STATE 1B FOOTBALL: Neah Bay to face Wellpinit Saturday in Forks

Neah Bay

OLYMPIA — Neah Bay’s state 1B football quarterfinal game with Wellpinit has been scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Forks High School.

The unbeaten Red Devils (8-0) are a No. 2 seed in the tournament and seem to have gotten a fairly tough opponent in their opening state game. Wellpinit, based on the Spokane Indian Reservation, is a No. 7 seed. Wellpinit (9-1) beat Pomeroy 26-22 in the first round of the state playoffs. Neah Bay, being a high seed, got a bye in the first round.

In beating Pomeroy, Wellpinit won its first-ever state playoff game. The school plays on a Field Turf field on the Spokane Indian Reservation that was built in part thanks to a grant from a National Football League program.

Wellpinit plays some of the tougher 1B teams in the state such as Almira-Coulee-Hartline. The team’s lone loss is to No. 1 seed and No. 1 ranked Odessa 72-42. Wellpinit is actually ranked higher than Neah Bay in Ratings Percentage Index at No. 3 (.6898). Neah Bay, ranked No. 2 in the most recent Associated Press poll, is No. 4 (.6879) in RPI.

Neah Bay coach Kane Bachelor isn’t concerned about the rankings at this point of the season.

“When the brackets came out, we were just glad to get home games,” he said. “This is playoff football now. If we want to win the championship, we have to beat everybody.”

Bachelor also said the forecast Saturday looks good with partly sunny skies and a 5 percent chance of rain.

Bachelor said in watching film of Wellpinit, he sees a team with an impressive passing game centering around quarterback Smokey Abrahamson and receiver Colin Hughes.

If the Red Devils win, they will play the winner of DeSales and Liberty Christian on Nov. 26 at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma in the state 1B semifinals.

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