Playoff tickets on the line for several Tacoma teams

Bellarmine senior Sam Behnke and Sumner junior Jackson Metcalf collide. Photo by Rocky Ross

It’s that time of the year again when high school football postseason fortunes are won and lost. With just two weeks remaining in the regular season for most schools, the margin of error has grown incredibly slim for several Tacoma-area prep squads. That being said, there are quite a few local teams that are sitting pretty right now for a playoff berth.

Of course, we’re also talking about teenagers here, so anything and everything is possible.

Bellarmine senior Christian Brown breaks away for a touchdown. Photo by Rocky Ross

The playoff outlook for the Bellarmine Prep Lions took a fairly sizeable blow when they visited the Sumner Spartans on Friday, Oct. 13. It was certainly an unlucky occasion for the Lions, as the Spartans ran wild for a 45-14 victory. With a home game against Graham Kapowsin (5-1 4A SPSL, 6-1 overall) on Friday, Oct. 20, and a road game against the first-place Puyallup Vikings (6-0, 6-1) on Friday, Oct. 27, the Lions (4-2, 5-2) have a tougher road to the playoffs than any other team in the 4A South Puget Sound League.

Puyallup will travel to Olympia on Friday, Oct. 20. A victory by the Vikings will lock-up the league championship. In addition, a loss by Olympia would give Bellarmine a playoff berth, should they win one of their remaining two games. If the Lions end up in a tie with Olympia, the Bears will get the nod due to their 28-21 victory over Bellarmine earlier in the season.

It’s quite the norm to see the Lincoln Abes sitting atop the 3A Pierce County League standings these days. A victory over the Bonney Lake Panthers (2-3, 2-5) on Friday, Oct. 20, would clinch a fourth consecutive league title for Lincoln (5-0, 6-1). If the Abes can continue their winning ways, they have a shot at hosting three straight playoff games, up until the state semifinals, which could see them travelling north, south, or even remaining close to home should an upset or two happen on the way there.

The Stadium Tigers (3-2, 4-3) got snake bit the last two weeks, dropping heartbreakers to Bethel (38-35) and Wilson (33-29). With games against Lakes (4-1, 5-2) and Lincoln remaining on the schedule, the Tigers will be put to the test as they fight for their playoff lives. Should the Tigers lose either game, there is still a chance for Bonney Lake to leap-frog Stadium into the fourth, and final, playoff spot, should they pull off a huge upset against Lincoln, as well as a victory over Spanaway Lake (1-4, 1-6) to end the regular season.

Fife and Steilacoom are set for a huge 2A South Puget Sound League championship game on Friday, Oct. 27. The winner will get the top seed to the playoffs, while the loser will settle for second. Altogether, there are seven playoff slots designated for 2A SPSL teams. Washington (4-2, 5-2) and Franklin Pierce (4-2, 4-3) will close out the regular season with their historical matchup on Friday, Oct. 20, and then will follow that with a seeding game against each other on Friday, Oct. 27.

Charles Wright (3-1, 5-2) fell hard against powerhouse Cascade Christian (4-0, 6-1) on Saturday, Oct. 14, by a score of 41-0. However, the Tarriers are still in a strong position for a postseason berth with winnable games over Chimacum (0-4, 2-5) and Vashon (1-3, 1-6) remaining on the schedule, and a huge matchup against Port Townsend (3-1, 3-4) to close the regular season on Friday, Nov. 3, at Charles Wright.

Tacoma Baptist (3-0, 4-3) should sew up a postseason berth against winless Seattle Lutheran (0-3, 0-4) on Saturday, Oct. 21, at Curtis Viking Stadium. Should a huge upset occur, the Crusaders are still in place for a second-seed opportunity. Tacoma Baptist is tied with Muckleshoot for second place in the 1B Sea-Tac League. The two teams will meet on Thursday, Oct. 26, at Mt. Tahoma Stadium at 5 p.m. A second seed earns a home game in the playoffs. A third seed will earn a road trip against some stiff competition. Either way, the Crusaders would still have to deal with the likes of Quilcene, Lummi or Neah Bay to reach the state tournament.

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