Varsity Extra Blog

Top high school football games to watch this weekend

Isaac Hatvanti, above, took over at quarterback for Meridian in Week 5 after starter Nate Weedle strained his shoulder the week before against Eagle. Weedle returned last week in a loss to Capital, allowing Hatvanti to move back to receiver. The Warriors can advance to the playoffs if they beat Columbia on Friday.
Isaac Hatvanti, above, took over at quarterback for Meridian in Week 5 after starter Nate Weedle strained his shoulder the week before against Eagle. Weedle returned last week in a loss to Capital, allowing Hatvanti to move back to receiver. The Warriors can advance to the playoffs if they beat Columbia on Friday. For the Idaho Statesman

MOUNTAIN VIEW AT CAPITAL

Both teams are locked into the state playoffs, but the 5A Southern Idaho Conference’s Pod A championship is on the line, and it comes with a first-round bye and the right to host a quarterfinal game.

The loser is second and hosts a first-round game against the No. 3 team from eastern Idaho — Rigby, Bonneville or Hillcrest.

This game features two veteran quarterbacks directing the top offenses in the conference — Mountain View’s Tucker Rovig (Montana State commit) vs. Capital’s Drew Korf (offer from Adams State).

The Mavericks average a league-best 45.4 points and 399 yards per game, while the Eagles produce a conference-leading 420 yards and 43.4 points per game.

Mountain View beat Capital twice last season.

MERIDIAN AT COLUMBIA

This is a must-win for both teams, but Meridian has the clearest path to the playoffs: Win and the Warriors are in.

Columbia needs a win over Meridian, combined with a Nampa victory against Boise. That would leave Columbia and Meridian tied at 2-3 in the pod, and Columbia would own the head-to-head tiebreaker.

If Columbia and Boise both win Friday, it forces a three-way tie that the league will break with a Kansas City tiebreaker Monday at Kuna.

Columbia enters with a slight defensive edge. The Wildcats rank eighth in the conference at 28.6 points and 306 yards per game, compared to Meridian’s No. 9 ranking at 29 points and 331 yards per game.

The programs have played twice since Columbia opened in 2006, with Meridian winning both games.

TIMBERLINE AT KUNA

Kuna can extend its season at least another week with a victory, while Timberline has been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Kavemen are first in line for the at-large berth, but they can only clinch it with a win.

Both teams average fewer than 16 points per game and share one common victory against Centennial. Timberline beat the Patriots 15-13 last week, while Kuna won 23-6 on Sept. 30.

Kuna is trying for its third straight postseason berth — and first at the 5A level. The Kavemen beat Skyview 34-19 in the opening round of the 4A playoffs last season for their first playoff victory since 1998.

MIDDLETON AT VALLIVUE

Four playoff spots are available in the 4A Southern Idaho Conference, and three-time defending state champion Bishop Kelly is already assured the No. 1 seed.

Middleton and Vallivue play the most pivotal of Friday’s games, with the winner securing a postseason berth, assuming Emmett beats Mountain Home and Skyview beats Ridgevue.

Offensively, these teams employ similar strategies, relying on a stout running game with minimal passing. While Middleton uses more than one running back, the Falcons rely on the legs of senior Jerred Monnier, who leads the conference with 1,515 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.

Middleton has the defensive advantage, holding opponents to 13.8 points per game, second best in the 4A SIC. Vallivue ranks third at 17.1 points per game.

EAGLE AT BORAH

Eagle has held the top spot in the 5A state media rankings for eight straight weeks, and only Borah stands between the Mustangs and a perfect regular-season record. Kickoff is 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Dona Larsen Park.

The Mustangs clinch the pod title, first-round bye and a home quarterfinal game with a win. Borah needs a victory over Eagle, combined with a Rocky Mountain loss to Centennial, to claim the pod championship. Wins by Borah and Rocky Mountain force a three-way tie for first that will be broken by a coin flip.

Borah senior running back Kegan Lester has come on strong the past two weeks, increasing his season total to 1,207 yards and 10 touchdowns, which ranks second in the 5A SIC.

Eagle has six players with two or more touchdowns this season.

FRIDAY’S OTHER GAMES

Boise at Nampa, 7 p.m.

Rocky Mountain at Centennial, 7 p.m.

Bishop Kelly at Caldwell, 7 p.m.

Mountain Home at Emmett, 7 p.m.

Ridgevue at Skyview, 7 p.m.

Parma at Fruitland, 7 p.m.

Payette at Homedale, 7 p.m.

Marsing at McCall-Donnelly, 7 p.m.

Cole Valley Christian at Nampa Christian, 7 p.m.

Melba at New Plymouth, 7 p.m.

Horseshoe Bend at Idaho City, 7 p.m.

Notus at Wilder, 7 p.m.

Tri-Valley at Garden Valley, 3:30 p.m.

Cascade at Council, 7 p.m.

Rachel Roberts: 208-377-6422, @IDS_VarsityX

Related stories from Idaho Statesman

  Comments