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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  High school sports

State football preview: Gonzaga Prep, Mt. Spokane lead dozen region teams into playoffs

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 11, 2021

The state playoff brackets are set and play across the state starts Friday. Four Greater Spokane League teams are in play and a dozen Eastern Washington teams are represented in the six classifications.

All games Friday 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

4A

No. 11 Moses Lake (7-3) at No. 6 Gonzaga Prep (10-0): The Bullpups were No. 5 in the WIAA RPI and drew the Chiefs, who were rated 16th by the RPI, the fourth-lowest rated team of the 16 in the bracket.

Should the seeds hold in the first round, the Bullpups would face No. 3 Lake Stevens, which was the highest-rated 4A team by RPI this season.

To do that though, Gonzaga Prep has to take care of business against the Columbia Basin Big 9 champs. The Chiefs lost three of their first five games – with a loss to Post Falls and win over Lake City – but reeled off five straight wins to take their league undefeated.

The Bullpups will be led, as they have been all season, by quarterback Ryan McKenna and their defense. McKenna has rushed for 1,346 yards and 18 TDs this year – and thrown for another nine, including two in G-Prep’s crossover win over Chiawana.

3A

No. 10 Mt. Spokane (7-2) at No. 7 Arlington (8-1): Saturday 1 p.m. The Wildcats won the Greater Spokane League 3A title then shut out Gig Harbor 20-0 in a round-of-32 matchup but are seeded 10th because they had the fourth-lowest RPI of the remaining teams.

Mt. Spokane can rebut the doubters with a win over the Eagles, who had the fifth-highest 3A RPI this season. Arlington’s only loss came early in the season and the Eagles have wins over two other state teams.

The Wildcats’ defense is on a roll, with five sacks and three interceptions in the win over Gig Harbor.

2A

No. 14 Shadle Park (6-2) at No. 3 North Kitsap (9-0): Saturday 1 p.m. The GSL 2A champion Highlanders haven’t received much respect. They ran the table in the GSL and their only losses are to state participants Riverside and Timberlake in Idaho.

But with few upsets in the 2A ranks, Shadle Park is seeded in line with its No. 13 RPI rating.

No. 16 East Valley (6-3) at No. 1 Tumwater (7-2): The Knights survived Friday’s three-way tiebreaker against West Valley and Clarkston to claim the league’s second bid. They were rewarded for their effort with a first-round matchup against the highest seed in the bracket.

There may be a silver lining – though Tumwater is the No. 1 seed, it was No. 10 in the state 1A RPI and lost twice this season to nonplayoff teams.

1A

No. 13 Omak (7-1) vs. No. 4 Lakeside (10-0): At Union Stadium. The Lakeside Eagles, led by quarterback Northeast A League MVP Kole Hunsacker, take on the Pioneers, who are seeded six spots below their RPI rating but nearly lost to NEA fourth-place Newport last week in a crossover.

No. 10 Montesano (6-3) at No. 7 Riverside (9-1): Friday 5 p.m. The Rams dropped four spots against their RPI to take on the Bulldogs out of the Evergreen League, who suffered through a three-game losing streak in the middle of the season before rebounding late in the season.

No. 11 Freeman (7-2) at No. 6 Tenino (9-1): A matchup of the eighth- and ninth-rated 1A teams by RPI, but a 6/11 matchup by seed. In a tough league, the Scotties have been fighting for respect all season.

2B

No. 9 Toledo (9-2) vs. No. 8 Davenport (9-1): Saturday noon at Lions Field, Moses Lake. An intriguing first-round game on neutral turf and were it not for a one-point loss in September to LRS the Davenport Gorillas might have had the weekend off.

Fourth-seeded Lind-Ritzville/Sprague (9-0) received a first-round bye in the 12-team tournament. The Broncos will face the winner of No. 5 Onalaska/No. 12 River View next week in a quarterfinal.

1B

No. 9 Neah Bay (5-2) vs. No. 8 Wilbur-Creston-Keller (7-1): Saturday 3 p.m. The second half of the doubleheader at Lions Field Saturday. The Wildcats’ only loss this season was to No. 2 Odessa.

No. 1 Almira/Coulee-Hartline (9-0) and No. 2 Odessa (9-1) received first-round byes in the 12-team bracket and will play in quarterfinals next week.

Idaho

Blackfoot (6-5) at Sandpoint (7-2): The Bulldogs, the last North Idaho team in the playoffs, have to like their 4A semifinal matchup this week as the five-loss Broncos make the trek from the Pocatello area to Memorial Field.

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