It’s hard to imagine there are just three weeks left in the football regular season, but here we are. The “finding out who we are” phase of the season is over and it’s time for teams to fight for their playoff seeds.
All the nonleague games are completed and every team is into the heart of its league schedule.
This year, District 8 (Greater Spokane League and Mid-Columbia Conference) only has two berths to the state playoffs and four teams in 4A have one loss or less entering play this week. The onus this week is on Mead and Ferris to avoid their second league losses.
The Great Northern League gets two teams to play crossover games against the Central Washington Athletic Conference, so big games loom in 2A as well.
Game of the Week
Central Valley (5-1, 2-0) vs Mead (4-2, 1-1), Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Albi Stadium: Two of the four teams battling for two spots in the 4A playoffs meet on the synthetic turf in the late game at Albi on Friday.
Despite missing its starting tailback last week, eighth-ranked Central Valley made a statement by handily beating Mt. Spokane 27-7, getting a huge lift from Chad Carlson, who rushed 21 times for 158 yards.
Meanwhile, Matt Gabbert had one of the best games of his career, going 16 of 21 for 246 yards with three TD passes – two to Carsen Raab.
Mead bounced back from a loss to Gonzaga Prep by traveling to Huntington Beach, California, and routing Marina HS 63-27. Ryan Blair tossed a school-record eight touchdown passes, three to his favorite receiver Evan Wiersma, who has 11 TD receptions on the season.
After this week, CV hosts G-Prep and University while Mead plays U-Hi and Ferris, both at Albi.
Dave Nichols: CV 34-28; Sam Adams: Mead 28-24.
Best of the rest
Gonzaga Prep (4-1, 2-0) vs Ferris (5-1, 1-1), Thursday at 7:30 (Albi): Gonzaga Prep enjoyed a rare midseason bye week following its convincing win over Mead a week earlier. Ferris tailback Jovan Ruffin rushed for 71 yards on nine carries with a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs and the Saxons beat North Central 48-0 in a nonleague matchup on Thursday.
DN: GP 35-24; SA: GP 24-17.
Clarkston (5-1, 2-0) at Cheney (4-2, 1-0), Friday at 7: The eighth-ranked Bantams control their destiny. A win over the Blackhawks this week would cement a league title with just a matchup against East Valley (1-5) ahead. Cheney beat EV 21-0 last week and still has to face West Valley and Pullman to qualify for postseason.
DN: CLK 28-17; SA: CLK 35-27.
West Valley (4-2, 0-1) at Pullman (4-2, 1-1), Friday at 7: Both teams have lost to Clarkston, so neither can afford another slip in the race for the league’s second bid. WV barely held off Lakeland (2-4) last week while the Greyhounds fell to the Bantams 23-14.
DN: PULL 24-17; SA: WV 21-17.
Colville (4-2, 2-1) at Newport (4-2, 1-2), Friday at 7: A rematch of last season’s State 1A title game, but both teams trail Deer Park (4-0) in league with only two bids to state. Grant Michaliszyn had 267 yards rushing with three touchdowns as 10th-ranked Colville escaped with an overtime win over Riverside last week. Michael Owen threw two touchdown passes and added a rushing TD as the Grizzlies topped Medical Lake.
DN: COLV 31-30; SA: COLV 27-20.
Asotin (5-0, 1-0) at Colfax (5-1, 2-0), at Friday at 7: The sixth-ranked Colfax Bulldogs have a one-game lead over the fourth-ranked Panthers in the Northeast 2B South Division, but Asotin owns a win over third-place Reardan while Colfax has yet to play the Indians.
DN: ASO 24-17; SA: ASO 20-14.
Rogers (1-5, 0-0) vs Mt. Spokane (4-2, 0-0), Thursday at 4:45 (Albi).
Shadle Park (3-3, 0-0) vs North Central (0-6, 0-0), Friday at 5 (Albi).
Lewis and Clark (2-4, 0-2) at University (1-5, 0-2), Friday at 7.
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