Sports

Vote now for The News Tribune’s football game of the week


Vote now for The News Tribune’s high school football game of the week.

Read about the top five games in the South Sound in Week 4 below, plus our prediction for the state game of the week.

4A NPSL

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Federal Way High School defensive back Andre Jordan Jr. runs through a drill with teammates on the first day of practice on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022 in Federal Way, Wash. Lauren Smith lsmith@thenewstribune.com

Federal Way Eagles (2-1) vs. Kentridge Chargers (3-0)

7 p.m. Friday, French Field, Kent

Federal Way has won four of the past five contests with Kentridge, including last season’s late September meeting. Will the Eagles add another win in the series their 4A NPSL opener, or will the Chargers remain undefeated and open 4-0 for the first time since 2002? Federal Way opened the season with a pair of decisive wins over 3A NPSL programs Todd Beamer (60-6) and Thomas Jefferson (33-0) before losing on the road to the state’s top-ranked 4A program in Lake Stevens (63-21) last week. Kentridge also posted a pair of wins over 3A NPSL opponents the first two weeks in Auburn Mountainview (14-0) and Kent-Meridian (41-7) before routing Decatur (47-14) in their league opener. This game is set to feature a pair of Oregon State commits from the 2023 class in Federal Way’s Andre Jordan Jr. and Kentridge’s Dorian Thomas. Jordan has already scored in all three phases — he has six receiving touchdowns, an interception return for a touchdown and a punt return for a touchdown through three games — and leads a talented Eagles secondary. Thomas is projected as a tight end at the Division I level, but is playing quarterback and linebacker for the Chargers this season, and has starred through three games. Last week against Decatur alone, he piled up 370 all-purpose yards and six total touchdowns — three passing, one rushing and two interception returns.

TNT pick: Federal Way, 30-24

4A SPSL

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Emerald Ridge quarterback Jake Schakel scrambles for a first down in the second quarter of a 4A SPSL game against Sumner on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner, Wash. Pete Caster Pete Caster / The News Tribune

Curtis Vikings (2-1) vs. Emerald Ridge Jaguars (2-1)

7 p.m. Thursday, Sparks Stadium, Puyallup

The 4A SPSL has already provided some thrilling results this fall, and there are more tough matchups are on the schedule in Week 4, beginning with this Thursday night tilt between a pair of one-loss programs still looking to contend for a league title. Curtis edged Olympia (35-34) in its season-opener, then lost to Sumner (35-28) and rallied with a shutout of Bethel (42-0) last week. Emerald Ridge has picked up a pair of wins since a season-opening loss to Puyallup (28-28), including topping Olympia (35-19) and adding a signature win over perennial league power Sumner (28-18) last week. The Jaguars have won the past three against Curtis, though the Vikings control the all-time series. Two of the league’s proven quarterbacks are set to meet in this season’s game in Curtis’ Rocco Koch (33-of-54, 563 yards, six TDs; 54 carries, 330 yards, three TDs) and Emerald Ridge’s Jake Schakel (64-of-89, 703 yards, nine TDs).

TNT pick: Emerald Ridge, 35-31

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Puyallup players stand on the sideline for the national anthem before the start of the season opener game at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup Wash. on Sept. 2, 2022. Cheyenne Boone Cheyenne Boone/The News Tribune

Sumner Spartans (2-1) vs. Puyallup Vikings (3-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Sparks Stadium, Puyallup

Similar to past seasons, the annual valley battle rivalry game matches up two teams in the 4A SPSL’s top tier again this fall. The Vikings are the only remaining undefeated team in the league following a comeback win over Emerald Ridge (29-28) in their season-opener, a key victory against three-time defending league champion Graham-Kapowsin (30-13) — the Eagles’ first league loss since the last time Puyallup beat them in 2018 — and a 28-7 win over South Kitsap last week. The Spartans, meanwhile, are looking to regroup from a loss to Emerald Ridge (28-18) last week after opening with one-possession wins over Bellarmine Prep (22-16) and Curtis (35-28). This year’s contest is set to have an early impact on the 4A SPSL standings — the Vikings currently sit atop the league, but there are five one-loss teams right behind them. Puyallup is 4-2 against Sumner since the Spartans joined the league in 2016. Sumner won that 2016 meeting on its way to a league title, but Puyallup won the next four, including securing a back-to-back 4A SPSL championships in 2017 and 2018. The Spartans snapped the streak in the most recent meeting, winning a 26-21 thriller that wasn’t decided until the final play last September at Sparks Stadium.

TNT pick: Puyallup, 28-27

2A SPSL

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After rushing in for a touchdown, Enumclaw running back Emmit Otero looks to toss the ball to the referee during the fourth quarter of a nonleague game on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022, at Roy Anderson Field in Gig Harbor Wash. Pete Caster Pete Caster / The News Tribune

Enumclaw Hornets (3-0) vs. Fife Trojans (3-0)

7 p.m. Thursday, Fife High School, Fife

We’ll set the over/under for total pass attempts at 20 in this matchup of unbeaten teams in the 2A SPSL. Fife, which has collected wins over Interlake, Squalicum and Franklin Pierce, runs the ball almost exclusively in its Wing-T, paced by junior Zach Robertson and senior Beau Fualaau. Longtime Fife coach Kent Nevin feels the Trojans have benefited from the weight room this offseason. “Last year, I thought we were one of the weakest teams in the league,” Nevin told The News Tribune after last week’s win over Franklin Pierce. “(This year), we averaged over 50 kids a day in the winter. In the summer, we were in the 60s. Kids really bought into getting stronger and made some big gains.” Enumclaw, the favorite to win the league, also features a heavy dose of the run game, paced by senior Emmit Otero. The Hornets have had some explosive plays in the passing game, too. Senior Austin Paulson has been the top target for junior quarterback Gunnar Trachte.

TNT pick: Enumclaw, 33-29

Franklin Pierce (2-1) vs. Steilacoom (2-1)

7 p.m. Friday, Steilacoom High School, Steilacoom

Steilacoom has bounced back well after a 53-0 loss to Highline in Week 1. The Sentinels beat North Mason, 48-7, the following week and beat a tough Orting squad, 20-13, last Saturday at Lumen Field in Seattle. Junior running back Jaycion Cain (313 yards, two TDs) is averaging 6.8 yards per carry. Junior receiver Jaydus Green (284 yards, six TDs) is having the breakout year we thought he would and has emerged as the top big-play threat for first-year starting sophomore quarterback Drew Macdonald (475 yards, 8 TDs). Franklin Pierce played a wild one against Fife last week, coming up just short in a 36-34 loss. The Cardinals’ power run offense has moved the chains, led by 240-pound bruiser Dawan Johnson (219 yards, 5 TDs) and Chan Jr. Sim (226 yards, 3 TDs).

TNT pick: Steilacoom, 20-14

STATE GAME OF THE WEEK

LAKE STEVENS VIKINGS (2-1) VS. WEST LINN (Ore.) LIONS (2-1)

7 p.m. Friday, West Linn Stadium, West Linn, Ore.

Lake Stevens is coming off a 63-21 rout of Federal Way last week after beating 3A reigning state champion Bellevue in Week 2, 37-28. Senior running back and Notre Dame commit Jayden Limar is one of the top players in the state. And look who’s coaching at West Linn these days — former Camas coach Jon Eagle, who guided the Papermakers to undefeated seasons and 4A state championships in 2016 and 2019. West Linn is one of the top 6A programs in Oregon, posting wins over Jesuit and Willamette, and losing narrowly to Sheldon, 35-31, in Week 2. Senior quarterback Sam Leavitt, a WSU commit, leads the Lions.

TNT pick: West Linn, 38-34

Jon Manley covers high school sports for The News Tribune. A McClatchy President’s Award winner and Gonzaga University graduate, Manley has covered the South Sound sports scene since 2013. Born and raised in Tacoma.

Lauren Smith is a sports reporter at The News Tribune. She has covered high school sports for TNT and The Olympian, as well as the Seattle Mariners and Washington Huskies. She is a graduate of UW and Emerald Ridge High School.




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