Week 9 Notebook: Checking Out the Crossovers and Picking MVPs
By Aaron VanTuyl
For The Chronicle
The final week of the prep football season didn’t offer any major surprises. The crossover berths were, for the most part, set going into Friday’s action; all Week 9 did was cement what we already assumed.
And now it’s time for the winner-to-state round.
Crossovers will be played Thursday (for the 2Bs) and Friday (for W.F. West), with winners getting tossed into the field for the WIAA’s state seeding committees to place into a bracket. (That’ll take place Sunday morning in Renton; the goal is to have first-round matchups set and online by Sunday afternoon.)
And here’s the matchups, with a brief explanation for who’s the favorite.
Winlock at Pe Ell-Willapa Valley: The Titans have two homes and haven’t lost at either of them this season. The game’s at Crogstad Field in Menlo, which is a cool setting, and the Cardinals (fourth in the River Division) are making their first playoff appearance since 2010. They’ll need a few tricks up their sleeve from first-year QB Bryce Cline to outrun PWV.
MWP at Kalama: The Timberwolves beat Rainier in Week 8 to seal a playoff bid. Their reward? No. 1 Adna in Week 9 and No. 3 Kalama in the crossover round. Morton-White Pass is going to have its hands full with quarterback Alex Dyer and his murderer’s row of receivers, but at least the view from the visitor’s section at Chinook Stadium is pleasant.
Ocosta at Adna: The Pirates gave up 27 points in the toughest division in the state and haven’t lost a game. This, um, probably won’t be the night that changes.
Onalaska at Toledo: The most intriguing game on the docket! Toledo lost to Rainier, 12-7; Onalaska beat Rainier, 34-28. Adna beat Toledo, 33-15; Adna beat Onalaska, 27-8. Toledo beat Mossyrock, 61-6; Onalaska beat Mossyrock, 74-0. Toledo lost to Napavine, 20-17; Onalaska lost to Napavine, 36-30. Toledo beat Toutle Lake, 53-0; Onalaska beat Toutle Lake, 56-0. Whichever team loses is the automatic favorite in Saturday’s three-way tiebreaker at Centralia.
Ilwaco at Napavine: Napavine won its first 11-man state title in 2008 and hasn’t missed the state playoffs since. That’s 10 straight crossover wins, which is another streak unlikely to end Thursday.
W.F. West at Hockinson: Remember the good ol’ days, just a few short seasons ago, when the biggest 2A obstacle in District 4 was Tumwater. Now Black Hills is undefeated and Tumwater’s still a power, but defending state champ Hockinson’s the last team anyone really wants to see on the other side of a kickoff. (If the Bearcats pull off an upset someone better have a “SHOCKINSON” headline just waiting on deck.)
The SWW 2B League has three separate divisions, each of which hand out an Offensive and Defensive MVP award at the end of the regular season. They haven’t been voted upon yet, but here’s a few educated guesses.
Coastal Division: Max Smith, PWV. Smith came into the season as one of the Titans’ three top offensive threats, alongside quarterback Matt Pearson and fellow running back Peter Hamilton. By Week 4, injuries had sidelined Pearson and Hamilton, and Smith kicked it into high gear. The junior finished with 168 carries for 987 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground and another 119 yards and four scores through the air. He averaged 134 rushing yards a game in league play for a team that only played one close league game en route to a third straight division title and carried the load when the chips were down. He’s a safe bet.
River Division: Alex Dyer, Kalama. Dyer’s the best 2B quarterback in the state and Kalama’s the best team in the River Division. He’s the reigning 2B Player of the Year and the reason the defending state champion Chinooks are in the contender conversation.
Mountain Division: Dawson Stanley, Napavine. There’s a few good options here. Onalaska fullback Ashton Haight piled up stats, but the Loggers only finished third; he’s still a clear first-team pick. Adna QB Braden Thomas improved as the year went on, but the Pirates’ offense was too balanced to provide a solid MVP option (though they’ll have a pile of first-teamers on both sides of the ball). Stanley, though, carried the mail every night for second-place Napavine. Moreso than any other Mountain Division skill player, he’s the one whose absence would have put the biggest dent in his team’s offense. (He’s also last year’s Mountain Division MVP, and it’s tough to unseat an incumbent.)
Runback King: Adna’s Brady Collins ran two punts back for touchdowns in the Pirates’ win over Morton-White Pass. That gives Collins eight for his prep career, moving him up to third on the all-time career list — and two behind Adna’s Anthony Tatum, who holds the state record with 10 (from 2006-2009).
Still Undefeated: There’s only three 2B teams with perfect records heading into the playoffs — Adna, Tri-Cities Prep and Lake Roosevelt. The Pirates had the toughest schedule, by a longshot, of the three; eight of the nine teams on their schedule showed up on the AP poll at one point. Tri-Cities Prep beat Northwest Christian, which was a top-5 team at the time, and held off a tough St. Bernard’s team out of California, but didn’t see any other major threats. Lake Roosevelt, meanwhile, blew out Okanogan’s JV team, couldn’t fill an open Week 4 slot, and played its closest game against a 6-3 Brewster team.
Lewis County Fantasy Football
After Friday night, it was hard to see anyone topping Jaiyden Camoza.
W.F. West’s speedy junior running back set a school record in the Bearcats’ season finale, rushing for 310 yards in a win over Aberdeen.
That broke the previous school record (291 yards), set by quarterback Nole Wollan some 51 weeks prior in W.F. West’s crossover win against Woodland. And Wollan’s record broke a mark that had stood since 2011, when quarterback Mitch Gueller ran for 264 yards in a state quarterfinal win over Lakewood.
And prior to that, per the old Bearcat hallway record board, Chris Johnson (father of current Bearcat quarterback Josiah and an assistant coach) ran for 237 yards in a game back in 1982.
That’s all to say that Camoza’s status atop the local fantasy football ranks — with three touchdowns, he was sitting on 49 points — looked safe once the horns were all blown and the sports section was off to the press Friday night.
It did not, however, survive through the weekend.
Onalaska’s Ashton Haight, after a few relatively tough fantasy weeks, regained his position atop the board with a 245-yard, five-touchdown outburst on the Harry Lang Stadium turf in Lakewood as the Loggers closed out the regular season with a drubbing of Life Christian Academy.
Along with a conversion run, that gave Haight a whopping 56 points — enough to top pretty much any fantasy football organization’s weekly list.
Haight, a junior fullback, finished the regular season with 1,617 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns, which is a pretty solid contribution for the preseason top fantasy pick at running back.
Here’s the rest of the Week 9 stars.
30-Point Club: Pe Ell-Willapa Valley’s Max Smith has been making the most of his big role in the Titans’ offense, and that’s good news for fantasy owners (and PWV fans in general, I suppose). Smith ran for 158 yards, three touchdowns and a pair of conversions (37 points) as PWV drubbed Ilwaco to win the Coastal Division title outright on Friday. … He’s not technically part of Lewis County Fantasy Football, but Wahkiakum County Fantasy Football would be a mundane affair. Wahkiakum’s Luke Brown ran for 79 yards and four touchdowns, passed for 95 yards, tossed a conversion pass and kicked three PATs for 39 points in a win over Winlock.
20-Point Club: Onalaska QB Lucas Kreger ran for 63 yards and a touchdown, passed for 42 yards and a touchdown, ran in two conversions and threw in a conversion for 23 points against LCA. … W.F. West’s Lafe Johnson ran for 71 yards and three touchdowns (25) against Aberdeen. … Adna’s Cole Fay ran for 85 yards and two touchdowns, with a conversion run and a conversion pass (Adna’s got the most creative two-point conversion playbook in the state) for 22 points. … Napavine’s Laythan Demarest had 106 rushing yards (on two carries) with two touchdowns and five PAT kicks for 27 points, while Tiger QB Dawson Stanley threw for 244 yards and three TDs for 21 points. … Toledo’s Coleby Cherrington had 67 rushing yards, 40 receiving yards and three total touchdowns against Mossyrock (28 points). … Winlock QB Bryce Cline ran for 88 yards and a score, passed for 44 yards and a score, and ran in a conversion (23 points). … PWV’s Carson Cox ran for 71 yards, added 15 receiving yards and scored twice for 20 points.
Notables: Onalaska’s Kyle Hamilton had 42 yards and a touchdown (10). … W.F. West’s Josiah Johnson ran for 38 yards and a score and passed for 154 yards and a TD (19). Max Taylor had his most productive target, with 104 yards (10). … Adna’s Brady Collins got 12 points for his two punt-return TDs. … Napavine’s Jared McCollum, moved into a bigger offensive role due to injuries, had two touchdowns and 78 receiving yards (19). … Toledo’s Duke Schaplow had 50 rushing yards and two TDs (17), while teammate Ethan Buck added 46 yards and a score (10). … Mossyrock’s Nick Fried had 59 rushing yards, 22 receiving yards and a touchdown (13). … PWV’s Logan Walker passed for 67 yards with two scores (10).