Prep Football Preview: Montesano faces Hoquiam in battle for 1A Evergreen League’s top spot

Several key games with major playoff implications are on tap for multiple Twin Harbors teams as we take a look at the prep football games for Week 7.

Hoquiam at Montesano

When and Where: 7 p.m. Friday at Jack Rottle Field

Players to Watch: Hoquiam — Dane McMillan QB; Malaki Eaton RB; Cameron Bumstead WR/DB. Montesano — Trace Ridgway QB; Sam Winter RB/LB; Aydan Darst RB/LB

With just four league games on 1A Evergreen League teams schedules the importance of a win or a loss is significantly magnified.

More so when the Hoquiam Grizzlies and Montesano Bulldogs square off on Friday as the winner will be the front-runner for the league title.

Hoquiam and Monte are the cream of the crop in league this season as the only two remaining league teams without a league loss as Elma, Forks and Tenino have all dropped at least one league game this season.

This means that the winner of Friday’s contest has the inside track on a league title and, if things play out as expected, will likely add another league banner to the gym rafters.

The Bulldogs (6-0, 1-0 Evergreen 1A) and Grizzlies (5-1, 2-0) are a combined 11-1 and have hammered opponents this season.

In Monte’s six wins, the Bulldogs have averaged 54 points-per-game on offense while allowing a paltry 6.33 on defense.

Hoquiam, meanwhile, has scored 50.8 points-per-game in its five wins to just 4.4 ppg allowed on defense, The Grizzlies lone loss of the season came against No. 8 La Center by a score of 48-12 on Sept. 20.

Monte has been led primarily by junior quarterback Trace Ridgway this season. Ridgway passed for 196 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 74 yards in Monte’s 45-6 rout over Woodland on Friday.

Ridgway has plenty of targets to throw to and is willing to spread the wealth as Monte receivers Braden Dohrmann, Jordan King, Sam Winter and running back Aydan Darst all caught TD passes last week.

Defensively, Monte has been opportunistic this season. The Bulldogs had four interceptions — two by linebacker Cayleb Reninger — last week and had another four interceptions returned for touchdowns in a 70-12 victory over Port Angeles on Sept. 27.

Hoquiam’s balanced offensive attack has mainly been fueled by the passing connection of quarterback Dane McMillan and receiver Cameron Bumstead. McMillan has thrown for 1,083 yards this season, 806 of which have gone to Bumstead, which is second in the state according to

As much noise as Bumstead has made with his numbers this season, Grizzlies running back Malaki Eaton has quietly had a solid season. Eaton, a senior, leads all Grizzlies rushers with 56 carries and 517 yards on the ground to go along with four touchdowns.

Hoquiam’s Matt Brown leads the team with nine rushing touchdowns on offense and 40 tackles from his middle linebacker spot, an average of eight tackles-per-game. Junior Cayden Stankavich and senior Ben Estes aren’t far behind with 33 and 32 tackles, respectively.

Bumstead leads the team with five picks and Hoquiam has recovered eight of the 13 fumbles it has caused this season.

Hoquiam defeated Monte last season, 37-25, en route to an undefeated regular season and league title.

Aberdeen at Black Hills

When and Where: 7 p.m. Friday at Tumwater District Stadium

Players to Watch: Aberdeen — Ethan Morrill RB; Connar Sherman RB; Elijah Brown QB/LB. Black Hills — Ryan Moloney QB; Zack Loveless RB; Nick Bovenkamp WR

The Aberdeen Bobcats will stare opportunity in the face when they take on the Black Hills Wolves on Friday.

Coming off a humbling 54-8 loss to the state’s top-ranked 2A team in Tumwater last week, Aberdeen (2-4, 1-1 Evergreen 2A) has a chance to put itself in prime position for a playoff spot with a win over the Wolves (1-5, 0-2).

Aberdeen has been led by running back Ethan Morrill, who scored three touchdowns in the second half to lead the Bobcats to a 46-30 win over Centralia on Oct. 4.

The Wolves which reached the 2A state quarterfinals last season with a talented, senior-laden team, have struggled in 2019. Black Hills won its opener over Bremerton, 33-29, but has lost five straight since then, including a 25-22 loss to Cenralia last week.

A win on Friday would keep Aberdeen in third place in the league standings with Rochester (1-5, 0-2) and WF West (6-0, 2-0) left on the schedule.

Tenino at Elma

When and Where: 7 p.m. Friday at Davis Field

Players to Watch: Elma — Cody Vollan QB/DB; Brady Shriver RB/LB; Isaiah O’Farrill RB. Tenino — Aiden Wright, QB; Shawn Nicholson RB; Paxton Russell WR

A win on Friday over the visiting Tenino Beavers would go a long way for the Elma Eagles’ playoff hopes.

Elma (3-3, 0-1) suffered a 32-7 loss to Hoquiam in the Eagles’ league opener last week and are looking up at Forks (4-2, 1-1), Montesano (6-0, 1-0) and Hoquiam (5-1, 2-0) in the league standings.

The Eagles were without their go-to guy, starting quarterback Cody Vollan, last week. Vollan will be available on offense only this week as the Eagles deal with multiple injuries according to head coach Ron Clark.

The Eagles also have a pair of running backs in Isaiah O’Farrill and Brady Shriver who have been productive this season. In a 62-7 non-league victory over RA Long two weeks ago, O’Farrill rushed for a game high 149 yards while Shriver ran for 67 yards and caught a 40-yard pass in the rout.

A win will put Elma at 1-1 in league with games against Forks and Montesano to close out the regular season.

Raymond at Ocosta

When and Where: 7 p.m. Friday at Griffin Stadium

Players to Watch: Raymond — Joseph Villalpando, RB; McCartney Maden RB. Ocosta — Cole Hatton, QB; Dakota Davis, RB

Raymond looks to climb up in the 2B Pacific League – Coastal standings while Ocosta aims to stay on top as the Seagulls travel to Westport to take on the Wildcats on Friday.

Ocosta (6-0, 2-0 2B Pacific – Coastal) has found different ways to win in 2019. Ocosta has put up big numbers in routs over La Conner, Toutle Lake, Oroville, North Beach and Northwest Christian this season. The Wildcats used their defense to earn a key 12-7 victory at Ilwaco last week.

Raymond has been hit with injuries and has been on the wrong end of some ugly losses this season, but the Seagulls’ McCartney Maden and Joseph Villalpando each ran for over 100 yards in a 42-2 victory over North Beach last week.

Other Games

All game 7 p.m. Friday unless noted

Taholah at Neah Bay (5 p.m. Friday)

Pe Ell-Willapa Valley at North Beach

South Bend at Oakville

Lake Quinault at Clallam Bay

Prep Football Preview: Montesano faces Hoquiam in battle for 1A Evergreen League’s top spot