- About Us
Saints try to slow Gellatly, Knights' Baumann shouldering even more | Inside Slants
Football is back.
Barring any kind of weather-related hazard like the lightening storm that cancelled the second half of the O'Dea-Gig Harbor game at West Seattle Stadium on Thursday, all four prep squads in Bellevue will either be lamenting missed opportunities and scratching for a win, or warning off complacency and keeping an edge heading into week two.
The Reporter has one thing to watch for in each game this weekend. Have predictions of your own? Leave them in the comments.
Sammamish @ Cedarcrest, Friday, 7 p.m.
Totems looking for first win since 2011 in opener
In one of the state's hidden gems for the quintessential prep football experience in Duvall, the Totems will look to get a win for the first time since 2011 against a Cedarcrest squad hoping to get back to the playoffs after a down season in 2012.
Sammamish senior quarterback Terrance Allen will be the triggerman of an offense that had some success early in the season-opener against the red Wolves last year and head coach Brian Tucci said a handful of other players who have grown into new roles or even joined the team for the first time could make big contributions.
One of those is standout lacrosse player and senior Riley Martin.
"His athleticism coming out was just like, holy cow," Tucci said. "I wish he was here for four years."
Stephen Fry, a two-way contributor at linebacker and full back, has been counted on since early in his career and Tucci said a host of returning starters around him should be the groundwork for a more successful campaign this year.
"We graduated only one or two starters on both sides of the ball," he said. "We're just looking for that experience and knowledge from years past to pay dividends."
Issaquah @ Interlake, Friday, 7 p.m.
Saints hoping to play big against Issaquah's Gellatly
The Saints begin the Dave Myers Era officially against a veteran Issaquah squad led by senior running back and defensive back Jack Gellatly and will have to slow the powerful All-KingCo selection to have any chance to hanging around.
"We're not a huge team, and he is a big back," Myers said. "Big guys stay big in the fourth quarter."
Newport @ Capital, Friday, 7 p.m.
Knights writing new chapter
A new face taking snaps for the first time since 2009 will be the main change for Newport when it opens 2013 against Capital in Olympia without departed signal-caller Isaac Dotson, the defining player in the offense during his tenure as one of the area's most vaunted dual-threat quarterbacks.
Miller said during fall camp he could rotate quarterbacks-something he has not done in the past-but knows senior running back Connor Baumann will be relied on heavily regardless of who is handing him the ball.
"Last year he made some big strides in terms of pad level as a runner," Miller said. "He made some jump-cuts he didn't make the previous year. Once he got into the open field, no one caught him and that was different from the previous year."
Newport hopes an even more improved Baumann and what Miller called his biggest line in nearly two decades with the Knights will be enough to start the season with a win.
Bellevue VS. Skyline @ Husky Stadium, Saturday, 7 p.m.
Playmakers in key moments
The game everyone in the state has been waiting for (and some wish could be played after the state tournaments) concludes the first week of action around the state in the most iconic of settings at renovated Husky Stadium, and as usual when these two get together there will be no shortage of top-shelf talent.
Skyline turns to senior transfer Kilton Anderson at quarterback for the departed All-American Max Browne and knows it has a different animal in the dual-threat from Naples, Fla.
"I'm going to run around a little bit more," he said. "I'm not a pro-style quarterback."
Anderson will need to do plenty with his arms and legs and the Spartans will have to hope the production of their running backs can match the efficiency of the departed Cedric Cooper. Early returns have been positive on sophomore Rashaad Boddie, another transfer to the team in 2013, and he will be one of a host of Skyline skill position players who will be looked to in more prominent roles than last season.
While Bellevue also graduated a heavily-loaded senior class from last year's team, it could be the program's most talented player ever in Budda Baker leading the way this year in all three phases of the game and whichever team's playmakers find a way to step up in the big moments-Sean Constantine's second-half interception return touchdown of Browne two years ago-will have the inside track to top bragging rights.