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Week 5 Preview: 2A Teams Begin Conference Play, Top 5 Matchup Highlights Divisional Matchups in 2B’s

By Matt Baide
Week 5 is all about the conference/divisional games, as the 2A’s, 1A and 2B teams are now playing teams they are familiar with on a yearly basis.
The biggest game this week is, without a doubt, No. 3 Napavine at No. 4 Adna. Napavine has had big wins in all of their games besides the lone loss to Kalama in Week 2. Adna has cruised in most of their games this season except for the lone comeback win at home against Toledo 18-14.
Adna is coming off of a bye week after Life Christian decided to forfeit and Napavine handed Onalaska their first loss last week, 40-8. I want to say this will decide who will end up winning the Mountain Division, but no one can say that with 4-0 Rainier in the mix. The Mountaineers knocked off Morton-White Pass 41-40 on some late game heroics last week. Rainier travels to Onalaska for yet another divisional test, and you still can’t count out the Loggers at 3-1, despite the loss to the Tigers.
Kalama, the No. 1 ranked team in the AP Poll, hosts Winlock, flying high after earning their first win in almost two years by beating up Chief Leschi, 61-6. Seth Lindsey will try to ground and pound the ball past a Kalama defense that gave up just eight points to Napavine and defeated 2A Woodland to open the season.

Aberdeen (2-2) at W.F. West (3-1)
The Bearcats are coming off their first loss of the season, a 28-23 loss to Lake Washington in Kirkland. W.F. West hung in the game and had four chances at the end for the game-winning touchdown, but were unable to find the endzone.
“We were really limited on what we could do, we had no timeouts and 20 seconds, we were running against the clock. We threw a touchdown pass, they just didn’t count it,” W.F. West coach Bob Wollan said. “It was just a great game, a great effort by our kids, we’ve kind of got to pick up the pieces. We’re kind of a battered operation right now, it was a real physical tough game and we’ve got to be ready to go for Aberdeen.”
Aberdeen is coming off a 35-21 win on the road against Castle Rock. Bobcat running back Kylan Touch ran for 308 yards on 36 carries and four touchdowns against the Rockets. The 308 yards was 18 yards shy of the school record he set the previous week against Elma.
“Kylan Touch is a special football player. He’s just really impressive to watch, he’s got amazing talent, he’s got great vision. I just love the way he plays the game with enthusiasm on both sides of the ball,” Wollan said. “Obviously he’s the focal point of what we’re trying to do defensively.”
Aberdeen quarterback Ben Dublanko didn’t have to do much with Touch’s performance, but did have a 20-yard touchdown pass to Zeiah Embry.
“I think Deblanko is a very capable quarterback who can make you pay if you put all of your eggs in Touch’s basket,” Wollan said.
Offensively, Wollan hopes to get back to a balanced attack to help the Bearcats offense get going early.
“We go into every game trying to be somewhat balanced. Last week, we were one dimensional because the situation dictated it,” Wollan said. “We would love to be balanced, I think we have to really make a commitment to run the football. We’re not going to go far if we can’t.”
It is the first Evergreen 2A Conference game of the season, and these league games add a little extra meaning for teams.
“It’s not just another game, it’s league I think everybody understands that. There’s just so few games, every Friday is special,” Wollan said. “There’s an opportunity to compete. You put a lot of time and effort into the season. Every Friday is big, league is a very big deal.”

Centralia (1-3) at Black Hills (2-2)
The Tigers are in the midst of a two game losing streak and are looking to break out of it against the Wolves on Friday night in Tumwater.
In practice, Centralia coach Jeremy Thibault is trying to get his team to believe in themselves again.
“Just trying to get them to believe in themselves that they can compete with people, they did great the first half, it was like an on/off switch, they just kind of turned off the second half,” Thibault said. “My assessment, I thought athletically we were perfectly fine. Scheme wise, I thought we were good, I thought they played hard in the first half. I think the second half was bad.”
The Tigers were only down 7-0 at halftime, but allowed 28 points in the third quarter to allow Kelso to run away with the win.
Kelso, who was without starting quarterback A.J. Hoggatt, handed the ball off to Max McDaniel 19 times for 171 yards and three touchdowns en route to a 42-0 win over Centralia.
While the defense didn’t play well, the offense wasn’t any better. The Tigers had 206 yards of total offense, all on the ground, led by Dylan Purkey with 92 yards on 17 carries.
“We really hammered plays, just basic things. In the first half, I thought our line blocked pretty well. In the second half, it was one guy away,” Thibault said. “Multiple times we brought kids in and showed them if you block this kid, Jose is down the sideline. If you block this kid, our fullback might score. I hope they realized not to take a play off or how important their blocking is, just little things.”
Black Hills is coming off a 9-6 loss to Evergreen. The Wolves have quality wins over 3A Capital and Prairie this season. Thibault noted the tough nonleague schedule of Black Hills and said the offense is strong with a good quarterback and the ability to run the ball.
It’s the first Evergreen 2A Conference game of the season for Centralia, and Thibault knows this stretch of games can make or break the Tigers’ season.
“I wouldn’t say we’re putting more emphasis on it. We some winnable games coming up, we win them, we have an opportunity to be in the crossover and if we don’t, we’re done,” Thibault said. “We’ve kind of stressed that a little bit and put it on them. It’s been a very frustrated couple weeks. They’re so capable and they just don’t know it, so as soon as they believe in themselves, we’ll be fine.”

Around the Area
Rochester (2-2) looks for their first home win of the season against 1A Elma. … Tenino (1-2) welcomes Hoquiam to the blacktop in their first Evergreen 1A League game. … Mossyrock (0-4) hosts Wahkiakum in the Vikings’ first River Division game while No. 7 Toledo (2-2) travels to Toutle Lake for a River Division game. … No. 9 Pe Ell-Willapa Valley hosts Ocosta in their first Coastal Division game. … Morton-White Pass (1-3) hosts Chief Leschi in the Timberwolves’ homecoming game in Randle.

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