LOCAL SQUADS LEAD THE PACK

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Senior quarterback Jacob Holcomb has helped push the Puyallup Vikings to the top of the 4A South Puget Sound League with a perfect 4-0 record. The Vikings have also been surging up the state rankings, taking over the top spot in Maxpreps 4A poll. Meanwhile, the Lincoln Abes (3-1) are hitting on all cylinders right now in the 3A Puget Sound League and look to feast upon Spanaway Lake next on Friday, Sept. 28, at Art Crate Stadium in Graham. Photo by Rocky Ross

Once the smell of corn dogs and fair burgers have disappeared from the air, you know things are about to get down to the nitty gritty when it comes to high school football. With week five approaching, teams will be passing the midway point of the regular season, and league play will be in full swing. The league races around the Tacoma area look as exciting as ever, so let’s dip our toe in and see where the teams stack up at the moment.

The 4A South Puget Sound League has a familiar team at the top of the standings, but this season they’ve gotten to the top a little earlier than last season. After four league games, the Puyallup Vikings remain undefeated and already battle tested. The high-flying boys from the valley have been sticking it to their opponents, scoring nearly 45 points per game, while giving up 19.

On Friday, Sept. 21, the Vikings paid a visit to Art Crate Stadium to face the top-ranked Graham Kapowsin Eagles. The game went down to the wire, with the Vikings pushing the Eagles into overtime, where the visitors would snatch the upset victory by a score of 41-34, in front of a capacity crowd. The victory not only gave Puyallup sole possession of first place, but it also rocketed the Vikings up the state rankings to the top spot in the Maxpreps 4A top ten.

Meanwhile, there has been a resurgence for another Viking football program. Despite losing a 28-26 heart-breaker to Sumner on Friday, Sept. 21, Curtis is playing at a new level this season. After decisive victories over Rogers, Gig Harbor and South Kitsap, it’s clear that the 3-1 boys from University Place will be having a say in the this league title race.

Bellarmine started their season with possibly the toughest schedule in the Puget Sound. The Lions opened the season against Puyallup, followed by games against state powers Graham Kapowsin and Tumwater. After three tough losses, Bellarmine got back on track with a 31-14 victory over Olympia on Friday, Sept. 21. The Lions will host Curtis on Friday, Oct. 5, for what should certainly be one of the games of the week in Western Washington.

The Lincoln Abes again look like the lead dog in the 3A Puget Sound League race. Lincoln has already been battle tested with games against 4A state powers Camas and Lake Stevens. Entering league play at 1-1, the Abes have been taking no prisoners so far. After dispatching the Wilson Rams by a score of 62-3 on Friday, Sept. 14, the Abes dropped the hammer on Bonney Lake by a score of 49-0. The league title race could come down to the final two Fridays of the season when Lincoln hosts Lakes (2-2) on Oct. 19, and then visits dangerous Bethel (3-1) on Oct. 26.

It looks like it’s going to be a run to the finish line in the 2A South Puget Sound League race. White River, Fife and Franklin Pierce sit at the top of the Mountain Division undefeated in league play and 3-1 overall. Steilacoom is a perfect 4-0 in the Sound Division and tied atop the standings with always potent Eatonville. Clover Park has been surprise this season with a 3-1 start. The Warriors should have something to say in this league battle before the season comes to a close.

The Life Christian Eagles have cruised through the easy part of their season with a perfect 4-0 record. However, the Tacoma boys will now face five straight games against the best of the 2B Pacific League. Rainier, Adna, Morton-White Pass, Napavine and Onalaska have a combined 19-1 record, so it’s going to be an instant test to see just how good this football team is.

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