All but one team in the Idaho high school football polls have a better record than 3-2.
There’s a reason Coeur d’Alene, that team at 3-2, is ranked – and voted third in the 5A rankings with one first-place vote to boot.
Anyone paying attention knows the Vikings are one of the best teams in the state despite losses to a northern California power and the second-ranked 4A team in Washington.
With preseason aside and coming off a well-timed bye, CdA sets its sights on what counts most. The Vikings travel to second-ranked Lewiston (6-0) on Friday in a 5A Inland Empire League opener. Kickoff is at 7:05.
“Coeur d’Alene has definitely been tested more than us,” Lewiston coach Shawn Nilsson said. “They don’t shy away from anybody. Coeur d’Alene and Highland are the two best programs in the state in the last 10 years. They’re powerhouses.”
Lewiston knocked off one of the powerhouses in a season opener, stopping Highland 45-38 in Pocatello.
Now the Bengals go after the other giant.
The Bengals have the Vikings’ attention.
“There’s no confusion on our part about whether they’re good or not,” CdA coach Shawn Amos said. “We’re excited to play a team of that caliber.”
Lewiston broke through last year and made the state playoffs in the fourth year of a rebuilding project under Nilsson. The Bengals’ seniors want more this season.
“This is the class they’ve been waiting on to get them to the next level,” Amos said.
Both teams are led by potential Division I quarterbacks. CdA’s Colson Yankoff, a University of Oregon commit, has passed for 1,649 yards and 16 touchdowns while rushing for 460 and 10 TDs. Lewiston’s Colton Richardson, who has received an offer from Idaho, has thrown for 2,282 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Richardson has transformed his body from a year ago. He’s dropped 25 pounds.
“It’s changed him as an athlete,” Nilsson said. “He moves so much better in the pocket and keeps plays alive.”
In a Greater Spokane League 4A game Friday, Ferris (2-3, 0-1) visits Central Valley (4-1, 1-0).
It’s the final week of crossover games in the GSL. In a single game Thursday, University (1-4) takes on North Central (1-4) at Albi Stadium.
On Friday, Mt. Spokane (1-4) is at Gonzaga Prep (3-2). In a doubleheader at Albi, Rogers (0-5) goes against Mead (3-2) in the opener followed by Shadle Park (3-2) meeting Lewis and Clark (2-3).
West Valley (5-0) opens Great Northern League play when Pullman (4-1, 1-0) visits Friday while Clarkston (3-2, 0-1) is at East Valley (3-2, 1-0).
The Northeast A learned last week it has four postseason berths.
The league champ and runner-up go straight to the state playoffs while the third and fourth place finishers will meet the Caribou Trail champ and runner-up in play-in games.
Deer Park (4-1, 3-0) can take a big step toward the league championship when it entertains Freeman (4-1, 2-1) Friday.
Four teams are in a logjam at 2-1.
The Northeast 2B will send three teams to the state playoffs, but the top six teams will face off in play-in games in Week 10.
The top three finishers will host the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place finishers.
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