Yours truly had a big week considering I was in a two-game hole to SWX sports director Sam Adams.
I cut Adams’ lead to one by going 4-2. Overall, Adams is 22-14, Lee is 21-15.
Games not only take on more importance from here on out but they become more difficult to forecast in some cases.
For good and probably bad, Sam and I will likely refer to common opponents in the six featured games this week. I know for me it’s caused some second guessing multiple times.
Sandpoint at Lakeland, Friday, 7
Lee: Both teams lost to Post Falls. I didn’t give it any weight, though, because one was a season opener and the other midseason. Both defenses cancel each other out. Seems to me Sandpoint can run and pass. Lakeland is one dimensional. Sandpoint 33-26.
Adams: After a 1-2 start, the Hawks have won three of their last four, including a huge league-opening win over Moscow. Now the IEL 4A title awaits Lakeland if it can secure a home win against the reigning league champs. I think it will happen in a game that goes down to the wire. Lakeland 22-21.
Colville at Freeman, Friday, 7
Lee: Deer Park has the league title essentially locked up. Even if the Stags lose they have head-to-head tiebreakers to decide seeding. Second also carries an automatic state playoff berth. So this is critical for both teams. Colville is riding some momentum while Freeman has to wonder what could have been after two straight losses in games it could have won. Freeman will break out of whatever has plagued it. Freeman 26-20.
Adams: Back-to-back losses have dropped the Scotties from the top of the Northeast A League to the bottom half of a loaded conference. Does Freeman have the moxie to bounce back and pick up a win against Colville? That is a tall order against an Indian defense that has surrendered a total of 14 points in the last three weeks. Colville 35-28.
West Valley at Cheney, Friday, 7
Lee: The Eagles will be out to bounce back from their two-point loss to Pullman. At 0-2 in league, the Blackhawks can’t afford another loss and stay in the hunt for a postseason berth. WV 32-13.
Adams: WV’s five-game win streak came to an end last week against Pullman by a scant three points. Cheney has had struggles of its own, dropping three of its last four, and four of six overall. Look for a motivated Eagle squad to put last week’s loss in the rear view mirror with a convincing in Cheney. WV 28-14.
Clarkston at East Valley, Friday, 7
Lee: Both teams have played challenging schedules. In a league opener at home, the Bantams topped Cheney 10-6 in a defensive tug-of-war. At Cheney, EV won 47-34. The wild card in this game for me is how will Clarkston defend speedy wide receiver Rodrick Jackson. EV 22-13.
Adams: After an uninspired start to the 2016 season, EV has suddenly become one of the most electrifying and entertaining teams in the area. Thirty five points in a loss to Shadle Park, followed by 40 plus point outputs in victories over Lake City and Cheney. I believe they’ll keep their GNL title hopes alive with a knock-em-out, drag-em-out win over Clarkston. EV 34-21.
Northwest Christian at Liberty, Friday, 7
Lee: The Lancers essentially wrap up a league title with a win. The Crusaders take a big step with a victory and with a game against Asotin next week. In games against three common opponents, the teams posted substantial victories. Points for means nothing to me. Liberty allowed 8.7 points and NWC allowed 7.3 points in those games. What tips it to Liberty is the Lancers went to three overtimes on the road to beat Asotin. Liberty 30-29.
Adams: The Northeast 2B crown could very well come down to Friday’s showdown in Spangle. Outside of a two-point win over Asotin, Liberty has not been challenged this season. NWC has had an even easier ride to its identical 6-0 start, including a 49-0 win over Reardan last week. There’s really no way to look at either team’s schedule so far to figure out who’s going to win, so I’m going to lean on an always reliable tiebreaker: homefield advantage. Liberty 36-34.
Gonzaga Prep vs. Mead, Thursday, Albi, 7:15
Lee: I could go on and on about this matchup. I like Mead’s ability to run and pass and, believe it or not, G-Prep can not only run but the pass too. The offenses appear to be even. So the scale tips to defense and, frankly, the tale of the tape shows G-Prep has played better defense. Enough said. G-Prep 36-24.
Adams: Mead could really muddy the waters in the GSL title chase with a win on Thursday, but the Bullpups seem to have reaffirmed themselves as the leader of the pack. Connor Hallinan has been a thrill to watch this season, and few teams in the state of Washington can bottle up G-Prep’s veer offense. Mead might be able to slow them down, but not to the extent it’ll need to pick up a victory. G-Prep 38-14.
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