The majority of area high school football teams will get some kind of crossover game next week, either for a playoff game, or season-ending non-league contest.
It’s starting to get really cold at night, so that’s not a problem for old guys like me who like warmer weather.
But those football crazy fans will start getting melancholy thinking about the end of the football season.
And for those lucky enough to have teams heading into the postseason, there still may be a month’s worth of games to come.
This week’s contests have little drama remaining, although there is a bit.
For instance, there could be a three-way tie for first in the 2B Eastern Washington Athletic Conference if White Swan can beat Columbia-Burbank.
There could also be a three-way tie for third in the SCAC East, with just two playoff spots available.
But other than that, it’s business as usual for football teams this week.
Here are the top 3 games:
Ellensburg (4-4 overall) vs. Prosser (6-2), Grandview High, 7 p.m., Saturday.
This is a meeting between the two Central Washington Athletic Conference division champions.
Familiar ones too, since they met in a non-league game on Oct. 11, with Prosser winning 21-6.
This is the CWAC title game, capping a tripleheader Saturday at Grandview High School.
But other than bragging rights, and maybe a better draw provided by the state seeding committee (which meets Nov. 10), it’s not a do-or-die game for either team.
Both schools have qualified for the 2A state playoffs by winning their respective divisions.
Still, expect a rather large crowd to watch these traditional rivals do battle once more.
Ellensburg’s defense seems to have settled in, and that’s what got the Bulldogs far into last year’s playoffs.
Prosser brings its offense. Sophomore quarterback Kaiden Rivera gets better each week. It’s fun to look at his growing stats for the season every week, which currently happen to be 148 for 238 passing, 1,675 yards, and 14 TD passes against just 4 interceptions.
His top target — although he has many of them — is Will Thompson, with 24 catches for 427 yards and 4 TDs. And RB Logan Candanoza has rushed 112 times for 686 yards and 9 TDs.
Columbia-Burbank (5-0 EWAC, 7-1 overall) at White Swan (4-1, 5-2), 7 p.m. Friday.
This situation is simple if Columbia-Burbank wins: the Coyotes are the top EWAC seed going into the 2B regional playoffs the following week against teams from the Central Washington B league.
But a win by the host Cougars — and assuming Tri-Cities Prep beats winless Dayton/Waitsburg — we have a three-way tie for first involving Burbank, White Swan and Prep.
Since all three teams are advancing to regionals already, the draw goes Tri-Cities Prep at No. 1, Burbank at No. 2, and White Swan at No. 3.
The Coyotes have destiny in their own hands. After knocking off Prep 34-28 three weeks ago, Burbank lost its first game the following week with a road loss up at Tonasket.
The Coyotes bounced back last Friday with a 47-8 win over Dayton/Waitsburg.
Standouts Abe Garcia, Dylan Frimodt, Tyler Good and Creed Pariera will do their best to bring home a title for head coach Trevor Curtis.
Chiawana (7-0 MCC, 7-1 overall) at Pasco (3-4, 3-5), Edger Brown Stadium, 7 p.m., Friday.
The visiting Riverhawks can win the Mid-Columbia Conference title outright with a victory over their crosstown rival.
That’s the big thing for Chiawana in this game. The other is don’t get anybody hurt because the Riverhawks have to play host to the Greater Spokane League’s No. 2 team at 6 p.m., Nov. 8, in a regional game.
Still, this game won’t be a cakewalk as it has been in the past few years.
Pasco head coach Leon Wright-Jackson is a strong candidate for MCC coach of the year honors (along with Walla Walla’s Greg Lupfer) for leading his Bulldogs to the record they have so far.
This is also the battle for bragging rights in the city of Pasco for the rest of the school year.
All kickoffs 7 p.m. Friday unless noted
- College Place (0-5 SCAC East, 2-6 overall) at Royal (5-0, 8-0). Top-ranked Knights playing host to last-place Hawks. Royal also has six shutouts this year, four consecutive, and has yet to allow a point in SCAC East play.
- Ephrata (2-6 overall) at Grandview (1-7). The is the season finale for both schools, who would like to go out on a winning note.
- Hanford (4-3 MCC, 5-3 overall) at Richland (2-5, 3-5). The visiting Falcons, who qualified last week for the 4A regional playoffs, would like to enter that playoff game on a winning note. Especially against their crosstown rivals.
- Hermiston (1-6 MCC, 1-7 overall) at Kamiakin (5-2, 6-2), Lampson Stadium, 5 p.m., Friday. An early start time for the host Braves, who would like to rebound after last week’s tough 10-7 loss to Chiawana as they head into the 3A playoffs next week.
- Kiona-Benton (3-2 SCAC East, 5-3 overall) at Warden (2-3, 4-4). A win by the visiting Bears clinches a playoff spot for Ken Noel’s team. But a Warden win could create a three-way tie for two available playoff spots. So consider this a playoff game for both teams.
- Kittitas/Thorp (2-3 EWAC, 2-5 overall) at Liberty Christian (2-3, 3-5), Hanford High. Both squads are in the regional playoffs, and this game is for better playoff position.
- Mabton (3-5 overall) at Manson (4-4). Visiting Vikings have qualified for the regional 2B playoffs and are just waiting to find out who that opponent is. It’s going to be whoever wins the EWAC title.
- River View (3-2 SCAC East, 6-2 overall) at Connell (4-1, 5-3). Host Eagles have already clinched a home game for the 1A crossover games against the SCAC West. But the Panthers are fighting for their playoff lives. They’re in. It’s just whether it’s a mini-playoff for three teams battling for two spots. Or the three or four spot.
- Selah (3-5 overall) vs. Othello (4-4), Grandview High, 1 p.m., Saturday. Another matchup at Grandview on Saturday, with the winner getting a shot at the Great Northern League’s No. 1 or 2 teams in a glue crossover Nov. 8 (winner goes to state), or the loser being done for the season.
- Southridge (0-7 MCC, 1-7 overall) at Kennewick (6-1, 7-1), Lampson Stadium, 8 p.m., Friday. Visiting Suns picked up their first win of the season last Friday. Host Lions are the top 3A seed for regionals and would like to go into that game on a winning note.
- Sunnyside (3-1 Big Nine, 5-3 overall) at Davis (1-3, 3-5), Zaepfel Stadium. The visiting Grizzlies just need to keep winning. If they take care of their business against the Pirates (and against winless Moses Lake next week), they should grab one of the two available playoff berths to state. The only thing standing in their way would be Eastmont upsetting Wenatchee next week. That would force a three-way playoff for the two spots.
- Tri-Cities Prep (4-1 EWAC, 7-1 overall) at Dayton/Waitsburg (0-5, 0-8). Expecting the visiting Jaguars to win this game. But of more importance is to make sure no one gets hurt on this 19-man squad as it heads into the postseason.
- Wahluke (3-5 overall) at Highland (1-7). The visiting Warriors, who can’t make the postseason, are playing for pride in this non-league game.
- Wenatchee (7-1 overall) at Walla Walla (4-4), Borleske Stadium. Top team in the Big Nine visits a Blue Devils team that went .500 in the MCC battles, and just missing the playoffs.
Richland wins MCC volleyball title
Sage Brustad had 16 kills and Hailey Daves added 6 aces as host Richland swept Walla Walla 3-0 on Wednesday night, completing a perfect 14-0 Mid-Columbia Conference season.
With the win, the Bombers have now won the MCC title four out of the last five years.
Final standings are: Richland 14-0, Chiawana and Walla Walla at 12-2, Kamiakin at 8-6, Kennewick at 7-7, Hermiston at 5-9, Hanford at 3-11, Southridge at 2-12, Pasco at 0-14.
With Chiawana and Walla Walla both tying for second, the Riverhawks earn the MCC’s No. 2 seed to the District 8 tournament with the Greater Spokane League, based on Chiawana beating Wa-Hi in there teams’ only meeting this season.
Richland and Chiawana will both have home first-round matches when the tournament begins Nov. 5.
Walla Walla and Hanford will go on the road.
Kamiakin, Kennewick and Hermiston have qualified for the 3A district tournament, which also starts next week.