In the news:
KingCo, Metro League titles up for grabs in big Friday showdowns
No. 1 Bellevue faces No. 2 Mount Si and No. 3 O'Dea plays No. 4 Eastside Catholic in a decisive night for 3A football.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Any other week, No. 3 O'Dea's showdown with No. 4 Eastside in Class 3A on Friday would likely be the featured game, as it will probably decide the Metro League title.
But on the same night, and at the same time, No. 1 Bellevue travels to No. 2 Mount Si in a KingCo clash for bragging rights as the state's top team.
"I'd love to be a fan on Friday night," said Meadowdale coach Mark Stewart, whose team is ranked fifth in 3A.
Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff might have his best team this year, a big topic of debate among fans and even Bellevue coaches. The Wolverines, who have won 32 straight games, held off a more-physical Trinity team from Euless, Texas, to start the season and haven't been in a close game since.
Bellevue has allowed 14 points in its past five games.
"We have had not had the talent on those earlier groups that there is on this group," Goncharoff said. "But this group, mentally, has to grow up. This group has to realize that if we play the way we played against Trinity, I don't see us winning a state championship. In a big game, you can only get away with the mental mistakes for so long."
Mount Si coach Charlie Kinnune said earlier that this might be the best defense he has coached in 21 years at the school. The Wildcats have yet to give up a touchdown in the first three quarters of a game and have given up 14 points all season.
Mount Si has sold all of its roughly 3,000 tickets to the game and won't be selling any more Friday.
At West Seattle Stadium, undefeated Eastside Catholic will try to take down O'Dea, which has won 22 of the past 27 Metro League titles.
O'Dea's only loss came against Issaquah three weeks ago, when coach Monte Kohler said his team "couldn't tackle my daughter." But the Irish, who lost to Bellevue in last year's state championship game, have allowed only 11 points per game since.
Eastside Catholic went 7-4 last year in coach Jeremy Thielbahr's first season at the school. But the Crusaders returned plenty of talent, including returning starting quarterback Trey Reynolds.
"This is an opportunity for them to leave their mark," Thielbahr said.