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Week 9 High School Football Preview
There's a lot on the line in the final game of the regular season. Which teams can get to the playoffs?
Published: 10/22/2020 9:07:41 PM
 


Capital vs. Rocky Mountain
7 p.m. Friday


In its first-ever incarnation, the Southern Idaho Conference Championship promises to be a good one. 

Both teams fought to undefeated records in a shortened season, and while the Eagles and Grizzlies are all but guaranteed spots in this year’s state tournament, Friday’s matchup will have potential consequences when it comes to playoff seeding. 

Should Avery Downey get the start Friday, Rocky Mountain will look to bottle up the inexperienced varsity signal caller. Quarterback Max Clark suffered a collarbone injury two weeks ago, but in his absence, Downey has led the Eagles to two-straight wins, most recently a 22-18 victory over Borah. 

For the Grizzlies, the recipe for success has remained the same for most of the season — tough, physical football. Running back Jordan Erickson tallied 107 yards and three touchdowns against Meridian last week, punching his team’s ticket to the title game. The Grizzlies also post the second-best defense in the SIC, a squad unlike anything Downey has seen in his short season as the starter. 

Lake City vs. Lewiston
7 p.m. PST Friday
Watch Live


This one is complicated. 

The Bengals will need a host of situations to play out in their favor for the 3-5 Bengals to make the playoffs. This year, two “at-large” bids are available to teams with the best winning percentage against 5A schools. Thunder Ridge currently holds the edge, going 2-2 against such teams. But a high-scoring win could put Lewiston over the edge, as the Bengals would then be 3-3 against 5A competition. After that, it’ll come down to point differentials. 

The Bengals are currently on a three-game skid, falling to Post Falls 43-28 last week. Lake City, meanwhile, has yet to defeat a 5A opponent, with the Timberwolves last win coming against Sandpoint in the beginning of October. 

IdahoSports.com will live stream Friday’s game. Click here to watch. 

Century vs. Pocatello
7 p.m. Friday
Watch Live

With so many complicated scenarios playing out in the final week of the regular season, the South East Idaho Conference has a straightforward championship game on tap for Friday. 

The Diamondbacks and Indians each notched a win against conference rival Preston, meaning the winner of Friday’s game will get an automatic bid to the state tournament. 

Quarterback Zach Park has proved to be the key to the Indian’s recent success LINK. Park torched Preston’s defense last week, throwing for 273 yards and four touchdowns, with the bulk of his production coming in the second half. But Century’s win against Preston stands as even more impressive. The D-backs dropped 61 points, their second-highest point total of the year. 

IdahoSports.com will live stream Friday’s game. Click here to watch. 

Emmett vs. Vallivue
Note:
Friday's game was rescheduled for Saturday, after a student at Emmett high school died, according to KTVB. 

The Huskies currently hold the top spot in the 4A SIC, but a Vallivue win could throw everything into disarray. 

Should the Falcons win Friday night, certainly a possibility, Vallivue would enter a three-way tie for second place with the Huskies and Nampa. Bishop Kelly, the current second place team, plays Columbia. 

The Falcons’ normally prolific offense struggled last week against Emmett. Quarterback Casey Cope scored just twice, as the Falcons failed to score in three of four quarters. Emmett has the hot hand, rattling off two wins against Middleton and Columbia.


Fruitland vs. Homedale
7 p.m. Friday


The fate of the 3A Snake River Valley Conference will be decided on the Trojans’ home turf. 

Both teams will look to keep it on the ground, with Homedale and Fruitland average 35-points-plus per game thanks to two elite running back committees. Hayden Kincheloe, who has 11 scores on the season, leads a Homedale squad hungry to get back to the state title game. 

Fruitland, now undefeated, has yet to face a serious test such as the Trojans. The Grizzlies’ statement win on the season came in a close call against Weiser, 18-15. Jacob Walker, also 11 touchdowns on the year, leads that effort, coupled with running quarterback Luke Barinaga. 

Kimberly vs. Gooding
7 p.m. Friday


The normally competitive Bulldogs are having their best season in four years, not a good sign for the hosting Senators. 

Kimberly enters the matchup with the stingiest defense and second-best offense in 3A. Quarterback Heath Owens has a pair of speedy receivers in Gatlin Bair and Brett Bronson, with the trio combining for 16 touchdowns on the year. Owens has thrown just two touchdowns to receivers not named Bronson or Bair, giving the Senators two obvious targets to lock down in the secondary. 

Gooding, despite losing just one game, had difficulty sustaining a stable way of winning. The Senators blew out Mountain HOme 26-0, then fell to Declo a week later 32-12. Gooding hasn’t lost since then, as quarterback Kurtis Adkinson has seemed to have found some footing in Head Coach Cam Andersen’s scheme. 

North Fremont vs. Firth
7 p.m. Friday


Both teams feature elite defenses in what should be a conference deciding slugfest. 

North Fremont and Firth feature 2A’s second and third best defenses, respectively, while the Huskies hold a slightly more efficient offense. North Fremont defeated Ririe 46-0, the team’s second shutout of the year. 

The Cougars have posted three shutouts, comparatively, with a 14-0 win over West Jefferson most recently. 

Grace vs. Butte County
7 p.m. Friday


The winner of this game will earn an automatic bid to the playoffs, but the High Desert Conference champ likely won’t earn a first-round bye like the other 1ADI champions. New rules state the lowest ranked conference champ according to MaxPreps won’t earn that bye, and current rankings have Butte County and Grace within that window. 

Half of last year’s Pirate team reached the 1ADI title game last season, but Butte County, no longer a part of the Lost Rivers co-op, struggled to replicate its 2019 dominance. Raft River rolled against Butte County last week, winning 58-6. 

Grace’s three losses come against traditional powers Oakley, Raft River and Lighthouse Christian.

Raft River vs. Oakley
7 p.m. Friday


It’s not clear if the previous meeting between these two teams counted for conference standings. If so, Raft River will need to win by 14 points or more to claim the 1ADI Snake River Conference. 

The Hornets won that opening matchup 22-8 back in August. The Trojans haven’t lost since then, scoring at least 50 points in every game since. The same can be said for Oakley, but the Hornets have reached the 70-point mark twice. 

Council vs. Horseshoe Bend
7 p.m. Friday


While both teams will make the playoffs after Friday, this game could have seeding consequences. The winner will earn the second-place seed out of the west, resulting in a playoff matchup against the third-place team out of District Four. The loser will play North Gem, the second-place team from District Five-Six. 

 
 
 
 


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