You need to look no further than last Friday to see that from week to week we pick the most competitive games possible.
Camas rallied from an 11-point deficit in the final two minutes to knock off visiting Coeur d’Alene. Colfax pulled out a late victory at Lind-Ritzville/Sprague.
Those were the two games we picked differently. Alas, Sam Adams and I split, each finishing 4-2.
That means I have a one-game lead going into my last week. I’ll do my best to keep a lead as I pass the baton to Dave Nichols.
Lewis and Clark vs. Mt. Spokane, Thursday, Albi, 7
Lee: The Wildcats impressed against powerhouse Gonzaga Prep last week in a game that was much closer than the 14-point margin. Mt. Spokane learned much from the setback. The Tigers have lost three in a row against three good teams. Mt. Spokane 32-14.
Adams: The Tigers and Wilcats get to make up for lost time on Thursday, as the two square off for the first time since 2013. That’s a shame, because these 4A and 3A GSL teams would’ve been a good match for each other over the last few years. But Mt. Spokane is the heavy favorite this time around, after giving Gonzaga Prep a scare last week at Albi. I like the way Brady Hill plays at quarterback, and I absolutely have to give a nod to Jacob Adams (no relation) at running back. Mt. Spokane 35-7.
Lind-Ritzville/Sprague at Liberty, Friday, 7
Lee: By the fifth league game, there are common opponents to consider. The co-Northeast 2B-leading Lancers had better showings against Asotin and Wilbur-Creston than LRS. Liberty continues to surge. Liberty 26-12.
Adams: There is no so such thing as a “moral victory,” and nobody knows it better than the Broncos. A pair of early-season, six-point losses have put the Broncos in a 2-2 hole in conference. Liberty is unscathed in Northeast 2B play, going 4-0 so far as the Lancers hit the meat and potatoes portion of their schedule. The fact that Friday’s game will be played in Spangle bodes well for Liberty, which will hope to ride the legs of Jawaun Nave (three TD runs two weeks ago vs. Asotin) and James Heer (five TD runs last week vs. Wilbur-Creston) to a win against LRS. Liberty 28-18.
Colfax at Northwest Christian, Friday, West Valley, 7
Lee: Both teams scored big road wins at LRS – Colfax late in regulation and NWC in overtime. The Crusaders have the best offensive weapon in junior running back Silas Perreiah. But something tells me this will be decided by defense. Colfax has relied heavily on defense and will need to do so one more week. Colfax 24-18.
Adams: Only one team was able to solve the riddle that is NWC last season, and that was Asotin, which beat the Crusaders twice in 2016. So what’s the key to beating NWC, or at least keeping it close? Apparently, you need to slow down the game and play a defensive stalemate. LRS played them to an 18-18 tie before the Crusaders won in overtime. But I don’t see anyone slowing down Perreiah anytime soon. He has rushed for 10 touchdowns through three games, and he’s good for a few more on Friday. NWC 35-21.
Freeman at Lakeside, Friday, 7
Lee: The Scotties have allowed just one touchdown in two league games, but the level of difficulty increases this week and hereafter. For another week, though, Freeman should be fine. Freeman 27-13.
Adams: Lakeside has had Freeman’s number for each of the last two years, including a 20-14 overtime win in 2016 that ended a 4-0 Freeman start in which the Scotties outscored their opponents 166-0. Freeman again comes in with an impressive 3-1 start, with convincing wins over Timberlake, Medical Lake and Chewelah. This year’s installment could go into overtime as well, though I believe the Scotties will prevail on the road this time. Freeman 21-20.
Cheney at East Valley, Friday, 7
Lee: Perhaps a league opener will be just what these teams need. Winless Cheney has struggled on defense in three of four games and had its share of problems scoring, too. The Knights can score and have improved on defense since allowing 57 points in their opener. EV 30-26.
Adams: The Blackhawks and Knights come in with a collective record of 1-7. Someone has to win. Cheney desperately wants to get its offense going after scoring a total of 10 points in losses against bigger schools (Eisenhower and Post Falls). East Valley is still trying to recapture the offense that put up 58 points in a season-opening win over North Central. The good news for both programs is that there are points to be had, and that could make for an entertaining game in Spokane Valley. EV 27-20.
Capital Christian at Coeur d’Alene, Friday, 7
Lee: The Cougars of Sacramento, California, have a traditionally good team and this year is no different. CdA originally had a bye for this week but added the game this summer. The Vikings are smarting after their tough loss at Camas. This could be looked at as a “trap” game with league around the corner for CdA. But the Vikings need to cleanse the bad taste of last week out of their mouths. CdA 28-14.
Adams: How does Coeur d’Alene recover from a heartbreaking loss to defending Washington State 4A champion Camas? Last year, that loss carried over into a league-opening defeat at the hands of Lewiston. Luckily for the Vikings, this time they have another nonleague game to get through before starting IEL play. Capital dug itself into a 18-6 hole in the first quarter, but rallied back for 21 fourth-quarter points in a 41-28 win last week in Marysville, California. If the Vikings are able to build a similar lead this week, I don’t see them relinquishing it after last week’s loss at Camas. CdA 28-24.
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