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Game Preview: Gonzaga Prep (11-0) at Lake Stevens (9-0)
Unbeaten teams go head up in the WIAA State Quarterfinals today at 4 pm
Between the two teams, they’ve played 20, won 20. By 6:00 pm this evening, one of these teams will end their season on a loss. And the other will move forward to the State Semifinals.
The Gonzaga Bullpups (11-0) emerge as a #6 seed out of the Greater Spokane League. They spanked Moses Lake 56-7 last week to reach the Quarterfinals.
The Pups run a double wing running attack, keeping the ball on the ground 94% of the time.
Their primary weapon is Senior QB Ryan McKenna, who has more rushing yards than the Vikings 4-star RB Jayden Limar (albeit in two extra games). Calling McKenna a QB is a bit unfair to him: he’s also a kick returner, punt returner, punter and the Coach’s son. You’ll know him by his long curly hair that trails behind him when he runs, which he’ll do 20+ times today. While much of the pregame focus has been on the Pups’ unique offense…rest assured their coaches are worried about defense. While G Prep hasn’t played a lot of contested games this year, they also haven’t played against a team that basically scores every possession. They’ll need stops to stay in this contest.
The undefeated Vikings (9-0) are coming off two dominant playoff wins in which they’ve outscored opponents 115-28 — all with a freshman backup QB at the helm. And despite the fact that QB Kolton Matson managed to win two playoff games going 24/27 for 455 yards, 5 TD 0 int in his first two varsity starts…he won’t be starting today. The Vikes have senior All Wesco QB Grayson Murren back from injury and ready to takeover the helm. In fact, the Vikings are almost fully healthy headed into today’s contest.
The Vikings shouldn’t have any issues scoring against the Pups. The main question facing Lake Stevens is whether they can stop the G Prep option attack. If the Vikings can force a couple early stops, this game could get out of hand, as G Prep does not play a style conducive to playing from behind.
Prediction: We like the Vikings to win going away. Call it 49-14 and a trip to the Semis.
Look for our live game thread at 3:00 pm.