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Wolves Sports

Five-game prep slate set for Qwest Field

Posted Thursday, August 31, 2006 by Casey McNerthney

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Five-game prep slate set for Qwest Field
Some of state's best football teams face off Saturday in Seattle

By CASEY MCNERTHNEY
SPECIAL TO THE P-I

Prosser quarterback Kellen Moore seemed to have everything in his storybook junior season.

His left arm connected with his freshman brother, Kirby, for 542 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Mustangs offense averaged 52 points per game entering the Class 3A state finals. He set state records for completions (317-479), yards (4,600) and touchdowns (66) in a season.

But his season didn't have a storybook ending, as the Jake Locker-led Ferndale Eagles crushed Prosser 47-12 -- the worst loss in their 13-2 season.

Moore said the sting of that loss has stayed with him all summer and fueled the Mustangs' goal of a title game appearance after moving to the 2A classification.

Saturday at Qwest Field, Moore starts the first chapter of what he hopes is another storybook season when Prosser takes on Southridge in the Emerald City Kickoff Classic -- a five-game event featuring some of the state's most promising talent.

"For the most part, everything is still going the same way as last year," Moore said of summer practices. "But I'm not really worried about stats."

Moore's antagonist is Southridge quarterback Jason Munns, a Brigham Young recruit who passed for 2,178 yards and 32 touchdowns as a junior. Munns is one of three returning offensive starters for Southridge, which went 11-1 last season, losing to Mead in the first round of the 4A state playoffs. This year, Southridge is a 3A team in the Columbia Basin League.

"I've been working on my footwork and getting quicker," the 6-foot 5 Munns said. "I feel like I have so much I can get better at -- reads, throwing the ball, everything."

There are truckloads of hype around Munns, and he deserves credit, Southridge coach Andy Troxel said. But the Suns defense reaffirms the seventh-year coach's confidence.

Senior defensive end Jeremy Salinas was named Big 9 Co-Defensive MVP last season and enters the game with 129 career tackles and 12 sacks.

"Of the (six) kids that we have returning, all but one were all-conference players defensively," Troxel said.

"This year we feel like it will be the best defensive squad we ever put on the field."

The opening game of the Classic pits Orting against Archbishop Murphy -- a team that has reached the 1A or 2A state championship game three of the past four seasons, winning 1A titles in 2002 and '03. In the third game at 3 p.m., Moses Lake faces Auburn and quarterback Kellen Kiilsgaard.

Kiilsgaard, who is also being recruited in baseball, passed for nearly 900 yards while totaling 45 tackles, 17 assists and four interceptions at free safety last season. Killsgaard said Sunday he's narrowed his college choices to Oregon, Arizona State, Stanford, California and Washington.

The final game pits Eastlake against Punahou, Hawaii's top-ranked team according to a poll of media and coaches in the state. Punahou quarterback Brett Kan threw for 335 yards in a 21-12 win against Waianae last week, and has passed for 608 yards in two games.

Eastlake's answer is Tanor Johnson. The all-around athlete converted 22 of 24 extra points last season, and stepped in at quarterback after an injury and rushed for 403 yards (five touchdowns) and passed for 345 (two touchdowns). Johnson also punted for Wolves, caught a touchdown pass and returned three punts for scores.

"Just the whole environment will be amazing for everybody," Munns said of playing at Qwest Field against Prosser. "I have a lot of respect for (Moore) and know we'll have a tough game.

"Knowing that this is going to be a tough game sets the stage for a perfect day."

KICKOFF CLASSIC

WHEN/WHERE: Saturday, Qwest Field


TICKETS: $20 reserved; $15 general admission (adults); $10 general admission (students and seniors); free for children 5 and younger


SCHEDULE:

9:30 a.m., Orting vs. Archbishop Murphy

Noon, Curtis vs. Columbia River

3 p.m., Moses Lake vs. Auburn

5:30 p.m., Southridge vs. Prosser

8 p.m., Punahou (Hawaii) vs. Eastlake

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