High School Football

Top high school football playoff games to watch this week

Bishop Kelly, Middleton are familiar foes

Bishop Kelly hosts Middleton in a state quarterfinal football game for the second year in a row. BK has won 17 games in a row and is the three-time defending state champion, but the Vikings aren't an easy first-round draw.
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Bishop Kelly hosts Middleton in a state quarterfinal football game for the second year in a row. BK has won 17 games in a row and is the three-time defending state champion, but the Vikings aren't an easy first-round draw.

COEUR D’ALENE AT EAGLE, 6 P.M. FRIDAY

Coming off a bye week, the 5A classification’s top-ranked defense (Eagle) will try to contain the No. 2 offense (Coeur d’Alene).

The Mustangs (9-0) allow 10.6 points and 179 yards per game, and Coeur d’Alene quarterback Colson Yankoff, an Oregon commit, has directed the Vikings (6-3) to averages of 47.3 points and 557.2 yards per game.

CDA’s prolific junior QB has 3,582 total yards and 46 touchdowns, and seven different receivers have 15 or more catches.

Eagle, which is trying for its first semifinal appearance since 2011, has switched between quarterbacks Devan Bridgewater and Slayter Jeffries throughout the season. Jeffries is known as more of a runner, while Bridgewater has been the primary passing threat.

“But if you think Slayter can’t throw, that’s a mistake. And if you think Devan can’t run, that’s a mistake,” Eagle coach Paul Peterson said. “Both have proven that this season at various times.”

Coeur d’Alene and Eagle have not played since the 2011 state championship game at Albertsons Stadium. The Vikings won that matchup 49-28.

MADISON VS. CAPITAL AT CENTENNIAL HIGH, 7 P.M. FRIDAY

Capital has won seven games in a row since a five-point loss to Rocky Mountain on Sept. 1 and as the 5A SIC Pod A champ, the Eagles had a first-round bye.

Madison (8-2), which has lost two of its past four games, opened the playoffs with a 31-8 win over Meridian. The Bobcats have held four of their opponents to a touchdown or less with the help of 6-foot-5, 260-pound defensive lineman Zeke Birch, a Boise State commit.

Capital quarterback Drew Korf was under center when the Eagles (8-1) opened the 2015 season with a 48-20 loss at Madison, and the Eagles will likely take to the air to avenge that loss. Korf has passed for 2,078 yards and a league-best 26 TDs this season.

MOUNTAIN VIEW VS. HIGHLAND AT HOLT ARENA (POCATELLO), 5:30 P.M. FRIDAY

Highland started the season 0-3 for the first time since 1969, but all three of those losses came against teams that qualified for the state quarterfinals (Lewiston, Eagle, Capital).

Junior defensive tackle Tommy Togiai is the Rams’ most touted player. The 6-4, 306-pounder owns offers from Arizona State, Boise State, BYU, Michigan, Oregon and Washington, among others.

Mountain View (8-2) hasn’t faced Highland since a 56-21 loss to the Rams in the 2014 state championship game. The Mavericks rolled Rigby 50-0 last week for their second shutout of the season, and they have held five of their past six opponents to a touchdown or less.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN VS. LEWISTON AT KIBBIE DOME (MOSCOW), 8 P.M. FRIDAY

Another injury at quarterback has forced Rocky Mountain to turn to junior varsity starter Jaxon Pabst after fellow sophomore Tre Page went out with a shoulder injury last week.

The loss may not impede the Grizzlies’ game plan too much, as they have favored the run all season behind 5A SIC rushing leader Carter Kuehl (1,673 yards, 19 TDs).

Lewiston (9-0), the Inland Empire League champ, no doubt remembers a 65-20 quarterfinal loss to Rocky Mountain last season. The Bengals will challenge the Grizzlies’ defense through the air with quarterback Colton Richardson, who has an offer from Idaho.

Richardson has thrown for 3,157 yards and 39 TDs with three interceptions, and Alex Light leads Bengals receivers with 66 receptions for 1,155 yards and 15 TDs.

MIDDLETON AT BISHOP KELLY, 7 P.M. FRIDAY

Riding a 17-game winning streak, Bishop Kelly begins defense of its three consecutive 4A state championships against a familiar foe.

This will be the fourth meeting in two seasons between these teams, and the Knights (9-0) have won five in a row over the Vikings (7-3). BK has dominated the all-time series 32-7.

Middleton isn’t without confidence, however, as the Vikings kept up with the Knights in their regular-season meeting. BK led 7-3 at halftime and by just three points late in the fourth quarter of its eventual 20-11 victory.

SKYVIEW AT WOOD RIVER, 7 P.M. FRIDAY

Skyview opened the playoffs with a 42-7 home win over Idaho Falls, further building confidence in sophomore quarterback Wyatt Storer.

Storer led the Hawks to a 35-0 advantage at the half, collecting 301 of his 365 passing yards and three of his four touchdowns in that span. Skyview (7-3) has qualified for the postseason seven years in a row and last advanced to the semifinals in 2013.

Wood River (8-1) is the Great Basin West Conference champion, but District Four teams have not performed well in the playoffs recently, going 2-22 since 2009. Kimberly, an undefeated 3A team, handed the Wolverines their only loss, 25-24, on Sept. 23.

EMMETT VS. SKYLINE AT HOLT ARENA, 8 P.M. FRIDAY

Emmett upended 2015 state finalist Sandpoint 48-21 last week for the program’s first victory in the 4A playoffs.

The defending 3A state champions will need to carry that momentum into their showdown against Skyline (9-0), which qualified for the 5A playoffs last season. The Grizzlies are averaging 47.3 points per game and have wins against 5A state qualifiers Rigby and Madison.

Emmett (8-2) led the 4A SIC during the regular season with averages of 41.1 points and 385 yards per game.

FRIDAY’S OTHER GAME

1A Division II: Wilder at Glenns Ferry, 7 p.m.

SATURDAY’S GAMES

3A: Weiser vs. Shelley at Holt Arena, 11:30 a.m.

3A: Fruitland vs. Snake River at Holt Arena, 5:30 p.m.

2A: New Plymouth vs. Bear Lake at Holt Arena, 8 p.m.

1A Division I: Prairie at Notus, 3 p.m.

1A Division II: Deary at Salmon River, 1 p.m.

1A Division II: Council vs. Kendrick at Kibbie Dome, 4:30 p.m.

Rachel Roberts: 208-377-6422, @IDS_VarsityX

Mercy rule not used in playoffs

After some playoff games used Idaho’s new mercy last week and some did not, the Idaho High School Activities Association clarified the mercy rule will not be used in any classification for the rest of the playoffs, IHSAA Executive Director Ty Jones said.

Idaho instituted a mercy rule for its 11-man classifications this season that saw a running clock go into effect once a team leads by 40 or more points in the second half. One-third (50-of-150) of regular-season games involving Treasure Valley teams this season fell under the new rule.

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