Three of the four Greater Spokane League football teams tied for first with 4-1 records face key games this week.
The first big game is Thursday when Shadle Park, one of the four in the logjam, takes on Mead (3-2). Kickoff is at 7:15 and is the second game of a doubleheader at Joe Albi Stadium.
Shadle Park is arguably the league’s hottest team. The Highlanders will face a pride of Panthers who will be playing for their postseason lives.
Mead has lost two in a row in which it has scored a combined nine points.
The Panthers’ offense has become predictable – run first and run second and only pass when backed against a wall. If they don’t mix things up, they’re staring at a third consecutive loss and having no hope of a postseason berth.
Even if Mead fixes its offense, the Panthers will have their hands full against a Shadle team that appears to be clicking on all cylinders.
The Highlanders put up record numbers again last week behind junior quarterback Brett Rypien in a 63-42 win over previously unbeaten Mt. Spokane, which shut out Mead 10-0 two weeks ago.
• In the opener Thursday, North Central (1-4) meets Gonzaga Prep (4-1) at 4:15.
• Ferris and Mt. Spokane, both 4-1, square off in the opener of a doubleheader Friday at Albi. Kickoff is at 5.
The Wildcats must try to slow down the GSL’s leading rusher, Cole Karstetter. Ferris’ defense will be challenged to contain speedy Mt. Spokane QB Stu Stiles and RB Roy Hyatt.
• In the second game at Albi, Rogers (0-5) meets Lewis and Clark (1-4) at 7:15.
• In the outside game, Central Valley (3-2) goes to University (1-4) at 7.
• The big showdown in the Great Northern League on Friday, Cheney (4-1 overall, 0-1 league) visits East Valley (3-2, 2-0). Kickoff is at 7.
EV plays three of its final four games at home with its lone road game a short ride to West Valley.
• First place will be on the line Friday when Freeman (5-0, 2-0) treks to Lakeside (4-1, 3-0) in the Northeast A League.
University, Central Valley and Mead are all tied atop the Greater Spokane League at 3-0 and a game back is Shadle Park.
Those four teams are involved in the biggest matches this week.
CV goes to U-Hi on Thursday and Mead is at Shadle on Friday. Both matches begin at 7.
The GSL teams picked to finish 1-2 face off tonight when Mead (3-1) visits Central Valley (4-0), which is tied for first with Lewis and Clark, at 6:30 p.m.