Northeast 2B may not have produced a state football champion last fall, but its depth was evident.
Liberty, Asotin and Northwest Christian – three teams that shared the league crown – all won playoff games, the Lancers and Panthers reaching the title game and semifinals, respectively.
The favorite to repeat, Asotin isn’t interested in sharing the crown this season.
The Panthers return seven starters on both sides of the ball including all-state running back and linebacker Colton Ball.
“The expectation is pretty high,” Asotin coach Jim Holman said. “We return a lot of players with a lot of experience.”
Most of Northwest Christian’s skill positions and offensive line were depleted by graduation, but it returns the league’s most electric player in junior running back Silas Perreiah, who accounted for 2,254 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns in 2016.
“We’re young and inexperienced. We’re thin,” Northwest Christian coach Jim Nendel said. “We’ll need to avoid injuries.”
Liberty lost the bulk of its skill players but will boast an experienced and sizable offensive front.
“It all depends on how the new guys develop,” Liberty coach Mike Dewey said. “The talent is there. We just have to see how it all comes together.”
Its second year in the league, Asotin has already asserted itself. But it must replace quarterback Blake Magnuson and its top two receivers and running backs. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Ball rushed for 600 yards and 13 touchdowns last year.
Matt Heier, an all-league selection last year, will anchor Asotin’s line.
Alec Fletcher takes over at quarterback for Liberty, which is thin on experienced skill players.
The Lancers return four starters on offense and defense.
Northwest Christian Crusaders
Nendel said Perreiah (6-0, 205), has added 20 pounds of muscle since last season and has generated Division I interest.
Even if the Crusaders can’t develop balance, Perreiah will have a hand in most of the plays.
Bulldogs coach Mike Morgan said his team has improved defensively from a year ago, a unit led by all-league linebacker Dane Hall.
Offensively, Colfx returns a group of skill players including quarterback Brett Kincaid and running back Brett Ahmann.
After playing mostly freshmen and sophomores during a 1-8 season, sixth-year coach Darin Reppe returns 10 starters.
Reppe reports an offensive line averaging 228 pounds.
The sophomore-heavy Broncos welcome back 13 starters, including standout running back Mason Brausen, who missed the 2016 season due to injury.
Around the League
Quarterback Tyler Sprechel is back for Reardan after earning all-league distinction as a freshman.
Davenport returns the bulk of its young roster including quarterback Jaden Flett and running back Justin Regan.
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