Know Thy Opponent: Connell

Good morning, Trohahn fans.

Connell

When last we saw Connell, it was a fantastic finish to a tremendous game to close out an amazing championship season.

Connell comes out of the mists of memory into the present as a 10-1 team, losing only to top-ranked Royal. They’re tough, mean, and multiple.

The Herald previews the game thusly:

Scouting the Eagles

Coach: Wayne Riner (17th season, 164-44)

District: Yakima Valley (No. 3 seed)

Previous state appearances: 24 (last in 2015)

State record: 34-21

State titles: Three (2002, ’09, ’11)

Eagles update: Third-ranked Connell advanced with a 48-28 first-round win over Montesano Friday. The Eagles rolled up 608 yards of total offense in the game. Quarterback Brian Hawkins passed for 265 yards and helped Connell jump out to a 34-7 lead in the first half. Connell returned a blocked punt for a touchdown in the second half, but also allowed a 79-yard kickoff return for a TD. The Eagles have won four straight by a combined 177 points since falling 28-21 to top-ranked Royal on Oct. 14. The Connell defense has three shutouts this season, and the 28 points it allowed last week marked only the third time the Eagles have allowed more than 16 this season. This is a rematch of the 2006 1A state title game, which Meridian won 27-22.

Player to watch: Jaxs Whitby rushed for 200 yards and four touchdowns, including one on a 45-yard run to lead the Connell offensive attack last week. He and Hawkins combined for six touchdowns in a Week 10 win over Granger. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior knows how to find the end zone.

Key to the game: Connell is facing an opponent that has upset ranked opponents in do-or-die situations the past two weeks. They can’t afford to let Meridian hang around and gain some confidence, or the Trojans might just find away to get add another upset to its resume this season.

Kickoff is 1:00PM at Civic Field, and will be carried on KPUG 1170.

Good luck, Meridian.

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