Emerald City Kickoff Classic Match-Up Preview

Each year, the Emerald City Kickoff Classic signifies the start of prep football in the state of Washington, bringing several of the state's top high school teams to Qwest Field for an all-day spectacle of football. In preparation for the games, ESP will give you a sneak peek into each matchup. The 5:30 p.m game features two veteran-laden offenses, as Kentridge squares off against Inglemoor.

Game 4: 5:30 p.m. Kentridge vs. Inglemoor

Last Season:

Kentridge Chargers- 9-3 overall (7-2 in league) in South Puget Sound League (4A)

Inglemoor Vikings- 4-5 overall (4-4 in league) in the Kingco League (4A)

Outlook:

Kentridge has been one of the top high school football programs in the state since the early nineties. And though they failed to make the playoffs from 2003-2005, the Chargers were back with a vengeance last year, advancing to the postseason. Kentridge will need to use that momentum going into this year, with wide receiver turned quarterback Brandon Turner taking over the reigns of the offense. Turner is one of the most athletic prospects in the state this year, and the Chargers will try to capitalize on that athleticism by switching to a spread offense, opening up the field by having four wide outs on the field. While this will put pressure on the opposing defense, the Charger offensive line will also need to step up and adapt to the new offensive scheme. That should be no problem though, as center Le'roi Edwards, one of the top players at his position in the state this year, will lead a line that should give Turner and company enough time to work. On the defensive side of the ball, the Chargers sport one of the top defensive backfields in the state, with corners Jordy Spriggs and Aaron Beck teaming with Turner at safety.

Inglemoor returns a host of contributors to a team that played respectable .500 ball last year in Kingco 4A. On the offensive side of the ball, the Vikings return their top two leading rushers in Brandon Thurston, who rushed for 599 yards and ten touchdowns in 2006, and Alex Stanford. Wide receivers Andy Palmer and Mickey Mukai were the leading receivers for the Vikings last year, and both return for their senior year at Inglemoor. All in all, the offense should be in good shape this year, as long as a productive replacement can be found for graduated quarterback Giovanni Learned, who threw for over a 1000 yards last year. On defense, the Vikings will be led by junior Paul Ena, who could make waves in the recruiting world by improving on his seventy five tackle, three sack sophomore year. Overall, the Vikings will have an experienced roster this year, but whether that will translate to a playoff berth this year remains to be seen.

Prediction:

Too much Turner for the Vikings, as Chargers start the season with a 21-7 win.


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