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High School Football Semifinal Preview
Here's all you need to know for every state semifinal football matchup this weekend
Published: 11/12/2020 4:20:51 PM
 


Click here for complete state tournament brackets

Rigby vs. Mountain View
7 p.m. Friday
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Quarterback Tiger Adolpho has led a Rigby squad which was depleted by graduation during the offseason. But the Trojans’ young players of yesterday have become the locker room leaders of 2020. Adolpho threw for three touchdowns, never giving the Eagle Mustangs a chance to lead in last week's quarterfinals. 

Not many thought the Mavericks would be here. Mountain View, a state championship team from 2016, lost three-straight games to open 2020. But since that low point, Head Coach Judd Benedick’s squad won five in a row, highlighted by a 21-14 quarterfinal victory over Southern Idaho Conference runner-up Capital. In that game, running back Quintez Edwards ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns. 

IdahoSports.com will live audio broadcast Friday’s game. Click here to listen.

Rocky Mountain vs. Coeur d’Alene
7 p.m. Friday
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In 5A high school football, there’s only a handful of names you need to know. The Grizzlies and Vikings are definitely two of them. 

Both teams are state championship regulars. The Grizzlies have a pair of titles under their belts since 2015, appearing in every semifinal since 2015. The Vikings have made the semifinals since 2017, winning five state championships since 1982.

The Grizzlies scored 29 unanswered in last week’s win against Highland, 22 points coming off a myriad of defensive turnovers. Kobe Warr threw for 224 yards, with two touchdowns going to the speedy Jordan Erickson. Rocky Mountain possesses the fourth-highest scoring offense in 5A, while the defense gives up the third-fewest points. 

Strong defensive play will be key Friday night in Meridian, as the visiting Vikings hold the title of second-best defense in the classification. But the Vikings can score better than anyone, led by quarterback phenom Jack Prka. Coeur d’Alene’s QB hit the sideline early last Friday after leading his team to a 41-0 halftime lead over Timberline, throwing to 13 different receivers for four touchdowns. 

IdahoSports.com will live audio broadcast Friday’s game. Click here to listen.

Skyline vs. Sandpoint
7 p.m. Friday
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The Grizzlies look near impossible to defeat heading down the stretch. Skyline has yet to lose a 4A matchup, scoring 40 points or more in six of its last seven games. Against Nampa in last week’s quarterfinal, the Grizzlies showcased an array of offensive talent, as quarterback Cade Marlow threw for 126 yards and a score, while Abrahn Silverio blazed up the middle for 127 rushing yards and two touchdowns. 

Sandpoint enters the semifinals courtesy of a rivalry win over the Moscow Bears. The Bulldogs levied a 31-13 victory, aided by Gerrit Cox’s 113 rushing yards. Quarterback Parker Pettit missed just three of his 19 pass attempts, scoring once on the ground. Sandpoint will be on the hunt for its second state championship in school history, with the last title dating back to 1997. 

IdahoSports.com will live audio broadcast Friday’s game. Click here to listen.

Emmett vs. Century
7 p.m. Friday
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The Diamondbacks went on a historic run in the early 2000s, winning three championships in ‘00, ‘01 and ‘03. But Century has yet to win a semifinal game since then. 

Century will need quarterback McKean Romriel to play lights out Friday. Romriel threw for 201 yards against a stingy Bishop Kelly defense last Friday, leading the Diamondbacks to 453 yards of total offense. 

The Huskies have yet to reach the state title game at the 4A level. The last Emmett championship came in 2015, when the Huskies still resided in 3A. Emmett is in the midst of its best season since jumping classifications, with a huge upset against Blackfoot propelling the Huskies into title contention. The win took a hope and a prayer, with a Bronco safety bailing out Emmett’s failed fourth-and-goal attempt on the previous drive. 

IdahoSports.com will live audio broadcast Friday’s game. Click here to listen.

Homedale vs. South Fremont
1 p.m. Saturday
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The Cougars escaped a close scrape with the Gooding Senators, keeping South Fremont’s hope of a first-ever state championship alive. In the program’s first state semifinal appearance, quarterback Kaimen Peebles will need to replicate the impressive performance he put on last week. Peebles, who finished with 225 yards and four touchdowns, hit Cooper Hurt for a fourth-quarter score to elevate South Fremont over the Senators. 

But while South Fremont enters a new chapter of 3A football, the Trojans return to the semifinals for the fifth time this decade. While Homedale has made the state championship game each of the last two years, the Trojans have yet to come away with a title at the 3A level.

Homedale demolished visiting Timberlake last week 55-19. Head Coach Matt Holtry’s squad will do what it does best Saturday — run, run and run again. Last Friday, tailback Hayden Kincheloe tallied 101 yards but exited early after a minor injury. 

IdahoSports.com will live audio broadcast Saturday’s game. Click here to listen.

Sugar-Salem vs. Kimberly
4 p.m. Friday
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The Bulldogs haven’t made the state semifinals since 2018. Their opponent in that contest? Sugar-Salem.

The Diggers dispatched Kimberly 56-27 en route to its first state title in school history. But Kimberly possesses the highest-scoring offense in 3A, averaging 15 more points per game than this year’s Diggers.

The Bulldogs defeated Snake River in the quarterfinals by a narrow 28-26 margin, thanks to a late touchdown from quarterback Heath Owens to freshman phenom Gatlin Bair. Owens tossed 282 yards and four touchdowns, but the defense sealed the deal with a fourth-quarter interception. 

The Diggers might not have the multi-talented Crew Clark in the huddle this year, but plenty of stars continue to shine for ever-dominant Sugar-Salem. Sugar allows a classification-best 12 points per game, helping a slow-burn offense averaging 25 points per contest. Ryan Harris leads the team in tackles with 85, while Boyd Sorensen makes his presence felt in the backfield with 4.5 sacks on the year. 

IdahoSports.com will live audio broadcast Friday’s game. Click here to listen.

West Side vs. Declo
1 p.m. Friday
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The defending 2A state champions reached a 9-0 record by virtue of a dominant defense, a Pirate tradition for years. But if the Pirates want a sixth state title to add to their trophy case, Gabe Matthews and the West Side offense will have to pull its weight. 

Since a narrow 7-0 win over Bear Lake, the Pirate’s have drastically improved on the offensive side of the ball, scoring at least 40 in four of the last five games. 

But the Hornets have the playoff experience that could make the difference. The Hornets secured two straight titles in 2017 and 2018, closing out the decade with four championships. Quarterback Gabe Matthews has 31 touchdowns to his name, helping Declo score at least 50 in the last four games. 

IdahoSports.com will live video broadcast Friday’s game. Click here to watch.

North Fremont vs. Firth
4 p.m. Friday
Watch Live

The Huskies took the 2A Nuclear Conference crown, beating rival Firth 22-6 Oct. 23.

Just three weeks later, the pair are meeting again, but this time the stakes couldn’t be higher. North Fremont hasn’t lost since a semifinal exit in 2019’s semifinals against McCall-Donnelly. With the Vandals now in Class 3A, the path to the championship is wide open for the Huskies and their run-heavy offense. 

The Huskies haven’t secured a state title since 1989, and the Firth Cougars look to keep it that way. Quarterback Gage Vasquez leads the team in both passing and rushing, scoring 21 touchdowns and racking up 1,300 yards. 

IdahoSports.com will live video broadcast Friday’s game. Click here to watch.

Prairie vs. Oakley
7 p.m. Friday
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For the last six years, three teams have dominated the 1ADI landscape — Raft River, Valley and Prairie. The Pirates own the most championships in that span, winning three since 2016. But the defending champs are facing an Oakley team hungry for its first championship since 2009. 

The Hornets were the last team to beat the Pirates of Cottonwood, defeating Prairie 26-22. Since then Head Coach Ryan Hasselstrom’s team has ripped 18 straight wins, doing it in 2020 without the help of star running back Cole Martin. In his place, Brody Hasselstrom helped keep the Pirates’ win streak alive, as quarterback Cole Schlader continues to stretch the field. 

IdahoSports.com will live audio broadcast Friday’s game. Click here to listen.

Raft River vs. Lighthouse Christian
6 p.m. Friday
Watch Live

Lighthouse Christian has defied the odds, reaching the state semifinals after moving up to the 1ADI classification just months ago. 

The Lions and Trojans are two of three Snake River Conference teams making an appearance in the semis, with the third-place Lions hoping to upset conference champion Raft River. 

The pair previously met Sept. 25, with Raft River winning 66-14. Lighthouse’s only other loss came against Oakley, a 50-18 drubbing. Oakley also go the best of Raft River, beating the Trojans 22-8 to start the year. 

IdahoSports.com will live video broadcast Friday’s game. Click here to watch.

Kendrick vs. Carey
2:30 p.m. Saturday
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After Lighthouse Christian left the 1ADII classification, the Panthers path to the championship becomes much clearer. Either Carey, Lighthouse or Salmon River have hoisted the state’s first-place trophy in the last 14 years, with the Panthers winning five since 2006. 

Kendrick dropped an opening game to start the year, but since then has won five straight, including a 44-34 quarterfinal win over Watersprings. 

IdahoSports.com will live audio broadcast Saturday’s game. Click here to listen.

Dietrich vs. Mullan-St. Regis
1 p.m. Saturday
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The Blue Devils seemed destined for a matchup with the Carey Panthers in the state championship, with both teams battling out a spot in the state’s top five rankings all season. But first, Dietrich will have to defeat an Idaho-Montana co-op with just one loss on the season. 

Mullan-St. Regis scores the third-most points in 1ADII, two spots behind Dietrich. But the Tigers have stormed through the playoffs, winning four matchups in a row, scoring 50-plus in three of those games.

Dietrich has the offense to potentially go all the way, winning back-to-back matchups against Hagerman and Timberline by a combined 110-0 margin. North Gem kept it the closest losing by 10 points back in September. 

IdahoSports.com will live audio broadcast Saturday’s game. Click here to listen.

 


Fan Comments
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Mr. Doubtfire
11/12/2020 6:17:04 PM
Go Blue Devils!
Lighthouse moved up and Salmon River is on the verge of losing it s football program do to numbers and lack of success. For fans in the 1ad2 towns are you burned out with the same three teams winning it for the past decade and a half. Dietrich will have something to say about that. Maybe Kendrick on Saturday. If Kendrick plays Raider football and Dietrich plays Raider football I would think next weeks game will be up in Moscow based on rotation.















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