High School Football

Who’s going to win state? We preview all six state championship football games

Capital wide receiver Alex Lindsey tries to spin out of a tackle during the Eagles’ 27-22 win over Mountain View for the 5A SIC Pod A championship Oct. 21 at Dona Larsen Park.
Capital wide receiver Alex Lindsey tries to spin out of a tackle during the Eagles’ 27-22 win over Mountain View for the 5A SIC Pod A championship Oct. 21 at Dona Larsen Park. For the Idaho Statesman

5A: CAPITAL VS. MOUNTAIN VIEW, NOON SATURDAY, ALBERTSONS STADIUM

The rematch tour continues for Mountain View and Capital, who met four weeks ago at Dona Larsen Park in the final game of the regular season. Capital won 27-22 to clinch the 5A SIC Pod A championship and a first-round bye in the playoffs.

The loss was one of two for Mountain View (10-2) as it returns to the championship for the third year in a row. It avenged its only other loss in the semifinals last week with a 25-15 win at Eagle.

Capital (10-1) avenged its only loss of the season last week with a 27-14 win over Rocky Mountain.

Quarterback Drew Korf racked up 325 total yards while throwing for two TDs and running for two more to lead Capital to its Oct. 21 win over the Mavericks. The Eagles’ defense also held Mountain View’s high-flying attack in check, limiting the offense to 277 yards, 117 below its season average.

Mountain View is seeking the first title in school history, while Capital is searching for its third championship and first since 1991.

3Times in the past four years the 5A championship has featured a regular-season rematch. The team that lost in the regular season won the previous two championships (Rocky Mountain in 2015, Coeur d’Alene in 2013).

4A: BISHOP KELLY VS. SKYLINE, 3:30 P.M. SATURDAY, ALBERTSONS STADIUM

While Bishop Kelly attempts to make 4A history as the first team to win four consecutive state championships, Skyline is making its first appearance in the title game since 1998.

Skyline (11-0) had been a 5A program since 1994 before dropping down a classification this school year.

The Grizzlies have put up big numbers this season with their up-tempo, spread offense that averages 46.4 points per game. Senior quarterback Bridger Taylor has passed for 2,413 yards and 34 TDs, while running back Kyler Morgan leads on the ground with 1,043 yards and 13 scores. David Ames III and Carson Lott have each proved dangerous rushing and receiving.

Bishop Kelly (11-0) owns the No. 1 defense in the classification, holding opponents to 11.5 points and 209 yards per game. Offensively, the Knights have a relatively balanced approach, catering their attack to the weaknesses of each opponent.

3A: FRUITLAND VS. SHELLEY, 4 P.M. SATURDAY, MIDDLETON HIGH

The championship history between these teams runs deep, but it is one-sided.

Since 2007, Fruitland (8-2) and Shelley (11-0) have faced each other in the championship game four times, with Shelley winning all four games.

Shelley senior Byron Leckington is a dual-threat quarterback, having passed for nearly 2,000 yards and rushed for more than 800 this season. Leckington went 20-for-26 for 317 yards passing and one touchdown, and rushed for 83 yards and two more scores in a 40-27 semifinal win over Kimberly last week.

Fruitland, which is playing in the title game for the 10th time in 11 seasons, averages 409.9 yards per game, with 309.2 coming on the ground.

The Grizzlies have three titles in program history (1993, 2006, 2010).

2A: DECLO VS. ST. MARIES, 5:30 P.M. FRIDAY, HOLT ARENA

St. Maries (11-0) enters undefeated and as 2A’s unanimously ranked No. 1 team. But it is searching for its first championship in program history.

The Lumberjacks have steamrolled their competition this year, holding them to an average of 7.7 points per game and winning by 29.7 points per game. Their closest contest was a 20-14 win over Bear Lake in the semifinals.

Declo (10-2) returns to the state championship for the third time in five years after winning back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013, the only titles in program history.

The Hornets started the year 1-2 with losses to 3A playoff teams Sugar-Salem and Kimberly. But Declo has won nine straight since, and Kimberly is the only opponent to hang more than 22 points on the Hornets defense.

1A D-I: OAKLEY VS. RAFT RIVER, 8 P.M. FRIDAY, HOLT ARENA

The longtime rivals meet in the state championship for the first time.

Oakley (9-2) owned Raft River (11-0) from 2007 to 2014, winning seven straight against the Trojans. But Raft River has won the past two meetings, including a 58-8 blowout three weeks ago.

Raft River has dominated opponents all year, winning by an average of 42 points per game. The Trojans finished the regular season as Idaho’s unanimously ranked 1A Division I team, and MaxPreps.com ranks them as the No. 6 eight-man team in the nation.

1A D-II: KENDRICK VS. SALMON RIVER, 1 P.M. SATURDAY, MIDDLETON HIGH

Salmon River has prepared to defend its state title as if it will not have standout running back Canyon Harper, who injured his knee in the state semifinals.

Harper, a sophomore, leads Salmon River with 1,348 rushing yards, 416 receiving yards and 25 total TDs. If he can’t play, Gabe Gonzalez will take over at running back, and senior quarterback Tucker Boyd (1,661 total yards, 23 TDs) will be the Savages’ primary offensive threat.

Kendrick (9-1) enters averaging 48 points per game while allowing 11.6, including four shutouts. The Tigers are trying to win their first title since 2001 and fourth in program history.

Salmon River (10-1) is in the hunt to win its fourth championship in five seasons and seventh overall.

Idaho’s dynasties

Bishop Kelly can become the third team in IHSAA history to win four or more state titles in a row with a win Saturday.

School

Steak

Years

Mackay

6

1996-01

Snake River

5

1998-02

Bishop Kelly

3

2013-??

Madison

3

1982-84

Note: Mackay (1A), Snake River (3A) and Madison (3A, now competes in 5A).

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