GRIDIRON GUESSES: League races take shape this week

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Last week was supposed to be a measuring stick between the top two teams in the 5A IEL.

But Coeur d’Alene rolled down to Lewiston and rolled the Bengals, 49-13 to emerge as the dominant team in the league.

Not that that’s anything new.

Coeur d’Alene closes out the league season against a couple of young, but improving teams, hosting Lake City on Friday, and visiting Post Falls next Friday.

Two teams make the playoffs from the 5A IEL, 4A IEL and (3A) Intermountain League. The league champions get to open the playoffs at home (and, in the case of 5A and 3A, get a first-round bye), while the runners-up travel in the first round.

As for the picks, I went 6-1 on high school games, 3-1 on college games. Jason was 4-3 and 2-2.

We both lost on the Lakeland-West Valley and Boise State-San Diego State games. Jason also went with St. Maries to beat Grangeville, Kootenai to beat Deary and Idaho to beat Idaho State.

For the season, I am 33-12 on high school games, 18-3 on college for a 51-15 total.

Jason is 30-15 on high school games, 15-6 on college for a 45-21 total.


All games Friday at 7 except where noted

Lake City (3-4, 0-1 5A Inland Empire League) at Coeur d’Alene (6-0, 1-0)

NELKE: Lake City is getting better this season, and figures to get even better in future seasons. As for right now ...

Coeur d’Alene, 58-28

ELLIOTT: Lake City looked pretty good running the ball last week against Post Falls at home. Coeur d’Alene has looked really good in all phases this year.

Coeur d’Alene, 56-20

Lewiston (5-2, 0-1 5A IEL) at Post Falls (3-3, 1-0)

NELKE: This game figures to be for the other playoff spot from the league.

Post Falls, 34-26

ELLIOTT: Once Post Falls opted to speed things up, they were unstoppable last week.

Post Falls, 28-20

Sandpoint (1-6, 0-1 4A Inland Empire League) at Lakeland (3-3, 0-0)

NELKE: Going into the season, this was ticketed as the game to decide the league title. Then Moscow went up to Sandpoint last week and thumped the Bulldogs, 39-21. Lakeland goes to Moscow (2-5, 0-1) next week to conclude league play. As for this week ...

Lakeland, 26-20

ELLIOTT: Both teams still have a lot to play for this year.

Sandpoint, 24-21

Timberlake (4-3, 1-0 Intermountain League) at Kellogg (2-4, 1-0)

NELKE: Before last year’s 1-7 stumble, Timberlake had won eight straight IML titles, 10 of the last 11, and 12 of the last 14. Last year, Kellogg won its first league title since 1973. Timberlake is anxious to start a new streak this season.

Timberlake, 40-14

ELLIOTT: Timberlake finds a way to get it done at Teeters Field on Friday night.

Timberlake, 28-20

Lewis County (1-4, 1-2 White Star League) at Lakeside (1-6, 0-4)

NELKE: Lewis County routed Clark Fork in its season opener, but has struggled since. Lakeside has struggled all season.

Lewis County, 28-16

ELLIOTT: Lakeside played Clark Fork tough last week at home. If they do it again this week ....

Lakeside, 28-24

Kootenai (4-2, 1-2 White Star) at Mullan-St. Regis (2-3, 1-3)

Friday, 3 p.m.

NELKE: Both teams have been respectable in losses to Deary, considered the second-best team in the White Star League.

Kootenai, 34-28

ELLIOTT: While the memories of the 6-man game a few years ago are still fresh in my mind, it should be a good game.

Kootenai, 34-30


Idaho (2-3, 1-2 Big Sky) at Montana State (3-2, 1-1)

Saturday, 1 p.m.

NELKE: Fortunately for the Vandals, Montana State is not as explosive offensively as Idaho State, which torched Idaho 62-28 last week. But the Bobcats can put up some points as well. Can Idaho bounce back?

Montana State, 33-28

ELLIOTT: To answer Mark’s question, no, the Vandals can’t bounce back this week.

Montana State, 35-20

Boise State (3-2, 1-1 Mountain West) at Nevada (3-3, 1-1)

Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

NELKE: Speaking of bouncebacks, Boise State needs one after last week’s 19-13 stinker of a loss at home to San Diego State. Meanwhile, Nevada lost 21-3 at home last week to Fresno State, which is perhaps the best team in the conference.

Boise State, 30-17

ELLIOTT: Boise State needs this one, or they might be prime to stay home for the Famous Potato Bowl this holiday season.

Boise State, 24-21

Eastern Washington (5-1, 3-0 Big Sky) at Weber State (3-2, 1-1)

Saturday, 3 p.m.

NELKE: Eastern gets to avenge another loss from last year, this one a 28-20 setback to the Wildcats in Cheney.

EWU, 42-14

ELLIOTT: Eastern has been pretty impressive this season. That continues this weekend.

Eastern, 38-20

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