It’s November and that can mean only one thing for high school football fans – postseason.
This week is the prelude to the state playoffs in Washington while in Idaho playoffs begin in six classifications with state championship games three weeks away.
So here’s a look at area teams and matchups.
4A play-in games
Davis Pirates (6-3) vs. Mead Panthers (8-1)
When: Friday, Albi Stadium, 5:30 p.m.
Road to postseason: The Pirates had to survive a three-way tiebreaker with Richland and Wenatchee on Tuesday to earn the play-in berth. Mead secured the Greater Spokane League’s top seed by beating University and holding the head-to-head tiebreaker against Ferris.
Statistical leaders: Running back Davian Barlow has anchored Mead’s Fly offense with 1,023 yards. Mead rushed for a league-leading 2,753 yards to just 650 passing. Davis was second among 4A Columbia Basin Big Nine teams in offense. The Pirates averaged 447 yards per game. Leading the way was Davis QB Deion Wright, who completed 162 of 262 for 2,848 and 32 touchdowns.
At a glance: Davis may be able to do something no GSL team could this year – match Mead’s speed. The Pirates lost a shootout to city rival Eisenhower 43-37, beat Richland 34-27 in overtime, lost to Wenatchee 29-22 in OT and were shut out by Chiawana 28-0. The Pirates finished ranked fifth out of seven teams in defense, yielding 2,034 yards rushing. It will be a long night for Davis if it can’t slow down Mead.
Eisenhower Cadets (8-1) vs. Ferris Saxons (8-1)
When: Friday, Albi Stadium, 8
Road to postseason: The Cadets finished second in the CBBN. Their lone loss came the third week to Chiawana, 42-13. The Saxons earned a share of the GSL title but received the second seed because they lost to Mead.
Statistical leaders: Ike led the CBBN in offense, averaging 463 yards per game. The Cadets are led by RB Trevon Harris (1,071 yards, 20 TDs) and QB Kolney Cassel (2,438 yards, 25 TDs). The Saxons had the best defense in the GSL, allowing just 254 yards per game. They ranked fifth in offense. RB Kole Heidinger anchored a run-based offense with 1,189 yards – tops in the league.
At a glance: Defense and a ball-control offense have been keys for Ferris all season and they must be effective Friday. If the Saxons get a lead, expect them to use their double-wing offense to burn clock and keep Ike’s offense off the field. State playoff experience gives Ferris big edge.
Central Valley Bears (7-2)
at Chiawana Riverhawks (8-0)
When: Friday, 7
Road to postseason: Chiawana won the 4A CBBN for a second straight year. CV topped Lewis and Clark 31-7 to earn the GSL’s third seed.
Statistical leaders: The Riverhawks ranked first in defense in the CBBN, allowing just 897 yards passing (253 total offense per game). CV had the third-best defense behind Mead and Ferris. The Bears were the most balanced offensive team in the league but ranked just sixth overall. QB Gaven Deyarmin led CV with 1,481 yards (103 of 178). Chiawana lost standout RB/LB Jordan Downing three weeks ago to a broken leg. He had rushed for 954 yards through six games.
At a glance: This is a rematch of a play-in game between the teams last year. CV is seeking revenge. The key for the Bears is limiting turnovers. CV will have to be patient on offense and opportunistic on defense. As opposed to last year, this is a game CV can win.
3A play-in games
Mt. Spokane Wildcats (3-6) at Kennewick Lions (8-1)
When: Friday, 7
Road to postseason: Kennewick’s lone loss came to crosstown rival Kamiakin (9-0) 14-6. Mt. Spokane beat North Central last week to secure the second seed.
Statistical leaders: Kennewick led 3A CBBN in defense, limiting opponents to 186 yards and just 56 points. RB Grant Woods led the CBBN in rushing (1,168 yards, 14 TDs). Slotback Chase Naccarato led the Wildcats with 764 rushing and 502 receiving.
At a glance: Mt. Spokane ranked ninth in the GSL in defense, allowing 396 yards per game. The Wildcats must find a way to get Naccarato loose on the perimeter or it could be a long night. Kennewick isn’t looking too far down the road, but it wants a second shot at Kamiakin.
Southridge Suns (6-3) at University Titans (5-4)
When: Friday, 7
Road to postseason: A 31-10 win over Hanford secured the third seed for the Suns. University went 3-0 against the 3A GSL teams.
Statistical leaders: Southridge ranked second behind leader Kamiakin in offense. The Suns are led by QB Matt Mendenhall (1,964 yards, 17 TDs) and RB Chris Haueter (1,055 yards). Leading U-Hi were QB Conner Johnson (2,215 yards, 23 TDs), RB Zach Bruce (841) and wide receiver Nathan Hundeby (40 catches, 672 yards).
At a glance: Southridge ranked next-to-last in the CBBN in defense. The Titans ranked first in the GSL in offense, ahead of five 4A teams. Bottom line is the Suns will struggle stopping balanced U-Hi.
Mountain View Mavericks (7-2) at CdA Vikings (9-0)
When: Friday, 7
Road to postseason: CdA earned the Inland Empire League championship by scoring 69, 63 and 62 points in its league games. Mountain View secured the third of four playoff seeds in the Boise area.
Statistical leaders: Sophomore Kai Turner, who started at QB last year as a freshman, leads the Mavs’ offense. RB Daniel Lau had 157 yards and two TDs in upset of previously undefeated and No. 1-ranked Eagle last week. CdA is led by QB Chad Chalich (185 of 240; 2,655 yards; 32 TDs) and RB Carlos Martinez (766 yards rushing).
At a glance: The defending state champion Vikings won’t be overlooking the Mavs after the stunner they pulled last week. No team has been able to match CdA’s speed this season and Mountain View won’t have an answer Friday.
Lake City T-Wolves (5-4) at Eagle Mustangs (8-1)
When: Friday, 6 PST
Road to postseason: The T-Wolves won a three-way tiebreaker Monday against Post Falls and Lewiston, qualifying for the playoffs for a 15th straight year. Eagle won the Southern Idaho Conference title.
Statistical leaders: Eagle QB Tanner Mangum, who has given Brigham Young University an oral commitment, has led a pass-happy offense. He’s thrown for 2,897 yards while completing 200 of 301 attempts for 26 TDs. LC QBs Bobby Traverse and Bruce Shipley have combined to pass for 1,800 yards. They’ve shared duties the second half of the season, but Shipley will start Friday.
At a glance: The only way LC has a chance – and this is after riding a bus for eight hours – is to commit no turnovers. Eagle is smarting after being upset by Mountain View last week, and the Mustangs will likely take it out on the T-Wolves.
Middleton Vikings (8-2) at Lakeland Hawks (6-3)
Road to postseason: Middleton earned the second seed in its conference. Lakeland scored lopsided wins over Sandpoint and Moscow for the IEL title.
Statistical leaders: The Vikings run, run and run some more in their double-wing attack. They’re led by RB Victor Dias, who had 116 yards in a 43-33 win over playoff qualifier Columbia last week. Lakeland is led by QB Eric Cooper, who has passed for 1,991 yards. He had 15 TDs and just five interceptions.
At a glance: Midddleton’s defensive strength is in the secondary, so the Hawks figure they’ll need to run more than usual. The Vikings are making their fourth straight appearance in the playoffs while Lakeland qualified for the first time since 2007.