All credit where it’s due: The debonair and charming TV anchor knocked the overworked and underpaid (and still injured) preps writer off his lofty pedestal – at least for a week.
Sam went 6-0 last week to bring his total to 20 after five weeks. Not too shabby. After going 5-1, I have 22 for the season, so that’s still a two-game lead with five weeks to go. It’s still anybody’s ballgame.
We only have one discrepancy in our picks this week. This one will be settled Thursday evening with 8-man football under the lights in a state-level showdown in the Northeast 1B League.
All other games are Friday at 7 p.m.
As always, these predictions are for recreational purposes only. Please don’t bet on high school football.
Mead (4-1) vs Mt Spokane (4-1) at Albi Stadium
Nichols: The sixth-ranked Wildcats’ shutout win over Gonzaga Prep last week was impressive any way you slice it. When you consider they played almost the entire second half with a sophomore third-string quarterback? Unreal. Mt. Spokane defines “Next man up” mentality this season with two quarterbacks and leading rusher Kannon Katzer all out with injury indefinitely. Mead was almost equally impressive pulling away from a game University squad last week. Mead’s been a different team since switching to strong-armed Ryan Blair at quarterback. Mead 27-20.
Adams: If Mt. Spokane was at full strength, I wouldn’t hesitate in picking the Wildcats. But in the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend!” I think this game could become a defensive stalemate and it might just be decided on a last-second field goal. Luckily, we have the game on SWX. Mead 13-10.
Central Valley (3-2, 0-1) at Gonzaga Prep (3-2, 1-0)
Nichols: After a rough start to the season, the Bears are slowly rounding back into form. Last week, in a 49-0 throttling of North Central, Matt Gabbert threw for 248 yards with three touchdowns, with Cameron Sheley hauling in two long TD passes. G-Prep hadn’t been shut out since 2003 before last week and looks out of sorts on offense. With Mead off to a 2-0 start in league, CV can’t afford another GSL loss if it has title aspirations. CV 34-16.
Adams: You have to go back to the start of the 2016 season to find the last time the Bullpups lost back-to-back games. I expect them to get back on the scoreboard, I just don’t see them keeping up with the Bears. CV 24-13.
Odessa (5-0, 3-0) at Almira/Coulee-Hartline (5-0, 3-0)
Nichols: A state title-worthy matchup, as the defending champion Warriors hosts the semifinalist Tigers. ACH is ranked No. 1 in state in 1B, while Odessa is No. 2. In some ways, it’s a shame they play in the same league. ACH is led by its senior captains, QB Maguire Isaac and RB Hayden Loomis, who combined for four touchdowns in the first half of last week’s 76-6 win over Bridgeport. Odessa hasn’t scored fewer than 76 points this season. Pilot Weishaar rushed for 178 yards with TD runs of 54, 45 and 56 yards in a 78-12 win over Wellpinit. ACH 70-58.
Adams: Odessa has won by a combined score of 401-32, while ACH has put up a tally of 354-68. The Warriors took a 36-12 lead into the locker room last season only to see the Tigers roar back with 52 second-half points in a 64-54 loss. This game has instant classic written all over it. Odessa 64-56.
Clarkston (2-3, 0-1) at Pullman (4-1, 1-0)
Nichols: Sometimes I think the Greyhounds get forgotten here in Spokane. The voters in the state poll have forgotten about them too, as West Valley (No. 7) and Cheney (No. 8) are ranked in state this week out of the Great Northern League but not Pullman – despite all having similar records. Clarkston had played an exclusively Idaho schedule thus far to inconsistent results until last week’s tough performance in a 23-14 loss to West Valley. Pullman 28-10.
Adams: Pullman is loaded with talent and has big-play potential every time it has the ball on offense. I saw Konner Kinkade in person last week at East Valley and came away impressed. Pullman 35-21.
Colville (3-2, 2-0) at Riverside (3-2, 2-1)
Nichols: The Indians have recorded three straight routs, including a 34-0 pasting of Deer Park last week – which has three wins itself this season. John Knight would start at quarterback for most of the GSL. This is Riverside’s chance to play spoiler in the league. Colville 33-12.
Adams: The Rams’ Michael Zanoni accounted for 203 yards with three touchdowns in last week’s 56-24 win over Lakeside, but Riverside is going to face a much more stout defense this Friday night. Colville 41-24.
Coeur d’Alene (5-0) at Lewiston (5-1)
Nichols: Rigby. Gonzaga Prep. Mead. Eisenhower. Top-ranked and defending state champ Highland. These are the teams Coeur d’Alene has beaten this season. Not a gimme or lower-league stat-padder in the bunch. Kale Edwards to Colbey Nosworthy is as lethal a combo as there is in the area – or the state of Idaho for that matter. Lewiston is off to its own good start, but its strength of schedule comes nowhere near what the Vikings have faced. CdA 40-28.
Adams: Colleges are starting to pick up on QB Kale Edwards, who is filling some pretty big shoes for the departed Cole Yankoff. Idaho is the latest to make an offer. Hope these colleges are paying attention to his teammates, too. CdA 49-28.