What The Football Fortell: Watch for who dominates the line of scrimmage in this weekend’s rivalry games


It is rivalry weekend in the Northwest for Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Seattle and San Francisco fans.

On Saturday afternoon, the 108th running of the Battle of Myrtle Street will take place at Hoquiam’s Olympic Stadium. On Sunday night, two of the NFL’s early favorites for the Super Bowl will meet at CenturyLink Field.

The Daily World’s Rick Anderson profiles the Aberdeen-Hoquiam game in today’s prep football preview.

The San Francisco-Seattle game, however, will get the treatment here before we dive into a stacked three-day slate of high school football.

Week 1 of the NFL season was entertaining, yet not as informative as you would think when trying to find a line of reasoning for predicting football games.

For instance: Was Seattle’s offense really that bad or was Carolina’s defense really that good in Charlotte, N.C. last Sunday? Is San Francisco’s offense really that potent or is Green Bay’s defense really that inept at adjusting during a game? Is Peyton Manning really seven touchdowns better than Baltimore? Are the New York Giants six turnovers worse than Dallas? Is Oakland’s Terrell Pryor the answer the Raiders have been searching for since Rich Gannon?

See, it is tough to read the tea leaves after one week in the NFL. That makes this Sunday night’s game in Seattle really, really blown out of proportion. The winner of the game can crash and finish 7-9. The loser of the game can streak off 10 straight wins and blow away the NFC West. Or, both teams fight neck-and-neck before they meet late in the season and, possibly, the postseason.

Going off what I saw from both teams on Sunday, my main question is whether Seattle’s offensive line is stable enough to hold off San Francisco’s defensive front? Carolina’s defense stunted, blitzed and, in about half the cases, just re-established the line of scrimmage 2-3 yards back on Seattle all day. The running game was non-existent, forcing second-year quarterback Russell Wilson to throw for 315 yards and pass the Seahawks into a 12-7 win.

The Seahawks’ offense, however, will take on a Niners defense that gave up nearly 400 yards of offense to a Packers offense that is Aaron Rodgers and his cast of nobodies. San Francisco’s offense, paced by quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s first 400-yard day and wide receiver Anquan Boldin’s 200-yard receiving day, will get a challenge against Seattle’s physical defense.

See a trend? Neither do I.

Prediction: The only true prediction for this game is that one team’s fan base will overreact and blow this game’s result out of proportion. The other team’s fan base will point to the calendar and 15 more weeks of regular season football. Seahawks 34, 49ers 30.

• • •

Aberdeen Bobcats (0-1) at Hoquiam Grizzlies (0-1) — To borrow a journalistic phrase, “there’s no sense in burying the lead here.” The line of scrimmage, just like in the Seahawks-Niners game, will be the point of emphasis here. Can Hoquiam keep Aberdeen from re-establishing the line of scrimmage to get the job done? Following last week’s season openers, the Bobcats have the advantage on Saturday afternoon that tips the scales in their favor. Bobcats 41, Grizzlies 28.

Tonight’s Games

Charles Wright Academy Tarriers (1-0) at Raymond Seagulls (1-0) — The Tarriers are ranked ninth in the Class 1A ranks by the Tacoma News-Tribune, but the Gulls own one 1A scalp so far in Tenino. If Charles Wright keeps its electric band from playing when Raymond is on offense, like it did against Montesano in last year’s state 1A opening round, the Gulls will be fine. Gulls 28, Tarriers 27.

Willapa Valley Vikings (1-0) at Olympia Bears JV — No line. I will keep to one of Ray Ryan’s rules for picking high school games, “don’t pick games with junior varsity teams.”

Friday

Cascade Christian Cougars (1-0) vs. Montesano Bulldogs (1-0) at Stewart Field, Aberdeen — If the Bulldogs, who won the state 1A title, couldn’t get past the Cougars last year with all of their stars, a rebuilding Bulldogs will have trouble against a fortified Cougars squad this year. Cougars 41, Bulldogs 21.

Eatonville Cruisers (0-1) at Elma Eagles (0-1) — Elma traveled down to Hockinson and gave the Hawks all they could handle. At home, the Eagles should fly away from the Cruisers. Eagles 31, Cruisers 14.

South Bend Indians (0-1) at North Beach Hyaks (1-0) — The Hyaks are poised to challenge for the Pacific 2B League title and a long sought after state postseason berth. The Indians are poised to refill their ranks with players as they continue to rebuild. Hyaks 47, Indians 7.

Chief Leschi Warriors at Ocosta Wildcats (0-1) — This may be the best chance for the Wildcats to grab their first win of the season against the Warriors, who are opening their season in Westport. Wildcats 21, Warriors 14.

Saturday

Wishkah Loggers (1-0) at Lopez Island Lobos — Wishkah hits the road for the first time to participate in Lopez Island’s season opener. The ride home should be fun. Loggers 40, Lobos 8.

Crescent Loggers (0-1) at Lake Quinault Elks — This is the season opener for the Elks and everyone at Fred Soth Stadium will see plenty of footballs flying in the air. Both teams like to throw on offense. Elks 35, Loggers 16.