Breakdowns for tonight’s regional prep football playoff games.
Pullman vs. Othello
WHEN/WHERE: Tonight at 7, Othello.
RECORDS: Othello 5-4, Pullman 6-3.
STORY LINE: Pullman beat West Valley and Cheney 6-0 in Kansas tiebreakers Tuesday to reach this Washington Class 2A play-in game. The Greyhounds beat Othello 13-7 on Oct. 25. A second win against the Huskies will give Pullman its third trip to State in four years.
PLAYERS TO KNOW: Earlier this week, Isaiah Strong came up with the biggest catch of his team’s season: a game-winning, 27-yard touchdown against West Valley that punched Pullman’s ticket to State. Not bad for a player seeing his first time at receiver in five games. Strong played primarily on defense after breaking his hand in late September and, until recently, wore a cast.
“He demands a double team,” coach David Cofer said. “And any time that happens, it opens other guys up and that just makes our whole offense work.”
Strong’’s younger brother, Evan, will return at running back this week from a knee injury that had sidelined him since Oct. 4. Together, the brothers have 14 touchdowns.
“We’ve been counted out a couple times,” Cofer said. “But we found a way to fight back and we’re starting to get healthy at the right time.”
Kendrick vs. Mullan
WHEN/WHERE: 1 p.m. Saturday, Mullan.
RECORDS: Mullan 6-2, Kendrick 8-1.
STORY LINE: Kendrick seeks consecutive appearances in the Idaho Class 1A Division II semifinals as it takes on a familiar foe. These teams last met in 2018 when they competed in the now-dissolved White Star League, with Kendrick winning 80-40. Mullan advanced to this game by winning a Kansas tiebreaker earlier this week. Kendrick advanced last Friday by winning a play-in game against Salmon River by 54 points.
PLAYERS TO KNOW: Kendrick’s offense primarily runs through its Big-3: Quarterback Alex Sneve and running backs Cooper Hewett and Chase Burke. Last week, they combined for five of their team’s nine touchdowns — and they weren’t even firing on all cylinders yet.
“He felt good,” Kendrick coach Zane Hobart said of Hewett, who saw his first action after missing five games with a hamstring injury. “He doesn’’t feel any pain, which is great. We’’ve just kind of got to get him back into the flow, where he doesn’’t have to think.”
Talon Alexander had two touchdown catches last week — one of them from the other team’s quarterback, on a 66-yard pick-6.
Colfax vs. Lind-Ritzville/Sprague
WHEN/WHERE: Tonight at 6, Colfax.
RECORDS: Colfax 6-2, Lind-Ritzville/Sprague 2-7.
STORY LINE: Colfax anticipated facing winless Kettle Falls in this Washington Class 2B crossover. But LRS — which had a better record than Kettle Falls — instead received the league’s final crossover bid, giving five of the Northeast 2B League’s eight playoff bids to its southern division and the Bulldogs a rematch against a team they beat 39-13 earlier this year. Colfax, the No. 1 seed from the Northeast 2B League’s southern division, hopes to parlay its first league crown in eight years into its first state appearance since 2013.
PLAYERS TO KNOW: Colfax running backs Jacob Brown and Gavin Hammer each boast 100-yard rushing games, and quarterback Layne Gingerich has run the option so efficiently that coach Mike Morgan wonders “if there’s anybody in the state in our classification that runs (it) as well.”
Morgan said his team’s backfield success starts with its line. That unit’s composed of center Anthony Becker, guards Caden Brown and Mason Gilchrist and tackles Carsten Miller and Braeden Rogers.
“It’’s one thing if Jacob Brown was the only thing we had,” Morgan said. “But Jacob’s surrounded by a lot of talented guys.”
INJURY UPDATE: Rogers will return from a high-ankle sprain that prevented him from playing in his team’s one-point loss to Reardan on Oct. 25
Potlatch vs. Wilder
WHEN/WHERE: noon Saturday, Wilder.
RECORDS: Potlach 7-2, Wilder 7-2.
STORY LINE: Potlatch makes its first appearance in the Idaho Class 1A Division I state tournament since 2011.
PLAYERS TO KNOW: After quarterback Justin Nicholson broke his thumb against Clearwater Valley Oct. 11 (in a game the Loggers won 62-0), that forced Potlatch to move his brother, Jerrod Nicholson, from running back to quarterback. While he doesn’’t have his brother’s arm, Jerrod Nicholson has scored seven rushing touchdowns the past three games and isn’’t his team’s only rushing threat. Running back Kenon Brown, who has four rushing touchdowns the past two games, along with converted tailback Tyler Howard, are also threats running the ball. Brown, the 2019 Idaho Class 2A state wrestling champion at 170 pounds, leads Potlatch in tackles.
TREND: Potlatch’s defense has given up an average of 6.5 points the past four games.
“It’’s not one guy, two guys,” coach Ryan Ball said. “It’’s just a group working together.”