as the Pirate defense has allowed an average of 162 yards per game and surrendered just 32 points in the first four games. Napavine has allowed an average of 238 yards per game while outscoring opponents 113-64 in the first four games.
There will be at least two more teams with a loss in the Mountain Division after this week with Life Christian traveling to Rainier and Onalaska taking the bus to Randle to face Morton-White Pass.
The T-Wolves and Loggers will find out who can stop the run the best on Friday, with MWP averaging 285 yards per game on the ground while Onalaska leads all local teams, averaging 428 yards per game rushing. MWP has outscored opponents 160-34 while Onalaska has outscored their four opponents 214-41.
These two defenses have been stout as well, with the Loggers recording the best average through the first four weeks by allowing an average of 158 yards of total offense.
Toledo will try to snap a three game losing streak when the Indians host Toutle Lake. Even with the three losses, Toledo hasn’t lost by much, falling to Rainier and Napavine by less than a touchdown and Adna was able to pull away in the fourth quarter after Toledo gained a lead.
The Ducks enter Friday’s contest looking for offense, scoring just 13 points in four games and getting shutout by Onalaska and MWP. The Indians average just 249 yards of total offense, but the defense has been sound by allowing just 233 yards per game.
Mossyrock travels to Cathlamet to face the Mules. The Vikings are coming off a 49-16 loss to Life Christian in Tacoma while Wahkiakum is coming off a loss against Napavine.
Wahkiakum has dealt with injury issues and has lost three straight after an opening game win against Colfax. The Vikings have been getting it done on the ground, averaging 250 yards per game.
Winlock will try to snap their own three game losing streak by welcoming the defending state champion Kalama to the egg city. The Chinooks are coming off a 14-7 win over La Center while Winlock was blanked by MWP 42-0.
Pe Ell-Willapa Valley will face Lyle/Wishram in a non-league football game in Pe Ell. Chief Leschi forfeited a Coastal Division game due to a lack of players on Wednesday. The Titans will try to bounce back after losing to Onalaska 52-14 in Logger country. Lyle/Wishram — a 1B school — is 3-0 this season after wins against Oakville (76-6), Crescent (60-0) and Liberty Bell (46-6).
The Titans offense hasn’t been as strong as it usually is, rushing for an average of 141 yards per game and 222 yards per game of total offense.