This is what high school football races should be about.
The only thing certain in the Greater Spokane League going into the final regular-season week is Mead and Ferris will be in state play-in games. Just what seeds those teams attain is still up in the air.
The top three 4A teams advance to play-in games. There are two scenarios in which a three-way tie for first could occur.
That would take Mead being upset by University and Ferris stumbling against Gonzaga Prep. This is the week when generating some momentum for the play-in games is key, so I don’t think Mead or Ferris will have a hiccup. But they’ll certainly be challenged in postseason-like games.
There’s nothing University would like more than to post another 4A quality victory. And with Gonzaga Prep out of the playoff race, the Bullpups will approach their GSL finale as if it were a playoff game.
Mead has much to play for. The Panthers can secure their first league championship since 2005. More important, they want to lock up the top play-in seed.
Ferris can earn a share of the league title, despite losing to Mead, if it wins. The Saxons earn no worse than the second play-in seed and a home game next week with a win.
Back to the possibility of a three-way tie for first. Just who the third team is depends on the outcome of the Lewis and Clark/Central Valley game.
LC and CV face off tonight in the second game at Albi Stadium, beginning at 7:15. This is the game I want to focus on here.
In my Pick 6 predictions, I took LC to win, but this should be a whale of a game.
It’s easy to say LC will win based on what it did against Mead and Ferris. After all, Mead had to score on the last play of regulation to get to overtime against LC, and Ferris had a typical close rivalry game against the Tigers last week.
CV rallied to beat Mead going away the second week of the season. Then CV, after leading at halftime against Ferris, watched the Saxons win 28-10 in a game much closer than the final margin would indicate.
This is a flip-the-coin game. Both teams have been exceptionally balanced. Both teams feature capable quarterbacks. Both teams have solid wide receivers.
LC running back Ammar Johnson has been a workhorse while CV has received yards on the ground by committee.
Statistically speaking, LC has allowed fewer yards than CV. At this point in the season, defense can have a bigger impact than offense.
For that slight reason alone, I give LC the edge. It could come down to which defense has the last big stop.
In the event of a three-way tie, though, here’s how the playoff seeds would be decided.
If LC finishes deadlocked with Mead and Ferris, Mead gets the top seed based on beating Ferris and LC head-to-head, and Ferris would get the second because it beat LC.
If CV finishes tied, a predetermined draw that was done in the summer would decide the playoff seeds. In this scenario, Ferris would get the top seed, Mead the second and CV the third.
Any two-way ties for spots are determined by head-to-head results.
• Speaking of possible ties, a three-way knot could occur in the 5A Inland Empire League if Lewiston upsets Post Falls on Friday.
That would pit those two teams with Lake City. The tiebreaker would be decided Monday at Coeur d’Alene.