It’s crunch time for football leagues across Eastern Washington and North Idaho.
With two weeks left in Washington and one in the Gem State, seemingly every game on the packed schedule will impact a league race in each of the classifications.
In the Greater Spokane League 4A race, each of the top four teams enters Week 8 with one loss. Ferris lost to Central Valley, which lost to Mead, which lost to Gonzaga Prep, which lost to Ferris.
In other words, who knows at this point?
With District 8 (Greater Spokane League and Mid-Columbia Conference) receiving just two berths to the state playoffs, no one can afford a second loss. Regardless, two good football teams will be left on the outside wondering “What if?”
Game of the Week
Gonzaga Prep (4-2, 2-1) at Central Valley (5-2, 2-1), Friday at 7 p.m.: With both teams suffering their first league losses last week, this game becomes a virtual elimination game.
While possibilities remain for a two-loss team to get into the Week 10 crossover against an MCC team, no one wants to have to rely on needing help in Week 9.
CV came off a big win over Mt. Spokane but was outplayed by Mead in a 35-19 loss last Friday, even though the Panthers were missing tailback Caleb Shawen. Mead picked off CV quarterback Matt Gabbert three times and held CV to 84 rushing yards.
Remarkably, Ferris outrushed G-Prep in the contest 242-127, holding Bullpups quarterback Ryan McKenna to 65 yards and tailback Jaden Ortega to 41.
Dave Nichols: CV 34-28; Sam Adams: G-Prep 28-24.
Best of the rest
Lewis and Clark (2-5, 0-3) vs Ferris (6-1, 2-1), Friday at 7:30 at Albi Stadium: While the late game at Albi might appear a mismatch in the standings, Ferris must avoid a letdown after its win over G-Prep and not look ahead to a showdown against Mead (5-2, 2-1). Brent Jones rushed for 119 yards while Nate Schlosser added 79 yards with two TD runs against the Bullpups.
DN: FER 31-14; SA: FER 37-17.
Deer Park (6-0, 4-0) at Freeman (3-4, 3-1), Friday at 7: The Stags had a week off and still moved up in the rankings, sliding up to No. 5 in the Associated Press 1A poll. While much of the attention for Deer Park is centered on running back Matthew Jorgensen, its defense has allowed more than 13 points just once this season – in a 21-20 win over defending state champ Colville two weeks ago – and seven points or fewer four times.
DN: DP 28-10; SA: DP 34-14.
Liberty (5-2, 1-1) at Asotin (5-1, 1-1), Friday at 7: The No. 7 Panthers and the No. 8 Lancers square off in a big Northeast 2B matchup – although the winner will still be at least a game behind No. 4 Colfax in the South Division. Asotin fell to Colfax 39-7 last week while Liberty fell to the Bulldogs 33-20 the week earlier.
DN: ASO 24-17; SA: ASO 34-28.
Almira/Coulee-Hartline (7-0, 5-0) at Odessa (6-0, 5-0), Friday at 7: A rematch of last season’s State 1B title game – and a possible preview for this year’s. The pair are traditional rivals, but this season they are doing it in a different league, dominating the Central Washington 1B – Odessa averages 73.8 points for and has allowed just 14 points all season, while ACH is 68 for and 14.5 against.
DN: ODE 55-49; SA: ODE 59-49.
Post Falls (6-2, 2-0) at Coeur d’Alene (6-2, 2-0), Friday at 7: The Inland Empire 5A league title game will decide who has to play next week in a state first-round game and who gets an automatic bye to a home quarterfinal. The Vikings blanked Lake City last week as Colbey Nosworthy returned an interception for a touchdown while the Trojans edged Lewiston 41-40 on a TD with 4 seconds left.
DN: CdA 31-30; SA: CdA 35-21.
North Central (0-7, 0-1) vs Mt. Spokane (5-2, 1-0), Thursday at 4:45 (Albi).
University (1-6, 1-2) at Mead (5-2, 2-1), Thursday at 7:30 (Albi).
Shadle Park (4-3, 1-0) vs Rogers (1-6, 0-1), Friday at 5 (Albi).
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