Vote for the football game of the week according to The News Tribune

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Check out the top five high school football games across the South Sound in Week 2 below. Vote for the game of the week in our poll, located at the bottom of the story.

The weekly ballot opens at noon every Tuesday and closes at noon on Thursday.

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4A SPSL

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Emerald Ridge wide receiver Brandon Snell (11) waves an Emerald Ridge Jaguars flag in the air before the start of the season opener at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup Washington on September 2, 2022. Cheyenne Boone Cheyenne Boone/The News Tribune

Olympia Bears (0-1) vs. Emerald Ridge Jaguars (0-1)

7 p.m. Thursday, Sparks Stadium, Puyallup

How competitive will the SPSL 4A be this fall? Of the five games played league-wide in Week 1, four were decided by a touchdown. Two were decided by one point, resulting in season-opening losses for Olympia and Emerald Ridge. The Bears hosted Curtis, giving up a 35-34 game that wasn’t decided until late in the game. Olympia took the lead in the break and built it to two possessions midway through the third, but Curtis then scored three consecutive touchdowns, including what turned out to be the winner on a 27-yard goalkeeper from the quarter- full-back Rocco Koch with less than four minutes to go. Olympia responded with Gabe Downing’s fifth touchdown pass of the game, but missed the extra point. The Vikings fell on the onside kick attempt, then landed a crucial first down after a measure on fourth-and-first with less than a minute to play and ran out of time. Meanwhile, Jake Schakel and Tony Harste connected for three first-half touchdowns to help Emerald Ridge take a 26-8 lead over Puyallup, but the Vikings rallied in the final two quarters to inflict the Jaguars a 29-28 loss. Jacob Velasco threw a 19-yard touchdown to Donte Grant with just over a minute to play to lead Puyallup to victory. Two of the South Sound’s best quarterbacks face off this week in Downing (37 of 47, 381 yards, five touchdowns last week) and Schakel (23 of 35, 220 yards, three touchdowns) as the Bears and Jaguars seek their first victory this season.

TNT choice: Emerald Crest, 28-24

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Graham-Kapowsin quarterback Daveon Superales wraps up to throw a pass during drills Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, at Graham Kapowsin High School in Graham, Washington. Pete Caster Pete Caster / The Newsstand

Puyallup Vikings (1-0) v Graham-Kapowsin Eagles (1-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Art Crate Field, Spanaway

No 4A SPSL program has won a game against three-time defending league champion Graham-Kapowsin since 2018. The last team to beat the Eagles? It was Puyallup, when the Vikings beat the Eagles in overtime to win their own back-to-back undefeated 4A SPSL titles. This week, Puyallup will be the latest to attempt to end the Eagles’ 27-game league winning streak. The Vikings pulled off a thrilling comeback last week in their opener against Emerald Ridge, rallying from a three-touchdown deficit in the second half to claim a 29-28 win. WR/DB Jacob Velasco was key to the win, converting a pair of two-point chances, carrying a receiving touchdown to start Puyallup’s comeback in the third quarter, intercepting a pass in the fourth, then throwing the game-winning touchdown to Donte Tune in with 1:07 to play. Graham-Kapowsin played in the league’s only Week 1 game decided by multiple touchdowns in a 56-0 rout of Rogers. QB Daveon Superales impressed in his first career start, completing 12 of 13 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns. Graham-Kapowsin, last season’s 4A state champion, is riding an active 21-game winning streak in this game.

TNT choice: Graham-Kapowsin, 35-28

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Sumner High School wide receiver and defensive back Jay Mentink runs during a practice drill on Friday, August 19, 2022 at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner, Wash. Lauren Smith lsmith@thenewstribune.com

Sumner Spartans (1-0) vs. Curtis Vikings (1-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Viking Stadium, University Square

The 4A SPSL calendar is loaded with tough competitions this season. These two programs earned Week 1 wins decided by a touchdown and face off in Week 2 in another compelling game. A pair of rushing touchdowns and a field goal gave Bellarmine Prep a two-possession lead over Sumner at the break last week, but the Spartans shut out the Lions the rest of the way and rallied for a pair of scores in the second half. QB Kayde Bodine rushed for the game-winning 7-yarder with 2:18 left, and the Spartans defense forced a turnover on the downs in the final minute to close out their 22-16 win. Curtis went back and forth with Olympia on the road, and also at one point by two second-half possessions, but scored three touchdowns in the final two quarters to secure a 35-34 win. QB Rocco Koch (184 rushing yards, 150 passing yards, three total touchdowns) carried the Vikings to victory, scoring the eventual winner on a 27-yard keeper with less than four minutes left. Curtis is looking for his first 2-0 start since 2018, but will have to beat a Sumner team that has won each of the six meetings between the two programs since joining 4A SPSL in 2016. The Spartans edged out the Vikings , 268-58, over that stretch, holding Curtis two touchdowns each of the past two seasons and posting two previous shutouts in the recent series.

TNT choice: Summer, 21-17

Non-league

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Eatonville Cruisers quarterback Job Kralik (15) receives a snap during a play while practicing at Eatonville High School in Eatonville Washington on August 20, 2022. Cheyenne Boone Cheyenne Boone/The News Tribune

Eatonville Cruisers (1-0) vs. Orting Cardinals (0-1)

7:00 p.m. Friday, Cardinal Stadium, Orting

This represents a fun game of small schools. Eatonville advanced to the 1A state title game last season, falling to Royal. Orting, meanwhile, advanced to state bracket 2A last season, falling in the first round to Ridgefield. Army commitment Job Kralik was impressive on his debut at quarterback in Eatonville’s 47-27 win over Olympic last week. He completed all six of his passes for 180 yards and a pair of touchdowns, also rushing for 120 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Orting will have his hands full trying to slow Eatonville’s blistering pace. The Cardinals should feel up to the challenge after hanging out with Squalicum in a 28-21 loss in Week 1. Orting’s offense was solid in the loss as well. QB Mason McCall completed 11 of 21 passes for 171 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Senior tight end Tanner Peavler had a pair of receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown.

TNT choice: Eatonville, 42-35

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Tumwater Seniors quarterback Alex Overbay (left) and running back Carlos Matheney will anchor the T-Birds backfield. They are shown during football practice at Tumwater District Stadium in Tumwater, Washington on Friday, August 19, 2022. Tony Overman toverman@theolympian.com

North Kitsap Vikings (1-0) vs. Tumwater T-Birds (1-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Tumwater District Stadium, Tumwater

Both of these programs played deep into the playoffs last fall — and both saw their seasons end with defending state champion 2A Lynden. North Kitsap entered the 2A State Semifinals with an undefeated record, but lost to the Lions in a game that was decided by a Lynden rushing touchdown with 38 seconds left. The following week, Tumwater opened the scoring in the 2A Championship Game but was shut out in the final three quarters as the Lions closed out a win to secure the program’s ninth state title. Months later, North Kitsap and Tumwater are set to meet in an early season non-league contest that is perhaps the most intriguing game in the state this week. Both programs are expected to be in contention again at the state level this fall, and this meeting could provide a first glimpse of what that postseason picture might look like. Tumwater took a 35-7 victory over Burlington-Edison on the road in Week 1, while North Kitsap took a 29-14 win over Mount Tahoma.

TNT choice: Tumwater, 30-28 years old

This story was originally published September 6, 2022 2 p.m.

Jon Manley covers high school sports for The News Tribune. A McClatchy President’s Award winner and a graduate of Gonzaga University, Manley has been covering the South Sound sports scene since 2013. Born and raised in Tacoma.

Profile photo of Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith covers University of Washington athletics for The News Tribune. She previously covered high school sports for TNT and The Olympian, beginning in 2015, before moving to pace with the Seattle Mariners ahead of the 2019 season. She is a graduate of UW and Emerald Ridge High School.

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