The last time they played it was an instant classic.
Shadle Park quarterback Brett Rypien threw for an eye-popping 577 yards and yet the Highlanders fell to Central Valley in overtime last year because another mind-boggling feat took place – Bears placekicker Austin Rehkow converted on a 67-yard field goal.
They meet Friday at CV, and there’s much on the line for the Bears. Kickoff is at 7.
The Bears (5-2) won’t necessarily be eliminated from the postseason hunt if they lose, but a victory would set up a big showdown the final week against Gonzaga Prep for one of the two 4A postseason berths.
CV’s defense didn’t have an answer for Rypien last year and if they don’t find a way to slow him down Friday it could be a long night. Mt. Spokane, Mead and Gonzaga Prep couldn’t contain him. He broke the 577 record he set last year when he threw for 613 against Mt. Spokane.
Shadle (6-1) takes on a team that has improved measurably since the start of the season. The Bears are riding the shoulders of senior quarterback Adam Chamberlain and junior running back Spencer Miller.
Another big game Friday in the GSL has G-Prep (6-1) and Mt. Spokane (5-2) meeting at Joe Albi Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:30.
While these two teams prefer running, the difference could come down to which team is most successful in the air.
In a GSL doubleheader Thursday at Albi, North Central (1-6) meets Lewis and Clark (2-5) at 4:15 and Ferris (6-1) faces University (1-6) at 7:15.
In the other GSL game Friday at Albi, Mead (3-4), which has lost four in a row for the first time since 2002, goes against Rogers (0-7) at 5.
• There’s no bigger game in North Idaho than Coeur d’Alene (4-3, 1-0) at Lake City (5-2, 1-0) Friday. Kickoff is at 7.
Although both teams have one more league game remaining, this will likely decide the league’s lone state playoff berth.
Lake City is coming off a big win. The Timberwolves topped third-ranked Chiawana of Pasco 33-26 last week.
CdA/LC stacks up as a matchup of speed and athleticism.
“It’s going to be two really good football teams going at each other,” LC coach Van Troxel said. “It comes down to who plays the hardest and who makes the fewest mistakes.”
CdA coach Shawn Amos called it a playoff game before the playoffs.
“It should be a heckuva game,” Amos said. “Both teams are playing well. Both teams feel good about where they’re at at this point. And it’s a rivalry game so you add that in.”
Both teams have big-time playmakers, too.
• In another IEL 5A game, Post Falls (4-4, 0-1) visits Lewiston (4-3, 0-1). Kickoff is at 7.
• The chase for the Great Northern League championship and two postseason berths tightened up last week when West Valley (4-3, 3-1) knocked then co-leader East Valley (4-3, 3-1) 39-26.
The GNL features two key games Friday: league-leader Pullman (5-1, 3-0) visits EV and Cheney (5-2, 1-2) goes to WV. Both kick off at 7.
• In a game that should decide the Northeast 2B title, defending state and league champ Lind-Ritzville/Sprague (6-0, 4-0) visits Colfax (4-2, 4-0). Kickoff is at 7.
The GSL features a key match Thursday when Central Valley (5-2) goes to co-leader Shadle Park (6-1).
The Highlanders are in line to snatch up their first league title since 1993.