As Willie Nelson sings, “On the road again….” Week seven sees the Valley’s best high school football athletes take their talents on the highway near and far. Previews and picks now here…….

Week seven leads off our Friday coverage, as we get you set for some high school pigskin tonight. Valley football fans will have to hit the road to see their boys in action. The game close to home is the main course, as Mount Si meets Skyline in a battle for supremacy in Kingco 4A’s Crest Division, but first, we travel far – to the Canadian border – for the appetizer, as CHS meets Blaine. 7:00 kicks for both games tonight and we’ll have some travel info for the CHS fans shortly here as well.

Cedarcrest Red Wolves at Blaine Borderites, Blaine HS: The Red Wolves will be looking to break out after their down night on Homecoming as they were thoroughly dominated by visiting Sehome in a 33-0 loss.

The offense as we noted for you earlier this week was held to just under 100 yards total, so they’ll be looking to get back to form against a Blaine team that is 2-4 overall and winless in the Northwest District’s Lake Division.

QB Gavin McDermott went just 3-12 for 42 yards in last week’s loss at home to the Mariners. but now has over 400 yards passing on the season. Fredrick Reid, Tyler Gray and Payton Burpee were the offensive leaders last week – Reid and Gray on the ground and Burpee through the air, so all three will look to improve their numbers this week.

Blaine comes in off a 40-0 loss last week at Mountlake Terrace and is on a three-game losing streak. It’s Senior Night this week for the Borderites, so the Class of 2019 will be looking to put their best foot forward. Recievers Brian Davis and Derek Machula, along with runningbacks Jake Westfall and Danyil Tkachov lead that senior group. At QB tonight will either be junior Robert Parker or sophomore William McKinney.

You know, this opponent looks a lot like Anacortes did two weeks ago, and the Seahawks are also winless in this division, with CHS having beat them in that game. So it should reason that with the Red Wolves looking to bounce back this week, they should be able to do just that. Might not take much either especially if the defense, led by Cody Schultz, does its job. We look for a low-scoring game and a CHS victory even if it is 150 miles from home. Cedarcrest 14, Blaine 10

Mount Si Wildcats at Skyline Spartans, Skyline HS, Sammamish: A battle for potentially a share of the Crest Division title is on tap tonight on the Sammamish Plateau as the Wildcats, unbeaten at 6-0 and ranked second in the state 4A rankings this week, meets a solid Skyline team, at 3-3 this season but still among the perennial powers in this conference under head coach – and Valley resident – Mat Taylor.

Expected to be under center tonight as Skyline’s signal caller is junior Joe Green. Green in last week’s Plateau rivalry loss to the Wolves was 21-43 for 253 yards and a touchdown, and has almost 1,300 yards to his credit this season with eight TD’s and a quarterback rating of 100.8. He’s averaging a little over 200 yards a game and has a number of options through the air to choose from.

Chief among those receiver threats is senior Chris Johnson. Johnson caught nine passes for 87 yards in last Friday’s game and has almost 500 yards receiving this season with three touchdowns on 34 catches overall. Also keep an eye on seniors Brendan Bice, Beau Switzer and Donovan Bahall, and junior Luke Rohleder, all of whom all have over 100 yards through the air this season. On the ground, the chief threat will be Switzer, and he’ll be primed for a big game after being held to just five yards rushing in last week’s loss on seven carries – not even a yard a carry. He’ll be chomping at the bit for chances to break through the tough Mount Si defense. Green will also be a ground threat, showing his mobility at that QB position. He’s run for over 200 yards this season.

Linebacker Kellen Hoke and lineman Mason Ahlemeyer lead Skyline’s defense. The two, both seniors, lead in total tackles this season with 46 and 34 respectively, six combined for loss, and the two combined for a dozen tackles last week. Sacks and interceptions have been hard to come by for this Skyline team – the Spartans have only three of each this season, and considering the mobility of a certain Mr. Millen, we don’t expect there to be much of that tonight – especially if the offensive line is on its game this evening.

As for Mount Si’s Cale Millen, he went 26-34 for 252 yards, a touchdown and interception in last week’s 38-6 win and is expected to clear the 2,000 yard plateau on the season tonight; coming in, he’s thrown for almost 1,900 yards through the first six games on a completion percentage of 76% and a quarterback rating of 138.9. He’ll be coming off a season-low 94.5 in that department in last week’s game.

You all know about the strong season sophomore RB Cole Norah has had filling in for the injured Paine Smith. Well, he pretty much carried the Wildcats on his back, running the ball 16 times for a season-high 150 yards and three touchdowns, and added 27 more yards on three catches. KOMO’s Mike Ferreri the past couple of weeks during the station’s Mount Si game highlight packages has offered shoutouts to Norah’s parents, and we’re sure they’re both proud of him, just as much as we are here. Again, as we suggested to you last week, Norah’s clearly MVP material at this point, and we’d not expect that to change tonight. Having a strong option on the ground will make it easier for Millen to work his magic on offense as the Spartan defense will have to continually guess what they’ll have to do to stop this strong Mount Si crew.

And that magic through the air will be courtesy of the usual suspects – Millen with senior receivers Andrew Mostofi and Jonny Barrett, who combined for over 200 yards receiving last week with a touchdown, and a solid junior supporting cast member in Colby Botten, who caught five passes for 42 yards in the win over the Eagles at Issaquah High School.

Defensively, seniors Cody Frederick and Murphy McDowell and sophomore Daniel Harrison remain the leaders for Mount Si, with all three combining for nearly 200 tackles this season.

As noted, this is a big game for both teams, and especially so for the Spartans. Their seniors remember Mount Si coming into their house last year and pulling off a season-opening upset which propelled the Wildcats to the playoffs last fall, losing in the opening round to Monroe. So there’s going to be extra special incentive for the likes of Hoke, Ahlemeyer, Switzer, et.al., to pull this off and considering that a win would notch a three-way tie for that top spot in the Crest Division with all three teams going 1-1, that could result in a tiebreaker for that top spot in advance of the Week 9 crossover, we shall see.

But we also again offer this. We have made a lot of mention here about Millen’s postgame comments to his teammates following the win over Eastlake two weeks ago about how teams were going to give the Wildcats their best shot. And we cautioned here last week that we expected to see a loss in one of these two road games leading into homecoming. Well, this week was the more likelier of the two games in our opinion that a loss could be seen. And while we think Mount Si looks better on paper in this one, we sense that this could be a lot like the playoff game last year against the Bearcats – a shootout that doesn’t get decided until the final plays of the game. And as you remember, Monroe came out on top in that final stretch. Sadly, we see the same thing probably happening here this week. The Spartans will keep this game close, and these seniors will get them across the finish line at the end of the night on the final plays of the game. The unbeaten season for scarlet and gray comes to a close, but boy, what a run it’s been. Skyline 31, Mount Si 28

Last week: 1-1 (Mount Si def. Eastlake, correctly picked; Sehome def. Cedarcrest, we picked CHS)
Season: 10-2

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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