The first week of Washington high school football is finally upon us. There are great matchups around the region for Week 1, with many area schools getting tuneups against out-of-state opponents.
Game of the Week
Coeur d’Alene (1-0) at Gonzaga Prep, 7 p.m.: No team in the Greater Spokane League was hit harder by graduation this year than G-Prep, which lost league MVP Connor Halonen and 10 other all-league selections.
Veteran coach Dave McKenna will turn to senior QB Jaocb Keyes to guide his power running offense, and there’s a big senior-led offensive line to help with the transition.
The Bullpups will rely heavily on an experienced defense, especially early on while Keyes gets comfortable behind center. Senior LB Zane Melzer is scheduled to just play one way this year, and DE Austin Reed is a disruptive force. G-Prep won the GSL 4A last season, and this will be a big test for them early on.
Coeur d’Alene doesn’t rebuild behind coach Shawn Amos – it reloads. Colson Yankoff and Kale Edwards have moved on to the college ranks, but strong-armed Jack Prka stepped right into their shoes, going 25 of 35 for 259 yards and three touchdown passes in the Vikings’ season-opening 31-26 win over Rigby last week.
Prka’s favorite target was senior Colbey Nosworthy, who hauled in 12 catches for 133 yards and two TDs. CdA fell to eventual 5A champ Rocky Mountain in a state semifinal and has its sights set on more – the Vikings are ranked third in state.
Best of the Rest
Post Falls (1-0) vs. Mead (at Pine Bowl), 5 p.m.: Mead returns all-league QB Ryan Blair, who led the league in passing in 2018, plus 40 other lettermen and 11 starters, including DE/TE Ben Voigtlaender, who may be the best pound-for-pound player in the league.
Post Falls won a first-round game at state last year before bowing out in a quarterfinal. The Trojans are off and running with a 49-28 win over Sandpoint. QB Derek Pearse tossed for 348 yards with four TDs.
Lake City (0-1) vs. Lewis and Clark (at Albi), 7 p.m.: LC’s Tigers won their first seven games last season but slumped down the stretch. Coach Dave Hughes will look to junior Jace Parbon to step up under center to replace all-league QB Michael Flaherty.
Lake City lost a 21-19 heartbreaker last week while helping Madison open its new stadium, allowing 14 points in the last 78 seconds. Junior QB Chris Irvin and senior receiver Logan Jeanselme are a potent combination.
Mt. Spokane at Glacier (MT), 7 p.m.: After being upset by Shadle Park in the de facto GSL 3A title game, Mt. Spokane hopes to reclaim the title this season. Coach Terry Cloer will turn to Jeter Schuerman as his signal caller. There are nine starters and 19 lettermen back to help, including slotback Kannon Katzer – back from injury – who ran for over 1,000 yards as a sophomore at Mead.
Cheney at Colville, 7 p.m.: Colville won its first State 1A title last season but lost a ton to graduation, including all-league QB John Knight. Cheney will have returning QB Alex Long and RB Trevor Rains working behind a veteran offensive line.
East Valley at Deer Park, 7 p.m.: East Valley didn’t win a game last year for coach Tom Griggs, and his Knights will be young again this year. All-Great Northern League RB/LB Zach Honegger returns, and junior Henry Stevens takes over at QB. The Stags boast a small – but talented – senior class, led by RB Matthew Jorgensen, one of the best in the Northeast A League.