We reach the halfway point of the regular season in Greater Spokane League football this week and just one Greater Spokane League team will be undefeated after tonight.
Mead (4-0) and Gonzaga Prep (4-0) square off at Joe Albi Stadium. Kickoff is at 6:15.
My guess is Mead, the team I picked to run away with the league title, will win. But it should be closer than I thought it would be going into the season.
I grossly underestimated G-Prep. I picked the Bullpups to finish fourth in league. That isn’t going to happen.
Mead was a proven commodity coming into the season. The Panthers returned the most proven talent in the league, and offensive and defensive statistics have proven as much.
G-Prep was a mystery. The Bullpups definitely had able skill players in quarterback Zach Bonneau and running backs Griffin Hare, Max Gruber and Tom Davis. But the biggest questions were on the offensive line and defense.
Without capable blockers, there is no way Bonneau and company can churn out the yards they’ve churned out in bunches. And G-Prep’s defense is second best statistically behind Mead.
The top two 4A teams advance to the play-in games to decide state berths against an extremely weak Mid-Columbia Conference.
CV (3-1), which gets junior quarterback Adam Chamberlin back next week, and Ferris (3-1) are still alive for a play-in berth. LC (2-2), despite two losses, remains in the hunt. But the Tigers, who visit CV on Friday, can’t afford another loss. Both CV and Ferris, which has lost to G-Prep, have games in the second half against Mead, and CV must still play G-Prep.
Other than my incorrect prognostication for G-Prep, my order of predicted finish for the league is close.
I picked a distinct 4A and 3A split. My top five were the 4A teams and the bottom five were the 3A teams.
Mt. Spokane, North Central, Shadle Park and University are each 1-3 and Rogers is 0-4.
• The Mead/G-Prep showdown isn’t the only big game this week. Four of the five 3A teams tangle – Rogers visits U-Hi and Mt. Spokane meets Shadle at Albi. Both games are Friday.
With sophomore Daniel Munoz at quarterback last week against Mead, Mt. Spokane played well for three quarters. The key for the Wildcats is slowing down Shadle’s passing attack.
U-Hi has shown the ability to spread the field in first-year coach Rob Bartlett’s offense. The Titans must find a way to slow down Rogers running back Luke Rogers.
All of the 3A teams have winnable games the next five weeks. Which two will emerge to earn the two play-in berths is still a mystery.
• Coeur d’Alene’s September gauntlet is over, and the bye on the Vikings’ schedule this week is timely in more ways than one.
CdA (3-2) lost for a second straight game, falling 45-26 last week to perennial Idaho 5A state playoff qualifier Highland.
Vikings coach Shawn Amos didn’t expect his team to go undefeated in September.
“The combined records of the teams we played is 16-5 and three of those losses were to us,” Amos said. “Our difficult schedule was as advertised.”
It’s how CdA lost last week that has Amos and his players doing some soul searching.
“It was embarrassing, to be honest with you,” Amos said. “It was very disappointing. We’re kind of at a crossroads here. Everything we want to play for is still out there. If we play like we did against Highland, we’re in trouble against anybody. We need to decide how we’re going to respond.”