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Toledo and Napavine to meet in Tacoma Dome

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The geography seems silly, but two Lewis County Schools that are 12 miles apart will meet in the Tacoma Dome this Friday at 4 p.m. in the WIAA State Football Championships Semi-Final. If you ask any of the players, they wouldn't have it any other way.

The two teams met earlier in the season with Napavine taking a 36-6 victory.

The Toledo boys have been to study hall. They watched the video of their first game and drew a conclusion.

"Our kids watch the film and can't believe how bad they played," said Head Toledo Coach Jeremy Thibualt.

Two stats jumped out about that game. One, Napavine threw for 180 yards of passing and the Tiger defense held Taylor Hicks to just 30 yards of rushing.

Thibault says that some of his injured players are returning to health. Running back and linebacker Mason Gaul will return to play this week, as will their long snapper that was missing in the previous match-up.

"Defensively we have to get more pressure on Stanley if we want success against his passing ability," Thibault continued. "Their offense is very physical as well as their front seven defensively. Their defense flies to the ball and they are very good tacklers."

Stanley threw for 180 yards against Raymond in the Tigers 52-7 rout of the Seagulls on Saturday to qualify for the most recent date with the Indians.

With one exception, the Tigers have not given up more than seven points in 10 games. They allowed 21 points to Adna during their 39-21 victory over the Pirates.

"Coach Fay and his staff do an excellent job and I'm sure they will be prepared," added the Toledo Coach.

"I think there are a couple things that benefits us," explains Thibault. "First we are really a carefree team. Our kids are just happy to be and are really easy going. I doubt they'll get all tight before the game. Next, it's tough to beat a team twice. Lastly we are the underdogs and have nothing to lose."

Let the speculation begin, but it all becomes very real on the turf of the Tacoma Dome Friday afternoon.

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