Overall records don’t mean a thing when the Puyallup Vikings and Rogers Rams face each other in a football game in a battle for city bragging rights.
The game, which typically falls during the final week of the regular season, always seems to be a barnburner and draws a large conglomerate of fans to Sparks Stadium. This Friday night’s game will be no different. Puyallup is in fourth place in the South Puget Sound League South Division (5-3 overall, 4-3 league) while Rogers (4-4, 3-4) is in fifth. Both teams feature explosive offenses that can put points on the board in a hurry. The winner of this game will advance to the playoffs and the loser will be eliminated from playoff contention.
Puyallup quarterback Brendan Illies and Rogers quarterback Grayson Madland are two of the best statistical quarterbacks in the state. Both are truly worth the price of admission. Illies is a gunslinger who has no problem placing the ball into tight windows for receivers Levi Jordan, DJ Winter, Hunter Davis and Karl Fjellstad.
Madland, a dual threat, has had no problem connecting with receivers LaGrant Pegram, Kyler Ooley and Austin Hardin throughout the season.
Jordan of Puyallup and Pegram of Rogers have the ability to score any time they touch the ball.
I’ve seen Puyallup four times and the Rams three times this season. On every occasion, the Vikings have scored more than 30 points, and the Rams have scored more than 40.
This Friday night’s game probably won’t end until 10:30 p.m. due to both teams’ offensive styles. Both run a hurry-up offense, emulating the Oregon Ducks’ and Philadelphia Eagles’ style of play. I expect a shootout with both teams scoring more than 30.
The outcome likely will come down to turnovers. It is well-known that whoever wins the turnover battle more than likely will win the game. The defense that rises to the occasion will propel their team to victory.
I won’t make a prediction, but I can’t wait to see what happens in this year’s battle for city bragging rights.