Lake City is a program on the rise, with talented upperclassmen and youngsters eager to make their mark in coming years.
Coeur d’Alene is the savvy perennial champion, losing key seniors each year but reloading and keeping the winning tradition going.
What that means on Friday, when Coeur d’Alene “travels” (some 2 miles) to Lake City in 5A Inland Empire League football, is anyone’s guess.
Lake City impressed last week in a 25-20 loss at Post Falls, despite playing without its starting quarterback and running back due to injuries. But sophomore quarterback Josiah Weaver played well, and running back Seth Nutting ran for more than 100 yards.
Coeur d’Alene has won four straight games from Lake City, and 10 of the last 11.
In the other league game, Post Falls travels (no quote marks needed) to Lewiston.
Wins by Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls would clinch state 5A playoff berths for each.
Wins by Lake City and/or Lewiston would jumble things up a bit.
In the 4A IEL, Lakeland opens league play with Sandpoint, and can clinch a state playoff berth and knock the Bulldogs out of playoff contention with a victory at Barlow Stadium, where Lakeland last won in 2013.
As for the picks, Mark is starting to feel like the manager who thought he was bringing in the right relievers — until they got lit up for home runs and the team lost.
Jason added two more games to his lead by correctly picking Washington State and Idaho to lose — a Palouse Double, as it were.
Jason went 3-2 on high school picks, 4-0 on college picks and for the season is 29-11 for high school, 20-5 for college for a total of 49-16.
Mark went 3-2 on high school, 2-2 on college, and for the season is 27-13 for high school, 16-9 for college for a total of 43-22.
All games Friday at 7 p.m. except where noted
Coeur d’Alene (5-2, 1-0 5A Inland Empire League) at Lake City (3-4, 0-1 5A IEL)
NELKE: The two X-factors: Coeur d’Alene’s penchant for committing turnovers, and Lake City’s injuries to key starters.
Coeur d’Alene, 48-26
ELLIOTT: Coeur d’Alene started fast last Friday against Lewiston, then things just got a little odd with penalties in the second half. Lake City is improving, but enough to challenge this week?
Coeur d’Alene, 44-20
Post Falls (5-2, 1-0 5A IEL) at Lewiston (3-4, 0-1 5A IEL)
NELKE: The visiting Trojans need to be aware of the trap that is Bengal Field.
Post Falls, 36-26
ELLIOTT: Post Falls needs this one to make the next one (at Coeur d’Alene next Friday) a lot more interesting. Then again, Lewiston needs it too, but the Bengals can’t wait until the fourth quarter to score this week.
Post Falls, 41-14
Lakeland (2-5, 0-0 4A Inland Empire League) at Sandpoint (4-3, 0-1 4A IEL)
NELKE: A friend told me last week the Bulldogs were for real, but Sandpoint stumbled in a 32-17 loss at Moscow last week in the league opener. However, Sandpoint is 3-1 at home, including one-sided wins over Lewiston and Lake City. Lakeland, meanwhile, has played some very good games — or portions of games — for a team with just two wins.
ELLIOTT: After watching both these teams play at Post Falls, Lakeland seems to have a little more speed at receiver than Sandpoint.
Priest River (0-6, 0-1 Intermountain League) at Timberlake (6-0, 1-0 IML)
NELKE: Priest River has scored 26 points all season. Timberlake is averaging 45.5 points per game.
ELLIOTT: Timberlake has been on a different level than most it has played this year. This one is no different.
Lewis County (1-3) at Lakeside (4-0)
Friday, 6 p.m.
NELKE: Could be an emotional night in Plummer.
ELLIOTT: Lakeside could be in the midst of a special run to the playoffs.
Colorado (3-3, 1-2 Pac-12) at Washington State (3-3, 0-3)
Saturday, 4 p.m.
NELKE: The Cougs, losers of their last three, welcome HBO to campus this week for footage and sound. That should be entertaining. Colorado is coming off a 45-3 drubbing by Oregon.
ELLIOTT: Hopefully the Cougs get on track soon. Otherwise, things could get pretty interesting in Pullman.
Idaho State (3-3, 2-1 Big Sky) at Idaho (2-5, 0-3)
Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
NELKE: The Vandals, also on a three-game skid, really do play better at home. But ...
Idaho State, 38-26
ELLIOTT: Idaho State smacked Idaho around last year in Pocatello.
Idaho State, 44-28
Boise State (6-0) at BYU (2-4)
Saturday, 7:15 p.m.
NELKE: The Cougs — Provo version — beat Tennessee in double overtime and USC in overtime. This one might not make it to OT.
ELLIOTT: Boise State is due for a letdown at some point. It won’t be this week.
5A INLAND EMPIRE LEAGUE
W L W L
Post Falls 1 0 5 2
Coeur d’Alene 1 0 5 2
Lake City 0 1 3 4
Lewiston 0 1 3 4
Coeur d’Alene at Lake City
Post Falls at Lewiston
4A INLAND EMPIRE LEAGUE
W L W L
Moscow 1 0 4 3
Lakeland 0 0 2 5
Sandpoint 0 1 4 3
Lakeland at Sandpoint
Moscow is idle
W L W L
Timberlake 1 0 6 0
Kellogg 1 0 2 4
Bonners Ferry 0 1 0 6
Priest River 0 1 0 6
Priest River at Timberlake
Kellogg at Bonners Ferry
CENTRAL IDAHO LEAGUE
W L W L
Grangeville 1 0 4 3
St. Maries 0 1 4 3
Orofino 0 0 1 5
Orofino at Grangeville
St. Maries is idle
1A DIVISION I
Wallace 0 6
Clark Fork at Wallace
1A DIVISION II
NORTH STAR LEAGUE
W L W L
Lakeside 2 0 4 0
Mullan-St. Regis 2 1 5 2
Clark Fork 0 3 1 3
Lewis County at Lakeside
Clark Fork at Wallace
Mullan-St. Regis is idle