3A GSHL football: Crazy regular season wraps up with Evergreen and Prairie playing for title

The Falcons could be the top seed or miss the playoffs altogether; plus notes the other Clark County teams in the league.

One game. So much on the line.

The Prairie Falcons are going to win a share of a league championship and earn the No. 1 seed from the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League or they will miss the playoffs altogether.

Crazy, huh?

(Wait just a minute, though. Technically, there is a chance for three teams to tie for second place. Hudson’s Bay would need to beat Kelso. But for this article, let’s just go with Kelso taking care of business against Bay. If Bay wins, we’ll cross that bridge … Now back to this preview of Week 9.)

The Evergreen Plainsmen have a chance to share a league title, do not have a shot at the No. 1 seed, but also are already in the playoffs.

Crazy, huh?

Kelso (again, if it beats Bay) will share a league title with one of those teams. Kelso will be the No. 1 or the No. 2 seed.

Oh, and Mountain View? The Thunder won’t know if they are in the playoffs until after the Evergreen-Prairie game goes final, but on Tuesday they at least found out they have a game this week.

Crazy, huh?

Let’s start with a league championship game.

Prairie (7-1, 2-1 3A GSHL)

Evergreen (5-3, 2-1 3A GSHL)

Week 8:
Prairie 53, Ridgefield 12
Evergreen 42, Hudson’s Bay 14

Evergreen quarterback Carter Monda is known for his baseball skills. He has experienced winning a league title in that sport. 

Evergreen quarterback Carter Monda has experienced a league title in baseball. Now, he gets a chance to win a league title in football in Friday’s game against Prairie. Photo by Mike Schultz
Evergreen quarterback Carter Monda has experienced a league title in baseball. Now, he gets a chance to win a league title in football in Friday’s game against Prairie. Photo by Mike Schultz

This is a different opportunity, of course. And now, he’s a football star. 

“First year playing (high school) football, and we’re playing for a league championship,” Monda said. “I didn’t think we’d be at this point. It’s shocking to me to be here.”

Receiver Zyell Griffin, who has been one of the best athletes on the football field for years at Evergreen, said that teams always say they want to be here, always predict they will be in this position. But that’s just talk every year.

“To actually do it, I think it’s pretty great,” Griffin said.

Zyell Griffin said all teams say they are going to the playoffs. It is an incredible feeling that Evergreen has made that a reality this season. Photo by Mike Schultz
Zyell Griffin said all teams say they are going to the playoffs. It is an incredible feeling that Evergreen has made that a reality this season. Photo by Mike Schultz

“It’s super big, especially for the Evergreen community,” he added.

Yep, not just talk anymore with the Plainsmen.

Evergreen is playoff-bound.

This fascinating season came about because Evergreen beat Mountain View, Mountain View beat Prairie, Prairie beat Kelso, and Kelso beat Mountain.

Then last week, Kelso beat Mountain View.

Only three go to the playoffs.

The Falcons have the most to lose in Friday’s game with Evergreen. If they lose, and Kelso beats Bay, the Falcons will lose out on the third-place tiebreaker and miss the playoffs. The Falcons are 7-1 right now. If they finish 7-2, they would likely miss the playoffs.

Crazy, huh?

“It’s definitely an interesting scenario,” Prairie coach Mike Peck said. “We’re just focused on the opportunity that’s ahead of us. We’re working hard each day and excited to go to battle on Friday night.”

Prairie found some success last year, finishing third and making it to a Week 10 playoff. 

Still, the Falcons are not yet known for football success. Just like at Evergreen, there is a fun vibe at Prairie.

A.J. Dixson of Prairie looks to lead the Falcons to an 8-1 record and a Class 3A Greater St. Helens League title when Prairie hosts Evergreen on Friday. Photo by Mike Schultz
A.J. Dixson of Prairie looks to lead the Falcons to an 8-1 record and a Class 3A Greater St. Helens League title when Prairie hosts Evergreen on Friday. Photo by Mike Schultz

“It’s really cool walking the halls, talking to the students, administrators and teachers. And the community as well,” Peck said. 

“It’s been a long time since Prairie has been in this position,” he added. “The excitement is there. The kids recognize that and take pride in that.”

It is the final week of the 2019 regular season and Prairie and Evergreen are playing for a league championship.

Crazy, huh?

Next: Evergreen takes on Prairie at 7 p.m. Friday at District Stadium in Battle Ground.

MOUNTAIN VIEW THUNDER (5-3, 2-2 3A GSHL)

Week 8: Kelso 29, Mountain View 28

The Thunder lost in the final seconds Friday and are in danger of missing out on the playoffs. Mountain View needs Evergreen to beat Prairie. 

That would mean Kelso and Evergreen tie for the title at 3-1, with Mountain View and Prairie tying for third at 2-2. Mountain View beat Prairie. 

If Evergreen and Mountain View tie for third, Evergreen gets the final berth to state.

A week ago, we told you about the oddity of Mountain View having a bye in Week 9. So the Thunder were going to practice for no game and with the possibility of not making the playoffs in Week 10.

Well, Tuesday, the Thunder found a non-league opponent for Week 9. 

That’s a pretty cool thing. Regardless of how the Evergreen-Prairie game goes, the Thunder get at least one more football game.

Next: Mountain View will travel to take on Mountlake Terrace at 7 p.m. Friday.

HUDSON’S BAY EAGLES (2-6, 0-3 3A GSHL)

Week 8: Evergreen 42, Hudson’s Bay 14

Well, Eagles, here is your shot to make a crazy league even crazier.

If Bay can stun the Kelso Hilanders, then just about everything written above will change. For one, the winner of Evergreen-Prairie would not have to share a league title.

And if there is a three-way tie for second place, depending on which teams, there could be a tiebreaker next week.

Next: Hudson’s Bay travels to Kelso for a 7 p.m. game Friday.

FORT VANCOUVER TRAPPERS (1-7)

Week 8: Fort Vancouver 32, Northwest Christian (Lacey) 22

The long losing streak is history. Hope you got a chance to see our weekly highlights show. We had some of the Trappers discuss that victory:

Now, the Trappers get to celebrate with a special season finale.

Fort Vancouver is playing a home game Saturday. A real home game. Not at Kiggins Bowl, but on campus. 

No one we reached could recall a time when Fort Vancouver played a home varsity football game on campus.

Next: West Seattle at Fort Vancouver, 2 p.m. Saturday. And let’s repeat: This game is on campus at Fort Vancouver High School.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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