ROCKY MOUNTAIN AT EAGLE
Coaches predicted this game would determine the 5A Southern Idaho Conference’s Pod B champion in a preseason poll, and both teams have lived up to that billing.
Unbeaten Eagle (7-0, 3-0) has been the top-ranked team in the state for seven straight weeks, and the Mustangs own the league’s No. 1 rushing defense, allowing 57.6 yards per game.
Rocky Mountain (6-1, 3-0), a 32-23 winner over the Mustangs in 2015, counters with the conference’s most potent ground game at 330 yards per contest, spearheaded by senior tailback Carter Kuehl’s league-leading 1,265 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Rocky Mountain can clinch the Pod B championship with a win. Eagle needs a win and a Borah loss to clinch the pod title this week.
The Pod B champion receives a bye in the first round of the state playoffs and home-field advantage in the quarterfinals.
BORAH AT KUNA
Borah has won four of its past five games following an 0-2 start and can clinch a state playoff spot with a victory over Kuna in this 5A SIC Pod B matchup.
The Lions (4-3, 2-1) have leaned on their defense, which ranks No. 4 in the conference at 17.6 points per game, as 6-foot-3, 230-pound senior linebacker Georgios Tarlas has racked up six sacks and sophomore defensive back Ellis Magnuson has four interceptions — both second in the league.
Kuna (3-4, 1-2) also started the season 0-2 and has won three of its past five games, and the Kavemen will look to avenge last year’s 48-33 loss to Borah to strengthen their playoff chances.
SKYVIEW AT BISHOP KELLY
Juggernaut Bishop Kelly rolls in on a 15-game winning streak and has not lost to a 4A Southern Idaho Conference opponent since 2014 — a 39-9 defeat to Skyview.
The Hawks (5-2, 4-1) pose a unique threat in the conference, as they are the only team to average more than 200 passing yards per game this season.
Sophomore quarterback Wyatt Storer leads the Hawks’ aerial attack with 1,931 yards and 24 touchdowns to four interceptions, and receivers Kyle Pierce (818 yards, 11 TDs) and DeMonte Horton (578 yards, 10 TDs) rank first and third in the conference in receiving, respectively.
Bishop Kelly (7-0, 5-0) has been stingy against the pass, allowing an average of just 72 yards per game and a league-best 10.6 points.
MCCALL-DONNELLY AT MELBA
McCall-Donnelly’s unbeaten run ended at five games with a 34-26 loss at New Plymouth last week.
The Vandals (5-1, 2-1) dropped into a three-way tie for second with Melba and Cole Valley Christian in the 2A Western Idaho Conference, but they have a chance to regain ground against the Mustangs (4-2, 2-1).
Melba has won five in a row over McCall-Donnelly, and the Mustangs’ 33.2 points-per-game average is second best in the conference.
Although four of the league’s six teams advance to the state playoffs, only the top two teams host first-round games.
COUNCIL AT SALMON RIVER
Defending 1A Division II champ Salmon River has been dominant, save for a 52-20 loss to 1A Division I Lapwai, which moved up to No. 2 in the most recent state media poll.
The Savages (6-1, 2-0) average 43.4 points per game — tops in the Long Pin Conference — and won last year’s game against Council 28-22.
But the Lumberjacks (3-3, 1-0) are the most recent team to shut out the Savages — winning 50-0 on Oct. 3, 2014 — and they return reigning conference defensive player of the year JT Mahon.
FRIDAY’S OTHER GAMES
Nampa at Mountain View, 7 p.m.
Capital at Meridian, 7 p.m.
Centennial at Timberline, 7 p.m.
Vallivue at Caldwell, 7 p.m.
Mountain Home at Middleton, 7 p.m.
Emmett at Ridgevue, 7 p.m.
Payette at Weiser, 7 p.m.
Homedale at Parma, 7 p.m.
Nampa Christian at Marsing, 7 p.m.
Wilder at Garden Valley, 3:30 p.m.
Horseshoe Bend at Notus, 7 p.m.
Rimrock at Idaho City, 7 p.m.
Tri-Valley at Cascade, 3 p.m.
New Plymouth at Cole Valley Christian (Meridian High), 7 p.m.
Boise 17, Columbia 6
Ramon Booker caught a pair of TDs as the Braves jumped out to a 17-0 lead and held on to keep their playoff hopes alive with a win Thursday at Dona Larsen Park.