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Clash of the titans

Feel like going to a Class 4A state championship football game and don’t want to wait until Dec. 1 at the Tacoma Dome?

If you do, take a trip over to Pop Keeney Stadium this Friday evening when the two top teams in the state, Bothell and Oak Harbor, will meet one another at 7:30 p.m.

Oak Harbor’s 30-21 win over Olympia Saturday night set up the clash against the Cougars which should turn out to be one of the more memorable high school football games of 2007.

Both teams are undefeated with 11-0 records and it makes no difference if the football gurus from the Associated Press have Bothell ranked No. 1 and Oak Harbor No. 4 — the Cougars and the Wildcats are hands down the two best teams in the state of Washington.

Last year Oak Harbor defeated Bothell 21-14 in the Tacoma Dome for the state title but this time around, by the “luck” of the draw, the two teams square off in the quarterfinal matchup.

The WesCo North champion Wildcats are coming off their first undefeated season since 1966. In post-season play, they whipped Bellarmine Prep 20-10 on Nov. 3 and on Saturday, Oak Harbor halted Olympia’s seven-game winning streak with a 30-21 victory on the Bears’ home turf.

For full details on the victory in Olympia, see page A6 of today’s Whidbey News-Times.

Bothell, the KingCo 4A champion, beat Gig Harbor 35-0 Nov. 3 and picked up a 31-17 victory over Central Kitsap Nov. 10 in its two post season games.

The Cougars have a strong team and during the regular season, Bothell led the KingCo League in scoring with an average of 35.3 points per game.

Led by quarterback Johnny Hekker who threw for 18 touchdowns during the regular season, the Cougars averaged 166 yards through the air and an additional 175 yards per game in rushing offense.

Running back Ben Moschel heads the Cougars’ potent rushing attack averaging 61.4 yards per game and teammate Perry Conricode is averaging 12.7 yards per carry.

Johathan Kirchner is Hekker’s favorite receiver averaging 6.1 yards per catch. He has made six touchdown receptions.

The Cougars will have to contend with Oak Harbor’s stout defense led by Jake Rouser, Tyler Elliot, Chris Valencia, Michael Bressler, Bennett Richter, Jordan Young, Rashad Smith and a host of others who have held opponents to 128 points in 11 games this season.

Loyal Oak Harbor fans traveled to Olympia and packed Ingersoll Stadium with a cheering throng of purple and gold supporters, and Friday will be the time to do the same at the famous Pop Keeney Stadium facility in Bothell.

One of the guys on the chain gang at the game in Olympia remarked Oak Harbor was the best high school football team he’d ever seen — he isn’t wrong.

Go Wildcats!

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