BORAH AT ROCKY MOUNTAIN
After starting the year 0-2 with a young roster, Borah has won three straight behind a stout defense. The Lions shut out Columbia, held Boise to 14 points and then limited Centennial to six last week in a defensive slugfest.
But Borah will face a more dynamic attack this week in Rocky Mountain, even with the Grizzlies’ loss of starting quarterback Thomas Perkins for the year. Rocky Mountain is averaging 31 points and 355 rushing yards a game with its potent option attack led by the conference’s leading rusher (Carter Kuehl, 982 yards, 10 TDs).
And while Perkins won’t pull the strings, sophomore quarterback Tre Page has proven himself as an explosive weapon, averaging 6.7 yards a carry.
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CENTENNIAL AT KUNA
It’s hard to call any game this early in the season a must-win. But for two 0-1 teams fighting for one of three playoff berths in their pod, this is as close as it gets.
Both teams have relied on their defense this fall, with Centennial holding opponents to 16 points a game (fourth in the conference) and Kuna 21 (seventh).
Neither team’s offense has gotten on track yet. But Centenial was boosted by the return of quarterback Dayne Koch last week from a wrist injury.
MERIDIAN AT BOISE
Meridian has reached the playoffs two years in a row, and a win Friday will set the Warriors a clear path to a third straight postseason appearance.
The Warriors and Braves have lit up the scoreboard in their last six meetings, averaging a combined 77.5 points per game. Meridian won five of those six games.
Boise still remains potent through the air with junior quarterback Will McMullin. But with an injury to quarterback Nate Weedle, the Warriors turned to Isaac Hatvani and a ground-heavy attack in last week’s win over Nampa.
BISHOP KELLY AT MIDDLETON
The perennial 4A powers meet again with loads at stake in the 4A SIC standings. But since Middleton joined the 4A classification, the series has been a one-sided affair as Bishop Kelly has won 9-of-11 over its former 3A SRV rival, including four straight.
Three-time defending state champ and No. 1-ranked Bishop Kelly enters the game on a 13-game winning streak, the longest active streak among Idaho’s 11-man football teams. But Emmett pushed that streak to the brink in an overtime game last week.
Don’t expect many points from either team. No. 3 Middleton enters with the league’s top scoring defense at 9.8 points per game, while Bishop Kelly ranks second in points (11.4) and first in yards (184.8) allowed.
VALLIVUE AT RIDGEVUE
Idaho’s newest high school rivalry begins as the Falcons and Warhawks meet for the first time.
Ridgevue opened this fall, splitting the Vallivue School District into two 4A programs. Seniors could choose to stay at Vallivue, but 21 chose to bolt for Ridgevue, including Vallivue’s top receiver (Kade Linder) and leading tackler (Cullen Lewis) from last season.
Those defections add an extra spice to the rivalry. But they haven’t slowed Vallivue, which is off to a 4-1 start and is ranked fourth in the state media poll.
NAMPA CHRISTIAN AT MCCALL-DONNELLY
New Plymouth edged Nampa Christian on a 25-yard TD pass as time expired last week in a battle of the 2A WIC preseason favorites.
Nampa Christian doesn’t have much time to hang its head with a road trip to upstart McCall up next. The Vandals are off to a 4-0 start under former Bishop Kelly and Kuna coach Lee Leslie, and they have already knocked off defending state champ Grangeville.
A win is key for both teams as the top two finishers in the conference host first-round playoff games, while the third-place finisher goes on the road.
FRIDAY’S OTHER GAMES
Capital at Nampa, 7 p.m.
Mountain View at Columbia, 7 p.m.
Caldwell at Emmett, 7 p.m.
Skyview at Mountain Home, 7 p.m.
Fruitland at Homedale, 7 p.m.
Weiser at Parma, 7 p.m.
Marsing at New Plymouth, 7 p.m.
Melba at Cole Valley Christian (Meridian High), 7 p.m.
Wilder at Horseshoe Bend, 7 p.m.
Notus at Rimrock, 7 p.m.
Idaho City at Butte County, 7 p.m.
Salmon River at Garden Valley, 3:30 p.m.
Council at Tri-Valley, 7 p.m.