Capital vs. Madison
Madisons last state playoff appearance was in 2005 as a 4A team when the Bobcats lost to Pocatello 44-24 in the quarterfinals. Despite their postseason inexperience, the Bobcats are ranked No. 1 in the state media poll and boast a 9-0 record. Capital has advanced to the postseason every year since 2007. The Eagles enter on a four-game winning streak, led by Montana commit Makena Simis, who has a conference-leading 23 touchdowns with three interceptions.
Lake City at Eagle
Eagle hosted Lake City the first week of the season, beating the Timberwolves 35-28. The two teams also played in last years state quarterfinals at Thunder Stadium, with Eagle winning 58-7. After winning its first six games of the season, Eagle has gone 2-2, with three of those games decided by three points or less. That could make the leg of senior kicker Layne Leisten important in this matchup. Both teams are averaging similar numbers: Eagle scores 32.2 points per game and Lake City 30.8.
Highland vs. Borah
Borah has not played in the quarterfinals since 2001 when the Lions lost to Highland 35-8 at Holt Arena in Pocatello. Highland, meanwhile, has advanced to the postseason 18 years in a row, and won its most recent state championship in 2008. Borah is in the midst of its best season since 1995 (when it played in the semifinals), rallying behind second-year coach Darren Corpus and senior running back Hunter Kenyon. Kenyon leads the 5A SIC in rushing with 1,162 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Rocky Mountain at Coeur dAlene
Rocky Mountain is back in the postseason after a one-year absence, and draws a challenging first-round test. Coeur dAlene has not lost a home playoff game since a 25-21 loss to eventual state champion Eagle in 2009. The Vikings are the two-time defending champions and earned the No. 1 seed from the north, but they have two losses and saw their 24-game winning streak come to an end in mid-September. Rocky Mountain finished the regular season as the 5A SICs best defense, limiting opponents to 19 points and 292 yards per game.
Bishop Kelly at Blackfoot
Bishop Kelly enters hostile territory when it travels to defending state champion Blackfoot. The Broncos have not lost a home game since Oct. 24, 2008 and have won two of the past three state championships at the 4A level. However, Bishop Kelly is the most recent 4A team to defeat the Broncos, winning 41-28 in the 2010 title game at Bronco Stadium. The Knights have the top-rated offense and defense in the 4A SIC, averaging 48.5 points per game while limiting opponents to 14 points and less than 240 yards per game.
Skyview at Minico
Although Skyview is the third seed out of District Three, Minico had to survive a Kansas City playoff Monday to capture District Fours No. 1 seed. Skyviews losses were to 5A playoff team Coeur dAlene and 4A SIC foes Bishop Kelly and Middleton, while Minico lost to McClymonds (Calif.), Idaho Falls and Twin Falls. Skyview has won seven of its past eight games and averages 37 points per game compared to Minicos 31.9.
Payette at Fruitland
Fruitland has advanced to the state championship game every year since 2006, with wins in 2006 and 2010. That will be a hard trend for Payette to stop, considering the Pirates lost at home to Fruitland 61-7 this season and have not beaten the Grizzlies since 2009. Fruitland is averaging 46.4 points a game, Payette 26.6.
Salmon at Marsing
Marsing is enjoying a breakout season under third-year coach Jamie Wood, winning the teams first conference championship since 1997. The Huskies are in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2006. Salmon dropped to the 2A level this season, and last won a state championship as a 3A team in 2008. The Savages only loss this season was a 26-20 setback Oct. 5 to top-ranked Firth.
Weiser at Timberlake
Timberlakes state playoff run has ended at the hands of a District Three team every year since 2006, including consecutive losses to Weiser in the 3A quarterfinals. Both teams posted shutouts in their playoff openers last week. Weiser beat Kimberly 42-0, while Timberlake topped Parma 21-0. Weiser is averaging 29.8 points per game and Timberlake 30.9.
Deary at Salmon River
Deary enters this game on a six-game winning streak after losing two of three games to start the season. The Mustangs are putting up big numbers, averaging 48.9 points per game. Salmon River is coming off its fourth regular-season title in a row. The Savages hosted a uarterfinal game last season, losing to eventual state champion Lighthouse Christian 48-0. With six two-way starters back, Salmon River is hoping for a different result this season against its District Two champion opponent.
Garden Valley at Kootenai
Garden Valley is back in the postseason after a one-year absence. The Wolverines started the season with a seven-game winning streak and boast the second-best record among 1A Division II playoff teams behind unbeaten Dietrich.District One champion Kootenai has won five of its past six games and is averaging of 39.6 points per game.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422