Gonzaga Prep vs. Ferris, Albi, 7:15Lee: I’ve had difficulty pegging the Saxons this season. I’ll admit as much. But I think I have a good read on the Bullpups, who are clearly the best 4A team in the GSL and will put the final stamp on that proof Thursday. Ferris plays solid defense but the Saxons will have to play the defensive game of their lives to knock off the Bullpups. And yes, if the Saxons win it will be an upset. It won’t happen though. G-Prep 30, Ferris 14. Adams: The so-called “finesse” Saxons have limited their last two opponents – Central Valley and Mead – to a combined 17 points. You can bet they’ll try to lock up Jack Bamis and the G-Prep offense, but a couple of big plays for the Bullpups should prove to be the difference. G-Prep 28, Ferris 21.
Coeur d’Alene at Meridian, 6Lee: They could play this game in Siberia and the outcome would be the same. Bottom line is the Vikings are better. Way better. The Warriors have no wins over playoff teams. The only reason Meridian is in the playoffs is because the 12-team Boise league has held the rest of the state hostage and demands half its teams go to the postseason. Despite going on the road, CdA will bounce back from last-second loss to Post Falls. CdA 42, Meridian 13. Adams: Will the Vikings be angry in the postseason or will self doubt creep in after a regular season-ending loss to Post Falls? There’s just too much experience and skill on this roster to let that happen. Look for the Viks to come out and smash Meridian to start the 5A playoffs. CdA 42, Meridian 14.
Post Falls at Eagle, 6Lee: By earning the second seed, the Trojans actually landed in the most difficult spot in the postseason bracket than CdA. But the Trojans don’t earn a playoff berth otherwise. This is a great reward, though. Problem is the Trojans may have spent all of their emotion last week and a long road trip will be difficult. Post Falls could have difficulty getting off the bus. Eagle 40, PF 21. Adams: The Trojans are in the postseason for the first time since 2004. Will it be a short trip? Let’s hope not. I’m predicting a 400-yard performance from quarterback Dalton Thompson (300 passing, 100 rushing), but it won’t be quite enough in a shootout loss at Eagle. Eagle 44, PF 38.
Lakeside at Colville, 7Lee: The Indians will ball control the Eagles, who can score points with their pass-happy offense in a hurry. But Lakeside must have the ball to do that and the Indians are going to let that happen. Colville will secure the NEA title and Lakeside will gladly settle for the third and final playoff berth. Colville 30, Lakeside 20. Adams: It’s been a relatively easy run for Colville. The Indians trailed for the first time all season when Deer Park briefly led 7-6 last Friday. Colton Vining and Journy Young responded by putting 20 points on the scoreboard in the third quarter of a 32-14 victory. I expect Colville to close out strong against upstart Lakeside. Colville 28, Lakeside 14.
Lewis and Clark vs. Mead, Albi, 5Lee: Mead wants to finish ranked first among GSL defenses. The Panthers are playing the team with the next best defense. This comes down to which team has the best offensive options and that clearly belongs to the Tigers, who need a win to be eligible for the postseason. LC 21, Mead 14. Adams: What’s not to like about the LC defense, holding G-Prep to 17 points in a loss last week. Fun fact – the Tigers have surrendered four touchdowns in just two games this season (29 to Lake City and in a blowout win against University). I suspect the Tigers’ stout defense will put the clamps down on a Mead offense that has scored 20-plus points just twice this season. LC 21, Mead 14.
Mt. Spokane vs. Shadle Park, Albi, 7:30Lee: There’s much on the line here. First, there’s the 3A league title. Second, there’s the opportunity to play host to a play-in game next week. Third, Mt. Spokane has revenge on the mind after losing twice to the Highlanders last year. It’s Brett Rypien vs. the Wildcats’ defense. Mt. Spokane can’t win a high-scoring game. This must be a 21-14 or 14-7 kind of game. And that’s what will occur. But I still see the team with the best offensive player prevailing. Shadle Park 21, Mt. Spokane 14. Adams: This would be your classic great defense vs. great offense matchup. The Wildcats are playing their best football of the year, but they have yet to face an offense quite like this. A good defense can contain Brett Rypien for only so long. Shadle Park 35, Mt. Spokane 21.
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