Evergreen State Preps: Games to Watch

A look at two key games involving Washington schools and national programs...

Some key interstate matchups are on the docket this fall, including a pair that draws two of the best teams in the Evergreen State.

Two games feature teams that are all ranked in the top 25 of this weeks FOX Sports NEXT Top 50 and there are four matchups involving two ranked teams.

Here is a look at games involving Washington schools, and their out-of-state opponents with their FOX Sports NEXT Top 50 ranking, as well as the top players on each team.

Thursday - August 30: #21 Euless (Texas) Trinity at #7 Bellevue (Wash.) at Seattle Memorial Stadium (6 p.m. PT)
The Friday Night Lights will be replaced by the shadows of the Space Needle on a Thursday evening in this monster interstate matchup between the premier program in Washington and one of the top programs in Texas. 

Texas teams don't typically go on the road to play out of state games- most out-of-state programs want the experience of playing in the Lone Star State. 

But Bellevue isn't a typical program, and the Wolverines have already been down to Texas, playing Katy in 2009.  Their reputation (four straight Washington 3A state titles and nine of the last 11) were enough to prompt Euless Trinity to open their season on the road. 

The Trojans won 5A state titles in 2005, 2007 and 2009, the most high profile team to come to the Northwest since Long Beach Poly came in 2005 and Concord De La Salle came in 2004, both teams losing to Bellevue in Seattle.

Trinity is known for their great defensive line play and they're once again loaded in the trenches.

Massive defensive end Sam Tevi, (6-5, 270 pounds) plays opposite 6-5, 245 pound Gaius Vaenuku.  Junior defensive tackle Hafoka Olie is an absolute load in the middle and is expected to be one of the top underclassmen in the region.

On the offensive side of the ball, tight end Jason Reese stars for the Trojans.

Bellevue has one of the region's top two-way players in Myles Jack, who stars at linebacker but is a significant contributor on offense. 

Fellow linebacker Sean Constantine earned all-state honors as a junior. He'll also play tight end in the Wolverines

Wing-T offense. Budda Baker is one the top juniors in the region and he's an explosive running back and will also play all over the secondary. Wide receiver Rueben Mwehla is one of the fastest players in the program.

Ari Morales is also a feature back for the Wolverines' vaunted ground game


Friday, Sept. 7: No. 47 Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline vs. Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood

Cooper Bateman has a highly anticipated showdown with Max Browne on the docket.

From a star-power standpoint, the quarterback is the marquee position, and this game will feature the top two quarterbacks in the country in No. 1 ranked Max Browne from Skyline and No. 2 ranked Cooper Bateman from Cottonwood.

The two have competed against each other at the Elite 11 and at The Opening, where Bateman's 7ON squad beat Browne's in the final.

But this game will be the high school teams, and while Bateman is one of the top prospects in the country, his prep team was just 5-5 a year ago. Cottonwood has had quite the offseason, losing their head coach and offensive coordinator, but with Bateman having receiver Inoke Lotulelei and Siale Faikalatonga to throw to and Elijah Tupai up front, the Colts are looking to make noise in their state.

Skyline has made plenty of it, winning three of the past four 4A state titles (and four out of the last five in two classifications), and last year, Browne carried the Spartans to the 4A state title. Browne won't be alone, though, with linebacker Peyton Pelluer leading the Spartans defense


Evergreen State Preps Top Stories