Sports Zone

HSSZ: Playoff preview


(4) Thurston Colts (9-2) vs (1) Summit Storm (10-1)

Game facts: Friday, November 18, 7 p.m. at Willamette University … McCulloch Stadium, 890 Mission St SE, Salem. Outdoor stadium with a capacity of 2,500 … 68 miles from Thurston High School, 132 miles from Summit High School … Adult Tickets are $12.00, Student (ages 5-18) tickets are $6.00 … Kickoff weather forecast: 38 degrees, 9% chance of rain, 5 mph winds.

What2Know: Thurston makes its fourth-straight trip to the Class 5A state semifinals. This time around the Colts face the Summit Storm, who moved down into Class 5A this season despite making the quarterfinals in Class 6A last fall. This game is a rematch from week two, where Summit hosted Thurston and beat them 48-10. The Storm held the Colts offense to six first downs in that game, and quarterback Hogan Carmichael passed for four touchdowns. That win was the first in Summit’s current 10-game win streak, while Thurston has won nine straight since that loss. Both defenses have been dominant during those winstreaks, as Summit’s defense has allowed 10.8 points-per-game in the last 10 and Thurston’s defense has allowed 10.1 points-per-game in the last nine. Both offenses are explosive, and the Colts’ especially has improved since week two, but the game might come down to which defense makes more plays.

Pierre’s take: Thurston caught a break with the location of this game, as the team and the fans will have a lot less travel time to get to Salem. The name of the game for the Colts will be whether they can slow down the Storm’s passing game, as their secondary has been exploited at times against more-talented throwing teams. The offense has been more balanced as the season’s progressed as well, and they’ll need that to get revenge. No matter what this will be a closer game than the first time around, but it’s still an uphill battle if Thurston hopes to make its fourth-straight trip to the finals.



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