Week two on the ledger for Valley high school football, and the tests this week are tough. Cedarcrest @ Liberty, Mount Si vs. Kentwood in front of the cameras…..previews and picks right here, right now!

Good Friday morning. We’ll have all of last night’s news on deck soon, but we have our regular segment first on Friday. Week two of high school football and another round of previews and picks. We went 2-0 last week with big wins for both Mount Si and Cedarcrest – which we correctly predicted for you – so we look to do it again this week. But the opponents for both teams are going to be much more challenging this week. Scenes shift too. Cedarcrest hits the road for the first time, traveling about an hour down to east Renton to meet the Liberty Patriots while Mount Si opens the home schedule with a game against Kentwood. Kicks are 7:00 tonight for both games.

Cedarcrest Red Wolves @ Liberty Patriots, Liberty HS, Renton: CHS heads down to Liberty off a big 49-0 blowout win last Friday over Sammamish.

Cedarcrest was led in that game by RB’s Peyton Burpee and Sean Shannon, who combined for over 130 yards and two touchdowns between them – Burpee with 91 of those himself. Those numbers are going to have to dramatically climb as are the numbers for QB Carter “Deuce” Knowles, who was 6-11 for 75 yards and two TD’s last week in the victory, for the team to have success against an opponent like Liberty that, frankly, is in a lot of ways the opposite of what Sammamish was last week. Where Sammamish proved to be fairly easy to deal with – CHS’ defense limited the Totems to just 30 yards of total offense, just one through the air – the Patriots, well, they’re probably going to be a much tougher challenge.

They’re coming off a 52-7 win over Metro 3A Roosevelt last week in their season opener, and beat CHS soundly in two games last year, outscoring them 98-3 in the two games, including the one that ended the Red Wolves’ season. Liberty last season went 10-3 and made the state 2A semifinals. A senior foursome leads the Patriots – QB Sam Brown, RB Briar Cameron and receivers David Heyward and Hunter Honn. CHS’ defense will have its hands full in this one.

We’d look for Liberty to run away with this one, but if Cedarcrest can keep this thing competitive for a while, this might be a good sign for the forward direction of this program under new coach John Fiala. Liberty 41, Cedarcrest 7

Mount Si Wildcats vs. Kentwood Conquerors, Mount Si HS – The media’s going to be out in force for this one. KOMO made their decision to come out on Tuesday, so look for their new weekend guy Femi Abefefe on the sidelines, and KING announced their decision to come out yesterday, which means Chris Egan and Co. will be making a return appearance. Of course, we hope their visit here this week goes far better than their station’s last one here, need we say more…….

Mount Si is coming in off a hard-fought 26-16 win over on the east side of the Cascades in Wenatchee over the Panthers last Friday in a regionally-televised game over in north central Washington, a game that saw some players emerge, but also some things that the team can focus on as it prepares for this week’s game.

Junior quarterback Clay Millen was on fire last Friday night, completing 28 of 42 passes for 310 yards and a touchdown on the turf at the Apple Bowl. That one touchdown pass went to senior receiver Colby Botten, who finished with eight catches for 64 yards in the game. But emerging as another big target was junior Zach Soliday. Could we be seeing another pairing similar to the one Clay’s brother Cale had with his classmate Jonny Barrett in both 2017 and 2018? Perhaps. Soliday is a fellow classmate of Clay’s and finished with seven receptions for 140 yards. No touchdowns, but you have to know, especially with the TV cameras making their way out our direction tonight, this is probably number one on the duo’s bucket list tonight: connect for a TD.

Special teams are an area that needed to be cleaned up a bit out of the game last Friday, as a mistake in that department led to an early Wenatchee touchdown. While a Panther special-teams blunder aided a Mount Si score later in the game, pretty much making the Wildcat mistake moot, knowing how coach Charlie Kinnune operates, you can be sure this is something they’ve been adressing this week in practice. Got to get these little things cleaned up in advance of the Kingco schedule in two weeks.

Junior Lorenzo Beverly led the ground game, with 10 rushes for 47 yards and a touchdown in the win last week. Look for more from Beverly tonight, especially with the Kentwood defense, as we’ll discuss, being very balanced.

Kentwood comes in off a nice 29-3 win over Mount Si’s Kingco Crest Division rival Skyline, so this is not a Conquerors team to take lightly at all. Under center for the boys from Covington in southeast King County is junior QB Jackson Proctor, who went 16-23 for 199 yards and two touchdowns in the victory over the Spartans at home last week. Proctor’s also very mobile, having rushed the ball seven times for 59 yards. Mount Si’s line and linebacking group, led by Daniel Harrison and Co., is going to have their hands full with this kid. Senior Gabe Johnson leads the ground crew for Kentwood; he ran the ball 19 times for 100 yards and two touchdowns in the win last week, so he, too, will be a player the Mount Si defense must pay attention to.

Senior Alphonse Oywak leads the receivers; he caught the ball five times for 97 yards and a touchdown. In all, this Kentwood group offensively is one that seems fairly conventional on its face. But they are well-coached, with former Washington State University football star Michael Bush now in his fifth season at the helm of the Kentwood squad.

Defensively, it’s a balanced group, too, with senior Jordan Asante leading the way; he had six tackles in the game last week – one for loss – and three others had a sack in the game. With the Mount Si offense likely being pass-friendly tonight what with Clay and Colby doing their bidding, Millen’s going to have to stay on his toes tonight.

KOMO and KING both picked this game for good reason – this looks to be a matchup that you might see again come playoff time in November. And considering how well the Conks looked against Skyline, with the Spartans expected to be a tougher competitor this year again in the Kingco Crest Division with Mount Si, the Wildcats are going to have a tough time in this one. We like the Wildcats here but Kentwood’s going to take this one to the wire. Mount Si 31, Kentwood 30

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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