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Sports >  High school sports

Week 8 football preview: Coeur d’Alene, Lewiston face off with Inland Empire League title on the line

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 20, 2021

Brayden Bengston uses a play fake to Robert Collier in Coeur d'Alene's 38-0 win over visiting Ferris on Oct. 1, 2021.  (Cheryl Nichols)
Brayden Bengston uses a play fake to Robert Collier in Coeur d'Alene's 38-0 win over visiting Ferris on Oct. 1, 2021. (Cheryl Nichols)

With wet, crummy weather forecast for Friday night, teams that are able to hold on to the ball will have a distinct advantage over the competition.

That’s critical, as teams try jockey for postseason berths across the area.

The top spots in the Greater Spokane League seem secure, but seeds are still up for grabs with two games to go.

The big game this week is across the border, where a traditional powerhouse could find itself on the outside looking in when things are settled.

Nonleague games listed at highest classification.

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

Game of the Week

Lewiston (7-1, 2-0) at Coeur d’Alene (5-2, 1-1): The North Region get two automatic bids to state, with the possibility of a third receiving an “at-large” berth. Neither team wants to jeopardize a playoff spot with a loss.

If CdA wins – and Post Falls handles Lake City – it sets up a three-way tie with one loss and a Kansas tiebreaker among the three teams, likely on Monday.

To do that, the Vikings will have to limit the Bengals’ ground game, featuring tailback Cruz Hepburn – one of the state’s leading rushers – and dual-threat QB Jace McKarcher, and limit the number of penalties and turnovers they commit.

If the Vikings lose, forget a fifth consecutive Inland Empire League title. They could miss out on November football for the first time in a long time.


Central Valley (5-2, 5-1) at Mead (2-4, 2-4): Luke Abshire ran for two touchdowns and threw for another last week as CV ran away from the Bears. CV will automatically qualify for the 4A Week 10 playoff, but it faces a stiff test this week against a resurgent Panthers team that is finding an identity under first-year coach Keith Stamps.

Mead was tied at 24 last week against Mt. Spokane before the Wildcats pulled it out. “There’s a good chance this is the best game we played, you know, for the fifth week in a row,” Stamps said Friday.

University (4-3, 4-3) at Mt. Spokane (5-1, 5-1): Thursday 7 p.m. Mt. Spokane needed a pair of fourth-quarter scores to beat Mead in the “Battle of the Bell” last week. It was a bit of a coming-out party for slotback Blake Speer, who had a 52-yard TD run and a 31-yard pass with just under 2 minutes to go.

U-Hi has improved each week and is relying on Malaki Miller, who has averaged 117.5 yards on the ground in the past four games – three of which were wins. The Titans have a one-game lead in the loss column over Ferris and Mead for the second 3A postseason bid.

Ferris (2-5, 2-4) at Gonzaga Prep (7-0, 6-0): The Bullpups kept rolling last week with a lopsided win over LC. G-Prep has averaged 44.8 points per game while allowing just 8.3 per. Only once – on Sept. 24 against Mead – have they allowed more than one touchdown in a game.

Cheney (0-7, 0-6) vs. Lewis and Clark (2-5, 2-4): At Cheney. It’s a “home” game for the Tigers on the road this week looking to snap a three-game losing streak where they’ve averaged eight points per game. Kordell Laher had a late 10-yard touchdown run for Cheney to avoid a shutout against CV last week.

Walla Walla (2-5) at Ridgeline (1-5): The first-year Falcons host the Blue Devils out of the Mid-Columbia Conference. Ridgeline ninth-grader Brayden Allen has four touchdown receptions the past two weeks.


Clarkston (4-2, 4-0) at West Valley (3-3, 0-2): The Bantams had a bye last week and will come in refreshed against WV, which edged 3A Ridgeline by one point last week. Clarkston had put up 40-plus points in three straight wins before being held to just nine in a two-point win over East Valley on Oct. 8.

Shadle Park (4-2, 4-0) at North Central (2-2, 1-2): Saturday 5 p.m. at Union Stadium. Shadle Park made a statement last week in a 39-7 win over Pullman. “Our whole focus (last) week was, we’ve got to start playing playoff defense,” coach Jim Mace said. NC has been inactive the past two weeks.

Pullman (2-5, 2-2) at East Valley (3-2, 2-2): Thursday 7 p.m. EV outlasted Rogers last week as Diezel Wilkinson ran for 231 yards and three touchdowns. The Greyhounds have scored seven or fewer points in four of their five losses.

Rogers (0-7) at Selah (4-3): Friday 6 p.m. The Pirates, still looking for that elusive first win of the season, travel to face the Vikings of the Central Washington Conference.

Northeast A

Lakeside (7-0, 4-0) at Deer Park (2-5, 1-3): The Eagles came out on top of their showdown last week against Riverside, in a defensive struggle belying the teams’ potent offenses. The teams flip-flopped in the rankings, too – Lakeside moved up from No. 9 to No. 4, while Riverside fell from No. 3 to 8.

Riverside (6-1, 3-1) at Colville (1-5, 0-3): The Rams look to get back on track against a struggling Crimson Hawks team.

Newport (2-4, 1-3) at Medical Lake (1-4, 0-3): Both teams are having down years and coming off lopsided losses.

Brewster (2-4) at Freeman (5-1): At University HS. The Scotties were supposed to play a nonleague game against Liberty this week but made the switch to take on Brewster. Freeman QB Boen Phelps accounted for six touchdowns in a 63-0 win over Medical Lake last week.

Idaho 5A & 4A

Lake City (2-5, 0-2) at Post Falls (4-4, 1-1): Post Falls needs to avoid an upset to remain in the playoff hunt. The Trojans need to claim one of the two automatic bids from the North since it’s unlikely the state seeding committee would take a four-loss team from the North as the sole “at-large” berth to state.

Lakeland (5-3, 1-0) at Sandpoint (4-2, 1-0): The Bulldogs beat three of the four 5A teams this season and their only losses are a two-point decision to Coeur d’Alene and to 3A No. 1 Homedale on the road. Lakeland wants to play spoiler and has put up 50-plus points three of its past four games.

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