It’s Week 4 on the high school gridiron….previewing and picking the CHS homecoming clash with CPC, and Mount Si’s tilt with ex-assistant Bainter and his Bothell squad

As promised earlier, we bring you our previews and predictions for tonight’s Valley high school football games.

It’s Week 4, folks. Wow, how time flies, we’re almost halfway home now in this 2015 high school football season, and we’re now getting into the time of the year where schools host their homecoming games. Mount Si’s isn’t for another month, but for you folks in the Lower Valley, tonight is a special night, as Cedarcrest hosts its homecoming game. We’ll start with that first, then talk about the Wildcats’ game tonight, as they are also home, hosting an old friend, ex-assistant Tom Bainter and his team, the Bothell Cougars.

Cedarcrest Red Wolves vs. Cedar Park Christian Eagles, Cedarcrest High School, Duvall, 7:00 – Homecoming, of course, is the one game on the calendar every fall that sees a lot of folks who don’t normally watch football come out and support their alma mater and reminisce about old times as high schoolers. This week has been a great one for school spirit at CHS, with today closing out things as the students are allowed to wear togas various colors according to grade level.

Earlier in the week, students as part of their spirit week were allowed to wear their pajamas to school, go a little retro with clothes their parents wore back in the day, and show their sports pride by wearing jerseys and whatnot of their favorite college and pro teams.

Things close out tonight as the Red Wolves look to make it back to .500 with their first win in conference. Last week, in the conference opener, CHS proved to be no match for King’s, as they fell 31-7 to the Knights, likely the best in the Cascade Conference. Tonight’s opponent, CPC, on paper appears to be a challenge – they are 3-0 on the season and opened conference play with a win over South Whidbey last week. But the schedule strengths of King’s and CPC are much, much different. Where King’s has a quality win to start the season – over 2A power Lynden – CPC’s schedule hasn’t been as strong to start the season. Their wins have come against a Falcons team not expected to do well in conference this fall, a Seattle Prep team that might struggle this fall in the Metro League, and a Canadian squad.

Cedarcrest will likely have Cody Banks under center at quarterback this evening; Banks last week was 6-12 for 28 yards and two interceptions against a very tough King’s defense; Banks and the Red Wolves will look to improve mightily on those numbers this week, and will need to do so to have a chance at success in front of a big crowd most likely tonight at CHS Stadium.

Dave Boak had a huge game last week – 15 carries on the ground for 121 yards with one touchdown, the lone one Cedarcrest scored last week in their loss to the Knights. Watch for Boak to lead the way tonight offensively for the Red Wolves, and get plenty of help, as the ground-first approach continues to develop for Cedarcrest’s offense. Alex Parnell (14 carries, 56 yards) and Banks (4 carries, 18 yards) will also be key factors to keep an eye on in that rushing attack.

CPC is coached once again this fall by ex-CHS assistant Bill Marsh, and the Eagles for the most part have a very young offense. Sophomore Jaden Sheffey and freshman Luke Lampe are the lone quarterbacks listed on the CPC roster, and most of their receivers are freshmen or sophomores as well. There is some experience on that side of the ball, with seniors Josh Krause and Jacob McGregor both listed as tight ends on the roster for the Eagles. Out of the nearly 40 boys on the Cedar Park roster, just seven are seniors, so this is a young group taking on a more experienced CHS crew tonight, with many of the Red Wolves’ skill position players being juniors or seniors.

If the Red Wolves can set aside the usual Homecoming distractions, this should be a winnable contest and one that their fans and community will be very proud of once this night is over. Cedarcrest 24, CPC 7

Mount Si Wildcats vs. Bothell Cougars, Mount Si HS, Snoqualmie, 7:00 – As noted in our open, the Wildcats welcome in an old friend tonight. Bothell is coached by Tom Bainter, an ex-MSHS assistant who cut his coaching teeth on Wildcat coach Charlie Kinnune’s staff nearly 20 years ago when your editor was a student at Mount Si (class of 1997) before moving on to become a head coach, first at Shorewood, and now for the past 16 seasons, at Bothell, where he took what had been a downtrodden Cougar program and has turned it into one of the top programs in the state, one that held its own against a strong team from Florida last December on national TV. Bothell earned that opportunity after winning the 4A state crown last fall, but this season has started out surprisingly slow for the Cougars. Bothell is 1-2, yes 1-2, and only got that first win by convincingly beating Newport last Friday.

The Cougars are loaded with experience, with a number of seniors at key positions – receiver Marcus Henry, quarterback Owen Bainter and running back Keeyante Griffin among them – but graduation losses, such as running back Sam McPherson, now playing collegiately with MSHS grad Chris Schlicting at Eastern Washington University, have certainly not helped things for Bothell.

Still, though, Mount Si will have its hands full tonight, and it’s not helped by something that Kinnune told us earlier this week is becoming a concern for his team – injuries. The Wildcats fell to Skyline last Friday 44-7, and while the usual key players – the Dumas’s, Bonda’s, Swain’s, Danna’s, Cotto’s and Mitchell’s of this world – will do their best to do their part, depth players will have to step up potentially and help out as well. Seniors such as Reid Lutz, Mark Farmer, O.J. Jenkins and Braden Smith, guys who aren’t as heralded as the big names on this team but still can deliver a solid contribution, will need to step that up tonight to help Mount Si weather some of these injury concerns. Keep an eye as well on junior Jack Weidenbach, who has delivered a strong effort on defense this fall and will need to continue that tonight against this experienced Bothell crew.

Tonight will be a special night in any event for the Wildcats and their fans, as they recognize ex-assistant Eric Riley for 25 years of service to the Mount Si coaching staff. This should be a good matchup tonight, and a Wildcat win could speak significant volumes going forward. We like Bothell, but think Mount Si could keep things interesting for awhile in this one. Bothell 31, Mount Si 17

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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