I dropped another game in the standings to Sam Adams last week so I’m two down heading into our last regular season week. Who knew picking prep football would prove to be so challenging?
Without further ado, the picks:
Mead (4-4, 2-2) at Gonzaga Prep (6-2, 3-1), Friday at 7 p.m.
Nichols: Mead stubbed its toe last week against Lewis and Clark, now needs to put best foot forward to make postseason. With that loss, there’s a logjam for third place in the Greater Spokane League 4A among Mead, University and LC. If all three end up at 2-3 after Friday the league will conduct unconventional “mini-games” to break the ties. I’d go into all the permutations but even online I have a word limit. Anyway, Prep has too many weapons in this one. Gonzaga Prep 34-24.
Adams: The Panthers faithful have to be asking themselves, what happened to that ferocious offense that scored 43 points against Coeur d’Alene, 49 against University, and 64 against Shadle Park? Gonzaga Prep’s defense has been stingy as always, limiting GSL foes to an average of 15.5 points. But G-Prep is going to answer the call from the opening whistle, as the Bullpups have been sluggish out of the gates in each of the last three games. They trailed CV 14-7 at halftime in a 24-14 loss three weeks ago. In each of the last two weeks Prep has found itself tied at 7-7 against both Ferris and University after the first quarter. Expect a much stronger start Friday night in their regular season finale. Gonzaga Prep 35-21.
Mt. Spokane (6-2, 2-0) vs Shadle Park (3-4, 2-0) at Albi, Thursday at 4:45 p.m.
Nichols: The Wildcats have been ranked in the top 10 in state all season, while the Highlanders have surprised to be undefeated in league this late. This one, though, is to decide the 3A title and avoid a crossover game against a Mid-Columbia team to get into the Week 10 playoffs. Shadle Park has been better in league than nonleague and could surprise, but the Cats just have too many ways they can beat a team. Mt. Spokane 44-30.
Adams: Mt. Spokane’s only two losses have come against 4A opponents G-Prep and Mead. The Wildcats will find different ways to beat you, as North Central can well attest, having seen Mt. Spokane score on three touchdown runs, two TD passes, one interception return, one kickoff return, and a 41-yard field goal to boot. This team does it all, and The Wildcats want to finish strong in the de facto GSL 3A title game against Shadle Park. Mt. Spokane 28-14.
East Valley (3-4, 2-1) at Pullman (4-3, 2-1), Friday at 7 p.m
Nichols: This game is evenly matched and will determine the second Great Northern seed to the crossover. It’s hard to pick against a world-class athlete like Rodrick Fisher, but with Sam taking the visiting Knights, I’ll take the host Greyhounds to win two years in a row in a nailbiter. Pullman 24-21.
Adams: Think the Knights are still thinking about that heartbreaking loss to the Greyhounds last year? East Valley had scored a game-tying touchdown against Pullman, only to have the all-important extra point blocked, giving the Greyhounds a 28-27 win. Fast forward to 2017, and you would have a hard time discerning who the better team is. Both EV and Pullman lost to West Valley by similar scores (28-12 for EV, 35-14 for Pullman), and beat Cheney and Clarkston. Home field goes to the Greyhounds in this case, but I’m going to give the nod to the Knights based upon the motivation factor. East Valley 22-20.
Riverside (4-4, 2-4) at Freeman (5-3, 4-2), Friday at 7 p.m.
Nichols: No impact on playoffs, but the Rams would love to finish up with a winning record. Freeman struggling of late but will find a way to enter playoffs on winning note. Freeman 27-21.
Adams: The Scotties offense has been shut out in each of the last two weeks and hasn’t scored in double figures since beating Lakeside 19-7 a month ago. That drought ends on Friday, against a Riverside squad that has been shut out in two of its last three games, but sandwiched a 27-6 win over Chewelah in between those two losses. Freeman 19-13.
Newport (6-1, 5-1) at Deer Park (5-3, 3-3), Friday at 7p.m.
Nichols: Both teams boast stout defenses, so what do I say? Track meet. I have to take a shot to catch Sam. Deer Park 35-28.
Adams: Newport comes in riding a three-game winning streak, holding opponents to just 16 points total in that span. Deer Park’s defense has been almost equally impressive, limiting teams to 23 total points over the course of three games. This might be a defensive stalemate. Newport 10-6.
Davenport (6-2) vs Northwest Christian (5-3) at Roos Field, Friday at 6.
Nichols: A fun small-school matchup under the lights on the red turf at Eastern Washington in the teams’ regular season finale. Davenport 28-27.
Adams: The Gorillas were finally cooled off by Liberty, watching their four-game win streak come to an end. Even though the Northeast 2B title is out of reach there’s still plenty at stake for both teams and the Gorillas will flex their muscles. Davenport 21-17.
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