Ben’s Breakdown: Mount Si Football Starts Postseason Play Today at Oak Harbor

Ben Evensen is a Mount Si High School senior and an aspiring sportswriter.  Look for his game analysis before each Mount Si football game throughout the 2013 season. To follow Mount Si Football visit their website and/or Facebook page.

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The 2013 season has been one of the best in Mount Si football history. The Wildcats finished with an 8-1 record and the #5 state 3A ranking.

Star QB Nick Mitchell, who is committed to Oregon State University, finished the regular season with 19 touchdown passes and only 3 interceptions. He can credit his great receivers for playing just as well, if not better, than last year’s stars. Trevor Daniels, Beau Shain, Parker Dumas and Jake Smith all were reliable targets for Mitchell and propelled the Wildcat offense. The ground game was one of the best in KingCo, as Bailey Takacs, Drew Cotto, Evan Johnson and Jordan Chapman all had great years out of the backfield.

Almost every Mount Si win was a blowout victory, with the only loss at the hands of #1 ranked Bellevue.  The season played out as many predicted for the Wildcats: winning all but the Bellevue game – and winning by large margins. With their great record, Mount Si earned another trip to the state playoffs – and have a great shot at returning to the Tacoma Dome for the second time in school history.

mtsiplayoffs

In the first round of the playoffs, the Wildcats will travel to Whidbey Island and take on Oak Harbor High School. Oak Harbor, who also is nicknamed the Wildcats, finished 8-2 this year and earned second place in WesCo 3A North conference, just behind #3 state ranked Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

Both Mount Si and Oak Harbor had very similar stats this season. Mount Si averages 34.5 points per game, while Oak Harbor averages 34.0 ppg. The Mount Si defense allows just 15.4 points per game, while the Oak Harbor defense allows 17.4 ppg. However, don’t let these numbers worry you too much. Mount Si has played a tougher schedule and Oak Harbor has given up a lot of points to some bad teams.

One thing that could give Oak Harbor an emotional boost today is a local tragedy. Earlier this week, three students were involved in a fatal car accident in Anacortes. Twin sisters and a friend, students at Oak Harbor, were involved.  Sadly, one of the twins died and the other two girls were seriously injured. The small community and school are mourning the tragedy, and it could fire up the team to come out strong.

Mount Si needs to come out with everything running smoothly and keep the air and ground attack top-notch to insure a win. If they let Oak Harbor control the momentum, they could find themselves falling further and further behind. When a tragedy like this rocks a small community, football is something that can bring people together. If Oak Harbor starts playing well, emotions will become more intense, sparking Oak Harbor’s performance. Mount Si can’t let that happen.

The statistical similarities between these two schools makes the outcome hard to predict. Oak Harbor’s defense has been very inconsistent this season, making it even more challenging. They gave up a lot of points to good teams like Marysville-Pilchuck (39 points) and Arlington High School (36), but then shutdown other good teams, holding Lake Stevens and Mount Vernon to 14 each. At the same time, they gave up 20 points to the 1-9 Snohomish Panthers.

In the end, I think Mount Si has more talent, and will be able to contain Oak Harbor. They need to be careful and avoid any mistakes that could fire up the Oak Harbor team and crowd, but should come away with a ticket to the next playoff round.

Prediction: Mount Si 34 Oak Harbor 14

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