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Sports >  High school sports

Week 9 football preview: Everything on the line as league finales determine champs, playoff seeds

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 27, 2021

Due to the potential to miss games this season due to COVID, the Greater Spokane League decided at the start of the season that losses would determine a team’s record for playoff purposes – not winning percentage – so there are plenty of teams still hoping to qualify for a tiebreaker.

With the confusion settled about how teams from the three classifications within the GSL can qualify for the postseason, let’s get back to the matter of hand – the games on the field.

There are playoff ramifications – and league titles to settle – in many of this week’s games, which is what you want in the last week of the regular season.

Nonleague games listed at highest classification. All games Friday at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Game of the week

Mt. Spokane (6-1, 6-1) at Gonzaga Prep (8-0, 7-0): It’s the de facto league title game with the Bullpups, ranked No. 3 in the 4A state media poll, hoping to complete a perfect regular-season run against a tough Wildcats team, ranked No. 7 in 3A. If Mt. Spokane pulls off a win, it will be a three-way tie between the Wildcats, the Bullpups and Central Valley for the league title.

It’s a battle between conflicting styles of the two quarterbacks – G-Prep’s Ryan McKenna has rushed for over 1,000 yards over seven games, and Mt. Spokane’s Kellen Flanigan has 15 TD passes this season.


Mead (2-5, 2-4) at Lewis and Clark (3-5, 3-4): If the Panthers win, they’ll match idle University (4-4) in the loss column for the GSL 3A’s second bid to the 32-team state bracket and force a tiebreaker “minigame” of two 10-minute halves on Tuesday at Union Stadium at 5 p.m.

LC is set as the 4A No. 3 seed and will face the Mid-Columbia Conference No. 4 team on Tuesday at 6:30 at Union in the 4A play-in game.

Central Valley (6-2, 6-1) at Ridgeline (1-7, 1-5): The Bears face the Falcons for the first time. Most of the Ridgeline students (and several coaches) were originally at CV, so this annual battle will take on a lot of significance through the years. This season’s battle, however, is a mismatch between a good 4A team and a young 3A one.

Cheney (0-8, 0-7) at Ferris (2-6, 2-5): It’s been a difficult season for both the winless Blackhawks and the Saxons, who have six touchdowns between them in games not against Ridgeline’s underclassman-stocked roster.


Shadle Park (5-2, 5-0) at Clarkston (4-3, 4-1): The GSL 2A gets two bids to the round of 16 and Shadle is bound for state regardless of the outcome. The Bantams are in with a win and can eliminate a lot of confusion, but they’ll have work to do following a two-touchdown loss to West Valley last week.

West Valley (4-3, 1-2) at Rogers (0-8, 0-5): The Eagles could be the biggest beneficiary of the league’s stance on COVID-related missed games. If they earn just their second league win and Clarkston loses, it sets up a three-way tie (in losses) between WV, four-win Clarkston and three-win East Valley.

In that instance, WV would play EV on Nov. 5 at a neutral site , then the winner would face Clarkston later that evening in minigames consisting of two 10-minute halves.

East Valley (4-2) at Lynden Christian (4-2): Saturday at 1 p.m. The Knights finish the regular season with a tough nonleague road matchup. At least they’ll know whether they qualified for a tiebreaker before they play.

North Central (2-3, 1-3) at Pullman (2-6, 2-3): Two of the three league members no longer eligible for the postseason face off in a league finale.

Northeast A

Freeman (6-1, 4-1) at Lakeside (8-0, 5-0): District 7 and District 6 both get two bids to state, so the Northeast A League plays crossover games with the Caribou Trail League for the four spots.

The Eagles want to win to preserve a perfect record, though they’re set with the top seed. If the Scotties win, setting up a three-way tie, Lakeside is No. 1, with Freeman second and Riverside third due to a preseason number draw.

Either way, the league has three teams with a strong shot to reach state.

Medical Lake (1-4, 0-3) at Riverside (7-1, 4-1): The Rams look to finish strongly against a Cardinals squad having a rough season with COVID issues and on the field.

Colville (2-6, 1-4) at Newport (3-4, 2-3): The Grizzlies are trying to keep hold of the league’s final spot in the Week 10 crossover games. A loss could necessitate tiebreakers.

Deer Park (2-6) at Kettle Falls (0-5): The Stags finish up a tough season against the 2B Bulldogs in a nonleague contest.


Capital (6-3) at Lewiston (7-2): The Bengals finished second in the Inland Empire 5A three-way tiebreaker on Monday and get to host the Southern Idaho River Division third-place Eagles in the first round of state. The winner gets top-ranked Rigby on the road next week. Lewiston is led by tailback Cruz Hepburn and quarterback Jace McKarcher, two of the top 10 rushers in the state.

Mountain Home (3-6) at Sandpoint (5-2): The Bulldogs earned the No. 1 seed in the Idaho 4A State tournament based upon their strong MaxPreps rating due to their wins over three 5A teams this fall. They’ll host the Great Basin fourth-place Tigers. Gerritt Cox and Parker Pettit pace the Bulldogs.

Lakeland (5-4) vs. Skyline (5-4): Thursday, 7:30 p.m. at Holt Arena in Pocatello. The Hawks earned the No. 11 seed in 4A despite last week’s loss to Sandpoint. They play the High Country Conference champion sixth-seeded Grizzlies. Expect heavy doses of Lakeland feature back John Cornish.

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