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Week 4 Idaho High School Football Preview
The outcomes of Week 4 might seem a little hazy, with plenty of ranked matchups to look forward to
Published: 9/17/2020 4:53:00 PM

Should schools continue to play Friday despite questionable air quality around the state, fans could see plenty of marquee matchups on the gridiron. Here are the games you should have your eye on. 

Rocky Mountain @ Eagle
7 p.m. Friday

The Herb Criner Bowl might house the state’s two best 5A programs Friday night, as both teams finished in the top five of the latest statewide media poll. 

Eagle quarterback Ben Ford enters the contest as the Southern Idaho Conference’s leading dual-threat, eclipsing 400 yards of both passing and rushing in his first two games. Ford scored four touchdowns last week against Mountain View, leading the Mustang offense to 651 yards in Eagle’s second blowout of the year. 

But perennial powerhouse Rocky Mountain might have the defense to finally rangle a wild Mustang offense. Against an underhanded Centennial team, the Grizzlies held the Patriots to just 126 yards, forcing two turnovers in their 65-0 win. 

Pocatello @ Highland
7 p.m. Friday

This year’s upstart Indians still have plenty to prove after a shocking Week 1 upset win against Madison. A matchup against ranked 5A Highland could provide a clearer picture on where the 3-0 Indians stand in the 4A South East Idaho Conference. 

For Highland, offensive uncertainty seems to have been solved, as Head Coach Gino Mariani has re-established Easton Durham as quarterback apparently for the rest of the season. The Rams stumbled without their leading man under center, but back-to-back wins against Logan (UT) and Century seem to have the Rams back on track. 

The key to another Pocatello upset will rely heavily on the Indian’s ability to bottle up Ram running back Kaleb Demuzio. Highland’s leading rusher has tallied 337 yards on the season with five touchdowns, averaging seven yards a carry. 

Lewiston @ Lakeland
7 p.m. PST at the University of Idaho Kibbie Dome

Some last-second rescheduling moved Lakeland’s home game against the Bengals indoors. Because of poor air quality, Lakeland and Lewiston will play inside the University of Idaho Kibbie Dome. 

The Bengals remain on the bubble of success at the 5A level, with a Week 3 one-point loss to Post Falls marring an otherwise hot start to the season. Quarterback Kash Lang sparked the Lewiston offense in the early weeks of the year, racking up 282 yards rushing last week. 

Lakeland, meanwhile, has struggled against 5A opponents, losing to Lake City and Coeur d’Alene in Week 1 and 3, respectively. 

Skyline @ Blackfoot
7 p.m. Friday

Despite losing last year’s state title, the Blackfoot Broncos are off and running in 2020. 

Teegan Thomas, a mainstay in Head Coach Jerrod Ackley’s offense, has replicated his 2019 breakout success, rackin up 265 yards on the ground through his first three games, two of which against 5A squads. 

The Grizzlies lost a tough one last week against 5A state champion Rigby 47-22. But against a talented Rigby defense, Skyline quarterback Cade Marlow still managed 158 yards. But turnovers plagued the Grizzly offense, with Rigby stopping five offensive drives in the first half. 

Middleton @ Vallivue
7 p.m. Friday

The Falcons’ retooled offense following the graduation of Lan Larison has paid major dividends for Head Coach Layne Coffin’s team. 

Quarterback Casey Cope has led Vallivue to a 3-0 start, its best in four years. Cope has showcased gutsy gunslinging performances, as the Falcons’ margin of victory only grows since a Week 1 21-20 win over Twin Falls. 

But Middleton possesses an arguably more lethal offense, as quarterback Ky McClure continues to turn heads in a system designed to take advantage of his pinpoint accuracy and cannon of an arm. Against Homedale, McClure threw for 457 yards and five touchdowns. The monster performance puts McClure 78 yards short of 1,000 on the year. 

Fruitland @ New Plymouth
7 p.m. Friday

The Pilgrims have impressed in their first two games of the season, highlighted by a 48-7 win against Payette last week. In that last contest, New Plymouth’s double-wing offense racked up 504 yards, with four players eclipsing the 50-yard rushing mark. 

But defense remains a question, as New Plymouth allowed 235 yards against a struggling Pirate offense. A staunch defense will be necessary against a 3A Fruitland team that outscored Nampa Christian 56-14 a week ago. The Grizzlies ran for 540 yards in that contest in an entirely run-focused scheme. The one-dimensional gameplan, while predictable, has served 2-0 Fruitland well so far. 

West Side @ Cole Valley Christian
7 p.m. Friday

The defending 2A state champions might finally see a challenge on the gridiron. 

Undefeated Cole Valley comes into Friday’s matchup hot off a 51-0 win over Wendell last week. A high-flying offense, led by David Howlett, should make for an entertaining matchup against West Side’s infamous defense. Howlett scored four touchdowns last week against Wendell.

The Pirate offense, meanwhile, showed cracks last week against Marsh Valley, managing just 14 points. West Side committed four turnovers, but was bailed out by its defense and Bryler Shurtliff’s three interceptions. 

Kendrick @ Troy
4 p.m. (PST) Friday at the University of Idaho Kibbie Dome

For the Kibbie Dome’s first Friday matchup, the 0-1 Tigers will look to rebound from their season opening loss to Prairie back on Sept. 4. Kendrick dropped the 60-20 contest to the defending 1ADI champions and has not seen the field since. Head Coach Zane Hobart said preparation for Friday’s game has been difficult, as poor air quality in North Idaho has forced his team indoors for most of the week. 

For the Trojans, keeping pace with their opponents has proved to be a struggle. In Troy’s two losses to Deary and Lapwai, both teams managed to drop 50-plus points, while Potlatch managed to score 44, despite losing to the Trojans 50-44. 

Titus Yearout managed to gain 536 yards of offense for Lapwai last week, finding the end zone eight times against a gassed Troy defense. 


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