GRIDIRON GUESSES: Friday night lights, on a Saturday, for state 5A title

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After fourth-down stops by the Coeur d’Alene Vikings each of the last two weeks to preserve victories, we have one more high school football game to guess ... er, predict this week.

Coeur d’Alene plays Rigby on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the state 5A championship game at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow.

Timberlake was hoping to join the Vikings — in the Dome, anyway — but fell short in last week’s state 3A semifinals.

On the college front this week, WSU is fighting for its bowl-eligibility lives, Idaho is wrapping up another losing season, Boise State is trying to stay in the hunt for a New Year’s Six bowl, and Eastern Washington wraps up its regular season, hoping somehow, someway to wind up in the 24-team FCS playoffs.

As for the picks, both Mark and Jason went 1-1 on high school picks, 3-1 on college choices. Both lost on the Timberlake game; Mark foolishly thought the Vandals would win at home; Jason picked against the Cougs at home.

Jason is 43-16 on high school picks, 32-9 on college picks for a 75-25 total.

Mark is 41-18 on high school, 27-14 on college for a 68-32 total.


Coeur d’Alene (9-2) vs. Rigby (9-1)

Saturday, 1 p.m. at Kibbie Dome, Moscow

NELKE: The Vikings are obviously good enough to have reached this game. It hasn’t been easy, but they’ve also found a way to make the plays to wrap up the last two playoff games, against Mountain View and Highland. Might as well make it three in a row ...

Coeur d’Alene, 29-26

ELLIOTT: Fitting that these teams opened the season at Viking Field, then get to finish it on Saturday in the Kibbie Dome. It’s obvious both teams have learned and grown over the season. That being said ...

Coeur d’Alene, 31-28


Oregon State (5-5, 4-3 Pac-12) at Washington State (5-5, 2-5)

Saturday, 6 p.m.

NELKE: WSU running back Max Borghi has guaranteed a victory over OSU, which is usually not exactly going out on a limb — it also might snow again this winter. But the Beavers aren’t bad this year, and actually have bowl dreams of their own. However, the Cougars don’t want to leave it up to beating the Huskies next week to earn a bowl bid.

WSU, 45-34

ELLIOTT: Washington State becomes bowl eligible in an emotional win on Saturday. Maybe Oregon State can join the Cougs in a bowl game with an upset of Oregon next weekend?

WSU, 38-30

Idaho (4-7, 2-5 Big Sky) at Northern Arizona (4-7, 2-5)

Saturday, 1 p.m.

NELKE: Wrapping up their second playoff-less season in as many years since returning to the Big Sky, the Vandals could use a win for some momentum heading into the offseason ... if they’re interested in such things. But Idaho is winless on the road this season.

NAU, 28-24

ELLIOTT: Could be an interesting offseason, win or lose, in Moscow. For the sake of the Vandals, hopefully they show some fight this weekend.

Idaho, 27-24

Boise State (9-1, 6-0 Mountain West) at Utah State (6-4, 5-1)

Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

NELKE: Wonder what E. Lowell “Dick” Romney, Utah State’s all-time winningest football coach, would have thought about Romney Stadium being renamed after a convenience store chain a few years ago.

BSU, 32-26

ELLIOTT: Could be a trap game for BSU ...

BSU, 29-26

Portland State (5-6, 3-4 Big Sky) at Eastern Washington (6-5, 5-2)

Saturday, 1 p.m.

NELKE: FCS runners-up last year, the Eags could be a dangerous “sleeper” team they slip into this year’s dance.

EWU, 45-14

ELLIOTT: Eastern might need to win this game by a few touchdowns to get into the playoffs.

EWU, 42-17

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