North Thurston (0-4, 2-4) at Central Kitsap (2-2, 4-2), 7 p.m.
There are still a lot of moving parts here, but the Cougars will need at least four league wins to get into districts this year. Right now, the battle appears to be with Yelm and Capital, both of which still have to play the clear-cut top two teams, Peninsula and Timberline.
With the 2-4 Rams making its way up to Silverdale Stadium, this is a potential trap game, especially with a big matchup against Capital on the horizon. It would be a horrific and season-altering mistake for Central Kitsap to overlook North Thurston — Central Kitsap has already beaten Yelm. Fortunately, this young team seems to take little for granted. However, their slow offensive starts have been of some concern. The Cougars are clearly the better team on paper, and a couple of early scores would go a long way to putting those worries to rest.
Charles Wright Academy (1-1, 3-3) at Klahowya (2-0, 4-1), 7:15 p.m.
The high-flying Eagles are scorching hot coming coming into this game with a Tarriers team that took the second Nisqually League playoff spot a year ago. With the exception of its 20-14 loss to North Mason, Klahowya has been demolishing its opponents with a balanced offensive attack and an underrated but talented defense. Meanwhile, Charles Wright hasn’t been quite as dominant as in years past. The Tarriers barely squeaked past Chimacum and has lost to Port Townsend. This is an important game in the march toward the playoffs for Klahowya.
North Mason (1-2, 3-3) at North Kitsap (2-1, 5-1), 7 p.m.
A few weeks ago, this looked like a game that could have a ton of playoff implications, but it’s been a bit of a topsy-turvy season. North Kitsap has recovered well after the Week 2 loss to Sequim — they’ve shut out three straight opponents and the offense is back on track — but the Bulldogs? Not so much. They fell to earth after a 51-47 win over Olympic with losses to Sequim and Bremerton, and now they have to scrap their way into one of the last two spots. North Kitsap looks set to pick up a fourth-straight league win.
Kingston (0-4, 1-5) at Bremerton (1-2, 2-4), 7 p.m.
These next two games are must-wins for the Knights. A loss here would certainly put an end to their playoff hopes. As it is, they may have to count on forcing some sort of three-way tie with some combination of Port Angeles, Olympic and North Mason. Bremerton should win here, setting up a showdown with Olympic next Friday.
Olympic (2-2, 2-4) at Forks (1-1, 4-2), 7 p.m.
The Trojans get a break from their league schedule this week with a long trip out to Twilight country. It should be a good opportunity for the Trojans to tune up before facing off with Bremerton next week.
Puyallup (5-0, 5-1) at South Kitsap (0-6, 0-6), 7 p.m.
The Wolves are playing for pride at this point, and they welcome one of the best teams in Washington on Friday night. Puyallup is ranked No. 4 in 4A in the statewide AP poll and No. 5 in the Seattle Times poll.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.