A quick glance at newspapers and message boards around the state don't give the Othello Huskies much chance at winning this weekend.
Facing a burgeoning powerhouse in Archbishop Murphy, on the road no less, and the Huskies (9-2) are a bit of an afterthought on the West side of the state.
Which sits just fine with senior fullback Joey Gomez.
"We are up to the challenge of being the underdog," he said. "We are kind of looking forward to it."
Othello travels to Everett to face Archbishop Murphy at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in a Class 2A quarterfinal at Memorial Stadium.
The Huskies have every reason to be confident. Since a painful 33-14 loss at Prosser in Week 3, Othello has won eight consecutive games and hammered fellow Class 2A quarterfinalist Ellensburg 41-7 in Week 10.
"I think the Prosser game made us a little more humble," senior running back Caleb Garza said. "Knowing we aren't as good as we should've been, so everyone started working harder."
Part of the change for the Huskies has been getting everyone healthy as Garza was banged up with back problems against Prosser and the team is starting to click offensively and defensively.
"When we have a game and we are on, I think everyone feels like we can play with anyone," Garza said. "When we played Steilacoom (a 14-0 first-round victory), things weren't clicking as much as Ellensburg, but I think we showed what we can do against Ellensburg.
"Last week was more nerves. A lot of the guys hadn't been involved in a playoff atmosphere and it just got the best of them. Hopefully we can get it together."
If the Huskies do pull off the upset of the 2010 Class 2A runners-up, then a familiar foe will be awaiting in the semifinals.
"It would be great to win," Gomez said. "Because then we could prove to ourselves how much better we've gotten since the beginning of the season and since Prosser.
"And just to play Prosser or Ellensburg again would be a blast -- especially Prosser, because we all know how that went."
CLASS 2A QUARTERFINAL
OTHELLO HUSKIES (9-2) VS. ARCHBISHOP MURPHY WILDCATS (10-1)
Time, date, place: 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Memorial Stadium, Everett.
Head coaches: Othello, Roger Hoell; Archbishop Murphy, Dave Ward.
Leagues: Othello, Central Washington Athletic League; Archbishop Murphy, Cascade Conference
Next opponent: Prosser-Ellensburg winner.
Last week: Othello 14, Steilacoom 0; Archbishop Murphy 41, Tumwater 6.
Playoff appearances: Othello 20, Archbishop Murphy 8.
Last playoff appearance: Othello 2010 (lost first round), Archbishop Murphy 2010 (lost title game)
Deepest advancement: Othello, title game (1998, W, Elma 53-21; 2001, L, Elma 43-22; 2004, W, Yakima East Valley 31-21); Archbishop Murphy, title game (2002, W, Royal 35-14; 2003, W, Zillah 20-0; 2005, L, Pullman 28-24; 2010, L, Tumwater 34-14)
Previous playoff meetings: None.
Othello leaders: RB Caleb Garza, senior (170 carries for 1,379 yards and 15 TDs); FB Joey Gomez, senior (15 TDs); QB David Garza, junior (89-173-8--1,377 yards and 18 TDs); WR Juston Lind, junior (28 receptions for 512 yards and 6 TDs).
Archbishop Murphy leaders: QB Hans VanderWel, junior; RB Liko Tevaga, junior; RB/DL Morgan Masanda, junior; RB Conner Kruse, senior; RB Alex Galgano, junior.
Notes: Othello is in the midst of its deepest run since 2009, when the Huskies lost to West Valley 28-22. ... The Huskies have won eight consecutive games since opening 1-2 with losses at Connell (20-15) and at Prosser (33-14). ... The two teams have one common opponent in Ellensburg. Othello beat Ellensburg 41-7 in Week 10, while Archbishop Murphy beat Ellensburg 56-13 in Week 1. ... The Wildcats are coming off a surprisingly easy victory at defending Class 2A champion Tumwater last week. Tumwater defeated Archbishop Murphy in the state final last season. ... Both teams are similar as they have stout running games and excellent run defenses, so figure this game to be won by the quarterbacks. ... VanderWel took over as quarterback for Kruse midway through the season.
CLASS 1A QUARTERFINAL
ROYAL KNIGHTS (9-2) VS. CHELAN GOATS (8-3)
Time, date, place: 4 p.m. Saturday, Apple Bowl, Wenatchee
Head coaches: Royal, Wiley Allred; Chelan, Darren Talley.
Leagues: Royal, South Central Athletic League East division; Chelan, Caribou Trail.
Next opponent: Connell-Cashmere winner.
Last week: Royal 38, Colville 35; Chelan 35, Cle Elum/Roslyn 19.
Playoff appearances: Royal 21, Chelan 4.
Last playoff appearance: Royal, 2010 (lost first round); Chelan, 2010 (lost quarterfinal)
Deepest advancement: Royal, title game (1994, L, Montesano 27-21; 1996, W, Toledo 70-0; 2000, W, Tacoma Baptist 49-17; 2002, L, Archbishop Murphy 35-14; 2004, W, Freeman 29-7; 2005, W, Tonasket 34-14; 2007, W, Connell 28-16)); Chelan, semifinals (2009, L, Connell 37-14).
Previous playoff meetings: 2008, Royal 46-7; 2009, Chelan 40-25.
Royal leaders: QB Alex Myrick, junior (117-582 rushing and 15 TDs, 113-198-6--1,642 yards and 6 TDs); RB Alex Ramirez, junior (131-803 rushing, 8 TDs); RB Damien Delarosa, junior (64-445 rushing, 7 TDs; 13-283 receiving, 1 TD); WR Danny Vermeer, senior (30-412 receiving, 5 TDs); FB Brady Dixon, junior (16-304 receiving, 6 TDs).
Chelan leaders: QB Michael Amsel Jr., junior (52-93-1--1,118 yards and 16 TDs, 77 carries for 759 yards and 10 TDs); RB Cole Schwartz, senior (112 carries for 816 yards and 13 TDs); RB Matt Peterson, senior (91 carries for 577 yards and 6 TDs; 26 receptions for 582 yards, 6 TDs); WR Matt Robinson, senior (17 receptions for 378 yards, 4 TDs).
Notes: The Knights won a wild game in the snow last week, holding off Colville in a shootout. ... Royal has an experienced core of players, despite plenty of its skill players not being seniors. ... Kicker Jose Gaxiola has been a weapon all season for the Knights and could make a difference Saturday. ... Amsel was ineligible for the first four games of the season. Since his return, the Goats are 6-1. The lone loss was 36-35 at the hands of fellow quarterfinalist Cashmere. ... Amsel is a dual-threat quarterback who is one of the best 1A players in the state. The Royal defense will have its hands full slowing him down.