Has 5A Inland Empire League football been unpredictable enough for you?
We go into the final week of regular-season play with all four teams still alive for the two state playoff berths.
It’s my guess that league games haven’t played out the way most thought it would.
Actually, of the four games that have been played, just one had the outcome most would have predicted. That would be Coeur d’Alene’s 42-26 win over Lewiston.
Lake City’s two victories – 20-0 over Post Falls and 23-15 over CdA – are not the results most saw coming. And Lewiston’s 27-25 win at Post Falls caught many by surprise.
So here we are with two games left – Post Falls (5-3, 0-2 league) at CdA (6-2, 1-1) tonight and LC (2-6, 2-0) at Lewiston (4-4, 1-1) Friday.
There are two scenarios that would avoid a Kansas tiebreaker. One involves LC and CdA winning. That would give LC the league championship and top playoff seed outright and CdA the second playoff berth. The other could be Lewiston and Post Falls winning. That would give Lewiston the first seed and LC the second.
With as wacky as things have been, it’s not likely that the less complicated of the possible scenarios will occur. There could be a three-way tie for first or a three-way tie for second.
To have a three-way tie for first, Lewiston must beat LC and CdA must beat PF. A three-way tie for second occurs if LC beats Lewiston and PF beats CdA.
IEL administrators met Wednesday morning in Worley to make sure all were on the same page regarding tiebreaking procedures.
If a three-way tie for first occurs, the tiebreaker would be held at Post Falls. In a tie for second, it would be held at LC.
The top two teams turn around and face off in the first round of the playoffs next week.
•LC coach Van Troxel has his sights set on a first-round rematch with CdA.
“More than likely, if we play it right and do the job we have to, we’ll probably see them in two weeks,” Troxel said following his team’s win over the Vikings. “They’ll (the Vikings) be like a wild bunch of hornets.
“We’ve got to be smart and go play hard (at Lewiston), because that’s a huge game for us. We don’t want anything to do with a tie.”
Lewiston quarterback Justin Podrabsky, who injured his non-throwing shoulder two weeks ago against PF, will return Friday after sitting out the Bengals’ 49-27 loss at No. 1-ranked Capital last week.
PF was hoping running back Marcus Colbert would return tonight, but he hasn’t recovered from a high ankle sprain sustained against LC. PF coach Jeff Hinz said it’s no secret what his team must do against CdA.
“We need to play four quarters,” Hinz said.
CdA coach Shawn Amos said his team is eager to bounce back after the loss to LC.
“We have no time to be pouting about last week,” Amos said.
•In 4A IEL play, Lakeland (2-7, 0-1) is at fourth-ranked Sandpoint (6-2, 1-0) Friday. Sandpoint can secure the lone state playoff berth with a win while Lakeland can cause a three-way tie (like last year) with a win.
•The Intermountain League play-in games are Friday when Bonners Ferry (4-3-1) goes to league champ and No. 4-ranked Timberlake (7-1) and Priest River (6-2) travels to Orofino (5-3).