<b>PREP PICKS | </b>By David Pan Weekly Herald sports editor
The state football playoffs heat up this week as Edmonds-Woodway and Meadowdale prepare for what appear to be tough first-round games.
Both teams started slowly in last week’s quad-district playoff games. The Warriors had a pass picked off for a touchdown in the first quarter and weren’t able to nail down the victory for sure until late in the fourth quarter. Edmonds-Woodway’s reward is a match-up against top-ranked Bellarmine Prep of Tacoma.
Meadowdale gave up a punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter, but after that the Mavericks reeled off five unanswered touchdowns to secure the win. Meadowdale faces a highly regarded Mercer Island team that is quarterbacked by University of Washington recruit Jeff Lindquist.
It’s going to be quite a weekend for football fans.
Last week’s record: 2-0
Year to date: 27-8
EDMONDS-WOODWAY VS. BELLARMINE PREP
Game time: 1 p.m., Saturday at Mount Tahoma Stadium
Records: Edmonds-Woodway 6-4 overall; Bellarmine Prep 10-0
Last week’s results: Edmonds-Woodway 29, South Kitsap 19; Bellarmine Prep 37, Graham-Kapowsin 19
Players to watch: Edmonds-Woodway running back Desmond Young ran for 268 yards on 30 carries and scored two touchdowns. Teammate Mark Coutee had 73 yards on 14 carries with one touchdown. Quarterback Davis Giles is only a sophomore but coach John Gradwohl said he has a high football IQ and is a quick learner. Bellarmine Prep quarterback Sefo Liefau threw three touchdowns to wide receiver Michael Reckor and ran for a score against Graham-Kapowsin. Liefau completed 13 of 22 passes for 293 yards, while Rector caught five passes for 185 yards.
Breakdown: Edmonds-Woodway faces another stellar quarterback in Liefau, who threw for nearly 300 yards last week. The Warriors have experience going up against talented quarterbacks. In the Wesco 4A title game, Edmonds-Woodway battled hard against Lake Stevens’ Jake Nelson and probably should have come out with the victory. The Warriors’ ground game needs to keep the potent Bellarmine Prep offense off the field. The Lions have scored 41 or more points six times this season. Giles performed well in his first playoff game. The Warriors likely will need more out of the passing game to complement their ground game.
Weekly Herald pick: Bellarmine Prep 35, Edmonds-Woodway 28
MEADOWDALE VS. MERCER ISLAND
Game time: 7 p.m., Saturday at Edmonds Stadium
Records: Meadowdale 10-0 overall; Mercer Island 8-2
Last week’s results: Meadowdale 33, Prairie 7; Mercer Island 21, Ferndale 14
Players to watch: Meadowdale senior running Kyle Newsom rushed for 115 yards on 14 carries and scored three touchdowns. Junior Giavani Shepard had 113 yards on 20 carries and senior running back Kyler Larsen had 32 yards on eight carries and scored a pair of TDs. Mercer Island quarterback Jeff Lindquist threw for 202 yards and three touchdowns against Ferndale.
Breakdown: While the playoffs are nothing new to Meadowdale, Mercer Island is making its first state appearance since 1988. The Islanders are led by highly touted quarterback Lindquist, who may be the best quarterback Meadowdale has faced. The UW recruit turned down Stanford for the University of Washington. The Islanders are going to need to establish a running game to take some of the pressure off of Lindquist, and so far teams have not been able to do that against the Mavericks. Prairie managed minus-5 yards on the ground last week. Meadowdale’s smash and dash duo of Newsom and Shepard each gained more than 100 yards. They should be able to do the same this week.
Weekly Herald pick: Meadowdale 28, Mercer Island 21