Lynden Lions (10-1) vs. West Valley Eagles (10-1)
Saturday, Gonzaga Prep, 3
At a glance: West Valley pulled off a significant come-from-behind road win last week, topping Franklin Pierce 44-41. The unranked Eagles hope to make more noise Saturday when they face tradition-rich and sixth-ranked Lynden. WV faces a team that perennially challenges for the state title. Lynden was second in 2014 after winning three straight titles and eight overall. Lynden defeated Sedro-Woolley 34-14 and S-W traveled to Pullman and won 28-25 last week. The Eagles must contain quarterback Jacob Hommes, who is a dual threat. “We must be physical and take care of the ball,” WV coach Craig Whitney said. “Lynden is a terrific program that we have great respect for. It is going to be fun.”
Zillah Leopards (10-1) vs. Deer Park Stags (10-1)
Saturday, Gonzaga Prep, noon
At a glance: It may be like looking into a mirror for both teams, especially offensively. Both teams want to run the ball. The Leopards knocked off Freeman 49-42 in triple overtime last week while the Stags shut out Naches Valley 21-0. Deer Park was 0-5 in previous playoff appearances. The Stags’ strength has been defense. In games against playoff-qualifying teams from the NEA, Deer Park allowed 17 points to Freeman and 16 to Colville.
Asotin Panthers (10-1) vs. Northwest Christian Crusaders (10-1)
Friday, Gonzaga Prep, 6
At a glance: NWC thought it was on its way to an undefeated league championship when Asotin rose up and brought the Crusaders back to earth in a 27-14 loss. The Crusaders know they must play much better on both sides of the ball to avenge the loss. NWC’s biggest task is trying to slow down Asotin quarterback Blake Magnuson. If he has his way NWC will be packing up gear next week.
Liberty Lancers (10-1) vs. Dayton-Waitsburg Bulldogs/Cardinals (10-1)
Saturday, Edgar Brown Stadium, Pasco, 4
At a glance: The common opponent is Kittitas. Liberty defeated Kittitas 44-6 last week and D-W beat Kittitas 49-6 last month. This game features two evenly matched teams. Liberty must dish up healthy servings of running back Tyler Haas, QB Garrett Rogers and utility back Chase Burnham along with an active defense.
Almira/Coulee-Hartline Warriors (10-1) vs. Odessa-Harrington Titans (10-0)
Saturday, Gonzaga Prep, 6
At a glance: These teams were on a collision course for a rematch after the Titans handled the Warriors 50-12 three weeks ago. ACH couldn’t contain Sage Elder, who accounted for three touchdowns in the decisive third quarter – one on an interception return.
Colton Wildcats (10-1) vs. Sunnyside Christian Knights (11-0)
Friday, Grandview High School, 7
At a glance: These teams were separated by six points last month when Colton fell to the Knights 42-36 at Sunnyside. Colton needed a touchdown with 4 minutes to go to cut into the final margin. Colton QB Brady Chadwick threw for 389 yards and four touchdowns. The rematch is likely to be a shootout.
St. Maries Lumberjacks (11-0) vs. Declo Hornets (10-2)
Friday, Holt Arena, Pocatello, 4:30
At a glance: It’s appropriate that the top two ranked teams are squaring off to decide the title. St. Maries has been served well by its strength all season – defense – and the Lumberjacks will call upon it again Friday. They must slow down Declo RB Keegan Duncan. Points are expected to be a premium as Declo features an athletic defense.
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