There’s no question what Ferris football coach Jim Sharkey wants this week.
“We want the No. 1 (postseason) seed,” Sharkey said. “If we get a league championship that will just be a bonus. That’s not the most important thing.”
Ferris and Shadle Park are tied atop the Greater Spokane League at 7-1 going into the final week of the regular season. With the top 3A postseason seed long locked up, Shadle wants a piece of its first league title since 1999.
The Saxons were handed a gift last week when Mt. Spokane downed Gonzaga Prep, knocking the Bullpups out of a three-way tie for first. That gave Ferris, which fell to G-Prep 38-35 last month, a chance to nab the all-important top 4A seed and the home game that comes with it. The second seed must travel.
Ferris takes on Mead (4-4) on Thursday in the second game of a doubleheader at Joe Albi Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:15.
The Saxons are playing as well as they have all season. Mead, which ended a four-game losing streak last week, would like to play spoiler.
• There are two other big GSL finales this week. G-Prep (6-2) and Central Valley (5-3) meet Friday at G-Prep at 7 with a postseason berth up for grabs.
G-Prep, which has battled the injury bug lately, must find a way to bounce back from its costly loss to Mt. Spokane. That setback kept CV’s postseason hopes alive after the Bears fell to Shadle Park.
The loss to Shadle notwithstanding, CV resurrected its season after a 1-2 start. The Bears also changed their offense three weeks ago.
• The final game with postseason implications involves a pair of 1-7 teams – University and North Central. The teams meet Friday in the second game of the Albi doubleheader with the third 3A postseason berth at stake. Kickoff is at 7:30.
Both U-Hi and NC have struggled mightily but the Titans are favored. U-Hi is seeking to make the postseason for a fourth straight year.
• Coeur d’Alene (5-3 overall, 2-0 league) can secure the 5A Inland Empire League championship when regular-season play concludes on Thursday.
The Vikings play host to Post Falls (5-4, 1-1) while Lake City (5-3, 1-1) entertains Lewiston (4-4, 0-2). Both games begin at 7.
Post Falls could force a three-way tiebreaker if it upsets CdA.
CdA senior quarterback Gunnar Amos suffered a mild concussion in the Viks’ 44-13 win over Lake City last Friday. His father, coach Shawn Amos, said he’s bounced back faster than anticipated and will be a game-day decision. If he doesn’t start, CdA will go with sophomore Austin Lee.
PF will be without senior quarterback Joey Pfennigs for a second week. He suffered a concussion two weeks ago in a nonleague game against Richland. Coach Jeff Hinz said he hasn’t been cleared.
Backup Dalton Thompson, a junior, spearheaded an impressive comeback road win over Lewiston last week. The Trojans fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter but rallied for a 48-42 win in double overtime. He threw four touchdown passes and ran for two TDs.
• East Valley (5-3, 4-1) and Pullman (5-2, 3-1) are tied atop the Great Northern League with a loss each after the Knights handled the visiting Greyhounds last Friday.
With a week left in the regular season, the playoff picture could become much clearer or muddied this week.
West Valley (4-4, 3-2) travels to Pullman and Colville (5-3, 2-2) visits Cheney (6-2, 2-2). EV has a bye.
• Lakeland (4-4, 1-0) travels to Sandpoint (4-4, 1-0) on Friday to decide the 4A IEL title and lone state berth. Kickoff is at 7.
Both teams beat Moscow – Lakeland winning at home 42-14 and Sandpoint winning 21-14 at Moscow.
• Timberlake (5-3, 2-0) can secure its eighth straight Intermountain League title when it plays host to Kellogg (1-7, 0-2) Friday. Kickoff is at 7.