Ready or not, postseason high school football is here.
And by the looks of things, area teams should fare well in openers. Here’s a look at the matchups (all games Friday, unless noted):
Walla Walla (3-6) at Gonzaga Prep (9-0), 6 p.m.
Road to postseason: WW earned the Mid-Columbia Conference’s third seed and Gonzaga Prep captured the Greater Spokane League title.
Statistical leaders: WW ranked fifth in the eight-team MCC in offense and fourth in defense. QB Mitch Lesmeister threw for 1,080 yards and 13 TDs. The Bullpups have offensive weapons coming out of their ears. RB Mason Plese returned from emergency appendectomy surgery last week, picking up where he left off. Meanwhile, in Plese’s absence, G-Prep developed more depth.
At a glance: The Blue Devils are in over their heads. It should be over by halftime.
Chiawana (6-3) at Central Valley (7-2), 6
Road to postseason: This is a matchup of second-place finishers.
Statistical leaders: Chiawana ranked second in offense in the MCC and fifth in defense. RB Andrew Vargas has rushed for 1,723 yards. CV has no gaudy offensive statistics.
At a glance: Chiawana runs its I formation sets behind a sizeable but young line, setting up play-action passes. The Bears picked off six passes last week and leader Ben Craig now has seven. CV’s strength is defense and that will be the difference against the 2013 state champs.
Lewis and Clark (5-4) at Richland (8-1), 7
Road to postseason: Richland won the MCC title and LC earned the GSL’s third berth.
Statistical leaders: Richland ranked first in the MCC in defense. QB Paxton Stevens led the MCC, throwing for 1,401 yards and 11 TDs. LC has no offensive statistics to speak of.
At a glance: LC’s hopes begin and end with defense. The Tigers must keep Richland under 20 points to have a chance. The Tigers will try to keep Richland’s offense on the sideline by taking time off the clock.
Washington, 3A play
Kennewick (4-5) vs. Mt. Spokane (8-1), Albi Stadium, 7
Road to postseason: Kennewick defeated Hanford last week to earn the MCC’s second berth. Mt. Spokane won the GSL title.
Statistical leaders: Kennewick ranked sixth in the MCC in offense and defense. Mt. Spokane featured a balanced offense behind QB Mitchell Speer, RB Dalton Dixon and WR Jacob Barners.
At a glance: The heart of Mt. Spokane’s schedule prepared the Wildcats for the postseason, not the last three games. So the Wildcats will have to hearken back to their tougher games to find the right frame of mind mentally for Friday. Kennewick finished a distance runner-up to Kamiakin in chase for the postseason berths.
Rogers (4-5) vs. Kamiakin (7-2), Lampson Stadium, 7
Road to postseason: Kamiakin earned the MCC’s No. 1 berth and finished second in league behind Richland.
Statistical leaders: Kamiakin had the top-ranked offense in the MCC and the second-best defense. QB Zach Borish threw for 1,249 yards and 16 TDs. Rogers has featured a balanced attack behind QB Cole Shafer, RBs Patrick Pullins, Marcus Phillips and Eric McKay and WRs Khalil Winfrey and Edward Smith.
At a glance: The Pirates ended 39 years of futility by earning their first postseason berth in the GSL last week. They’ll give a good account of themselves, but they’re running into a program that oozes tradition and is quite familiar with the postseason.
Idaho 5A quarters
Madison (9-1) at Coeur d’Alene (7-2), 7
Road to postseason: Madison defeated Timberline in a playoff opener last week. CdA earned a first-round bye by winning the league title.
Statistical leaders: Quarterback K. Stoneberg has led Madison, throwing for 1,898 yards and 20 TDs. CdA’s two-headed rotation at QB has worked well. Senior Austin Lee has thrown for 1,532 yards and 13 TDs and sophomore Colton Yankoff has 825 yards and 7 TDs. Lee has led the Viks in rushing (447).
At a glance: CdA, which had the top seed and a first-round bye locked up, played poorly in a regular-season finale and loss to Post Falls. . The teams have two common opponents – Skyline and Highland. Skyline blanked CdA 22-0 to open the season and lost to Madison 21-13. CdA thumped Highland in Pocatello 27-3 while Highland edged Madison 23-22 in Rexburg.
Idaho 4A quarters
Kuna (7-3) at Sandpoint (6-3), 7
Road to postseason: Kuna finished second in the Southern Idaho Conference. Sandpoint captured the IEL title.
Statistical leaders: Kuna ranked second in the SIC in offense and third in defense. QB Ben Ruwe has thrown for 1,645 yards and another QB has added 369. QB Davan Norris has led Sandpoint, throwing for 1,915 yards and 19 TDs.
At a glance: Kuna had to beat conference foe Skyview a second time in a playoff opener last week. Post Falls edged Skyview earlier in the season. Sandpoint slipped past Post Falls 20-19 in a season opener. While both Kuna and Sandpoint have improved, this game should be competitive start to finish.
Idaho 2A, quarters
St. Maries (8-1) at Aberdeen (9-0), Saturday, 1
Road to postseason: St. Maries handled New Plymouth 35-0 and Aberdeen topped Firth 16-12 in playoff openers last week. St. Maries earned the second seed out of the Central Idaho League while Aberdeen won its league title.
At a glance: The Lumberjacks have a tough road trip in more ways than one. They’re traveling to No. 1-ranked Aberdeen. They haven’t made a trip of this distance perhaps ever, having to make a circuitous trek to southeastern Idaho.
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