More nonleague play between league rivals is scheduled this week in the 5A ranks and one team finally gets at least a reasonable facsimile of a home game in Week 4 of the Idaho prep football season.
As these league rivals play in nonleague games, we’re getting a better idea about which teams might have a line on postseason berths.
Of course, all this comes with a big caveat as the air quality index may end up everyone’s toughest opponent this week.
Game of the week
Lake City (1-2) at Post Falls (2-1), 7 p.m.: With the pandemic limiting travel and available competition, nonleague games between league members have become commonplace early in the season.
Post Falls held off Lewiston at home last week after the Bengals scored with 1 minute, 4 seconds left to make it a one-point game. Post Falls’ offensive attack hasn’t skipped a beat from last year, as junior quarterback Jaxon Anderson has developed a strong connection with receiver Tommy Hauser.
Hauser is a playmaker with breakaway speed and great hands, and the pair have played football together since grade school.
Anderson and Hauser connected 11 times in Friday’s win over Lewiston – giving Hauser 30 catches in three games – Hauser added a 6-yard touchdown run on an option pitch play. Sophomore Noah Range provides the tough work inside the tackles, and had a pair of short rushing TDs last week.
This game will be a good measuring stick for Lake City. After a season-opening win against 4A Lakeland, the Timberwolves lost a close one by a basketball score – 58-50 – to Lewiston at home before falling to 4A Sandpoint last week 20-15 on the road.
LC quarterback Chris Irvin hopes to put a four-interception performance in the rear-view mirror. Matthew Whitcomb has been Irvin’s go-to guy. The 6-foot-1 receiver had 11 catches for 181 yards last week and has scored in each of the Timberwolves’ three games for four TDs.
Lakeland (1-2) at Lewiston (2-1), 7 p.m.: Moved to the Kibbie Dome due to the poor air quality resulting from the West Coast wildfires, the Bengals hope to rebound from a close loss to Post Falls last week against 4A Lakeland.
After road trips to Kuna, Lake City and Post Falls, Lewiston finally gets to play a game that’s at least a little closer to home. The Bengals probably didn’t play their best last week against the Trojans, after administrators moved the game from Lewiston to Post Falls only hours before game time on Friday because of the air quality in central Idaho last week.
Lewiston’s super duo – quarterback Kash Lang and running back Cruz Hepburn – had a hand in all four of the Bengals’ scores last week, but were held in relative check by the Trojans’ defense.
The shortened season hasn’t done the 4A ranks any favors, forcing Lakeland and Sandpoint to play early games against the bigger 5A schools. These are rough matchups, and it reinforces the plight of these schools to find equivalent competition, especially with Washington high schools sitting out the fall season.
That said, Lakeland has done some good things, hanging tough with Lake City in Week 1 and topping rebuilding Timberlake before taking its lumps last week against Coeur d’Alene, the No. 1-ranked 5A school in the state. Luke Suko and John Cornish represent the bulk of the Hawks’ offensive production.
Clark Fork (1-1) at Wallace (1-2), 6 p.m.; Kellogg (1-1) at Orofino (0-0), 7 p.m.
Note: Minico (1-2) at Sandpoint (1-2) was postponed due to air quality in North Idaho. No plans to reschedule have been announced.
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