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Week 2 football preview: Top 5 games to watch, players to see, score predictions

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NO. 1 (4A) LAKE STEVENS VIKINGS (1-0) at NO. 4 (3A) LINCOLN ABES (0-1)

7 p.m. Friday, Lincoln Bowl, Tacoma

Game nugget: These two offenses combined for 1,030 yards (550 for Lake Stevens, 480 for Lincoln) in the first week.

About the Vikings: What transition period? The offense was in good hands under new QB Tanner Jellison (18-for-21, 298 yards, three TDs) in his starting debut as the reigning 4A state runner-up blanked Ferndale in the opening week. Coach Tom Tri has constantly praised Jellison’s poise and quick decision-making - and he will need all of that facing a speedy, ball-hawking Abes’ secondary. Of course, when in doubt, Jellison can just turn and hand it off to RB Dallas Landeros (14 carries, 102 yards, three TDs), who registered the first of six 100-yard rushing efforts last year against Lincoln.

About the Abes: Coach Masaki Matsumoto was quick in stating he felt better after Lincoln’s season-opening 24-14 loss at Camas last week than he did after the Abes beat the Papermakers in the 2018 opener. Why? Take away a pair of late red-zone turnovers by QB Caden Filer (40-for-62, 316 yards, two TDs), and the game was virtually a road nail biter. WR Jaylen Clark (nine catches, 75 yards, two TDs) led a talented pass-catching cast. But the Abes might have also seen the blueprint defenses will use all season - forcing dink-and-dunk drives.

Scorebook Live pick: Lake Stevens, 31-28.

2B: NO. 2 KALAMA CHINOOKS (1-0) at NO. 4 NAPAVINE TIGERS (1-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Tiger Stadium, Napavine

Game nugget: This is a rematch of last year’s Class 2A state championship game, won by the Chinooks (34-25).

About the Chinooks: Now that reigning 2B state player of the year Alex Dyer has graduated, Kalama’s offense has a much different look to it with first-year QB Jackson Esary (4-for-8, 48 yards, TD, two INT) at the helm. A converted wide receiver, Esary isn’t the downfield passing threat Dyer was, but expect the Chinooks to try and get him on more designed runs. WR Brennan Vance (13 carries, 122 yards, two TDs; two catches, 35 yards, TD) is a one-man wrecking crew.

About the Tigers: If anybody was sleeping on Napavine - a convincing 39-12 road victory at Liberty of Spangle should be a jolt. QB Laythan Demarest (9-for-16, 172 yards; 127 rushing yards, four TDs) was sharp in his signal-caller debut after moving over from wide receiver, leading the Tigers to 572 total yards. Led by OL/DL Keith Olson, a sophomore, both of Napavine’s lines should have a size advantage against the two-time defending 2B champions.

Scorebook Live pick: Kalama, 34-27.

4A: NO. 9 BOTHELL COUGARS (1-0) at NO. 4 KENNEDY CATHOLIC LANCERS (1-0)

5 p.m. Saturday, Highline Memorial Stadium, Burien

Game nugget: Lancers coach Sheldon Cross led Interlake’s program for two seasons (2008-09) - with current Cougars defensive coordinator Jason Rimkus replacing him in 2010.

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About the Cougars: Bothell’s approach in last season’s 59-41 victory over the Lancers was simple: Get RB Christian Galvan (nearly 300-all-purpose yards, two TDs last week) involved early and often. And the Cougars’ tailback went off for 247 rushing yards and four touchdowns in that non-conference tilt at Pop Keeney Stadium. Expect more of the same Saturday as Galvan is a matchup nightmare, both in the run and pass game - and provides a safe outlet for QB Andrew Sirmon, who was victorious last week in his starting debut (39-20 win over Legacy of Colorado).

About the Lancers: Last week - beating Bethel (32-27) at CenturyLink Field on national television - was fun. This week? The Lancers face a completely different challenge. First off, their offense, led by QB Sam Huard (15-for-28, 313 yards, four TDs, one INT), has to find its rhythm sooner than against the Braves. Getting the ball more to WR Justin Baker (two TDs) should help. And secondly, this game will give their rushing defense (held Bethel to 100 yards on 38 carries) a more accurate barometer to how much better it is than the one that gave up 314 yards to this Bothell team a year ago.

Scorebook Live pick: Kennedy Catholic, 45-39.

2A: NO. 7 ARCHBISHOP MURPHY WILDCATS (1-0) at NO. 1 HOCKINSON HAWKS (1-0)

7 p.m. Friday, at Hockinson High School, Brush Prairie

Game nugget: Hockinson had no trouble going up to Murphy last season in week two, when it beat the Wildcats 41-13 in a Thursday Root Sports game. THe last three 2A state championships have been won by one of these two teams (Murphy 2016, Hockinson in 2017, 2018).

About the Wildcats: Archbishop Murphy's run as unassailed top team in 2A is no more, but the Wildcats are a much more experienced team than they were a year ago when they missed the 2A state playoffs. Three years removed from their 2016 state championship, the Wildcats are led by interim coach Mark Leone after Jerry Jensen stepped down suddenly in May after three seasons. They blasted Eatonville 53-13 in week one behind a dominant run game, led by its imposing offensive line. Five players scored rushing touchdowns, highlighted by Joe Ennis' 117 yards on 15 carries.

About the Hawks: They face the first true 2A test of the season for the two-time defending 2A state championships, and perhaps the biggest test of the regular season (Hockinson is heavily favored to win the 2A Greater St. Helens League). And those anticipating the a drop after the Hawks' loss of reigning 2A state player of the year Sawyer Racanelli to a season-ending knee injury were likely disappointed after Hockinson's convincing 48-7 week one win over Toppenish. Peyton Brammer, Hockinson's more-than-capable new top target out wide, had five catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns last week as the Hawks hummed into week two.

Scorebook Live pick: Hockinson, 42-21.

(2A) NO. 9 OTHELLO HUSKIES (1-0) AT (1A) NO. 1 ROYAL KNIGHTS (1-0)

7 p.m. Friday, at Royal High School, Royal City

Game nugget: third nonleague matchup in as many years between the two teams. Royal has won the past two years by a combined 91-0.

About the Huskies: Held its week one opponent to 63 total yards on offense in a low-scoring 3-0 win over Connell. The Huskies stuck to form and pounded the ground game in week one. Isaac Barago had 102 yards on 18 carries and BYU commit Isaiah Perez, the team's player on both sides of the ball and a monster on the defensive line, had 51 yards on nine carries. Othello faces a much taller task in week two in hosting the top 1A team in the state.

About the Knights: Royal held the state's longest active winning streak — 53 games — before losing in the 1A state semifinals last season. And though the Knights only bring back six starters (one on offense), they're the early favorite to win its fourth 1A state title in five seasons. And they showed why in week one, defeating an experienced 2A side in Ellensburg on the road, 21-16, behind 282 passing yards from quarterback Caleb Christensen. But they face a more talented and experienced Othello team than the past two years, particularly on the defensive end.

Scorebook Live pick: Royal, 21-7.