Golden State vs. Evergreen State

Several California schools visit Washington this weekend for some key clashes, headlined by Oaks Christian at Skyline and Bellevue hosting Sacramento Grant...

The state of Washington may have never seen a weekend of football like this weekend with visitors from California coming in.

On a weekend where USC visits Washington, to many people in the state, that game is taking a back seat to the highly anticipated game between Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline and Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian.

Skyline is the top-ranked team in the Evergreen State while Oaks stands out in the Golden State.

In a game that will be nationally televised, you can bet the stars will be out (and that doesn't include the potential presence of Wayne Gretzky, Will Smith or Joe Montana). The visiting Lions are one of the most loaded teams in the West, led by five-star running back Malcolm Jones in the backfield along with four-star quarterback Nick Montana, who's going to spend the next four years in Seattle.

His favorite target is sophomore Jordan Payton, who's already making a case as the premier prospect in the West for 2012. Payton has an early verbal offer from Akron.

Up front, the offensive line features another Husky commit in Erik Kohler, the top tackle in California.

Defensively, the Lions are led by Zac Stout, Jones and Alani Fua at linebacker and Cassius Marsh at defensive tackle while Max Napolitano anchors the secondary.

Meanwhile, the Spartans, carrying a 30-game winning streak into their home field, will counter with the nation's top quarterback, Jake Heaps, who's headed to BYU. He'll be protected by Jase Butorac, a three-star lineman for the Spartans.

Expect Heaps to throw many passes to Kasen Williams, the top receiver out West in 2011, who's got offers from all over, as well as tight end Cooper Pelluer.

Defensively, Pelluer and Anthony DeMatteo anchor the front seven for the Spartans while Williams and 2011 prospect Evan Zeger, a transfer from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman, hold down the secondary.

But the other storylines to watch include Heaps against two of his future BYU teammates, Zac Stout and Alani Fua, who'll try to pressure and harass him defensively. At the same time, two of the Huskies' stars of their recruiting class, Montana and Kohler, will try to make a lasting impression on the fans wearing purple and gold to the game. A standing room only crowd is expected for the game televised on ESPN.

And the winner could bolster their case for the best team in the West.

While there will be a lot of attention paid to Skyline-Oaks Christian on Friday night, Saturday night's game between Bellevue and Sacramento Grant, in the nightcap of the CBA Best in the West Classic, is the only one that features defending state champions between California and Washington.

Bellevue claimed the WIAA 3A title last year with a 14-0 record while Grant won the CIF State Open Division title with a 15-0 record.

Now the two perennial powers meet in what should be a good contest between to contrasting teams.

Bellevue and it's Wing-T offense will face the balanced offense of Grant, though the Pacers will do plenty to get the ball in the hand of Devaunte Butler, who starred as a junior last year, and had a monster postseason.

The Wolverines will try to stop him with UCLA commit Julious Moore and linebacker John Kanongata'a.

Offensively for the Wolverines, they'll start David Nguyen, another in a long line of productive backs for the Wolverines, against a defense that features elite 2011 defensive tackle Viliami Moala.

In earlier games, Orinda (Calif.) Miramonte, the alma mater of former Miami star Ken Dorsey, will face Snohomish (Wash.) Glacier Peak.

Miramonte is led by James King, a 6-2, 195 pound two-way player who's got a handful off offers. Glacier Peak features John Froland, who just committed to Northwestern earlier this month.

The game prior to Grant-Bellevue features Camas (Wash.) Union, who went 13-1 a year ago, their lone loss coming to Bellevue in the state title game against Palo Cedro Foothill.

Union is led by receiver Mitch Saylor, the top player in Southern Washington and linebacker Taylor Nelson. Foothill has fullback and linebacker Codey Ellenwood as its marquee player.


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