This weekend’s high school football schedule will further dictate where teams will be at the end of the season. For some, a win will mean a trip to the postseason. For others, it’ll mean a transition to winter sports.
With that, here’s a closer look at this week’s most intriguing matchups:
Prairie at Genesee
Prairie is coming into its matchup at Genesee at 7 p.m. Friday with an opportunity to win the Whitepine League Division I outright with a victory.
“We have to come out with the same effort and energy that we came out with against Lapwai,” Prairie coach Ryan Hasselstrom said. “They like to throw the ball and they have an elusive quarterback. We have to change a few things in order to contain them and put points up.”
Genesee (5-1, 5-1) is led by quarterback Angus Jordan and the receiver duo of Cy Wareham and Nolan Bartosz.
“Having two standout receivers is a huge advantage,” Genesee coach Justin Podrabsky said. “You’re not able to focus on just one guy, it allows us to look at two matchups every play. The safety will follow one guy, which will put Cy or Nolan in a one-on-one situation, and that’s not ideal for any defensive back.”
Hasselstrom knows his defensive backs will have a tall task guarding Genesee’s top weapons.
“We need to cover well and bring pressure,” he said. “They know we need to bring pressure, so they’ll probably do some quick hits on the outside. Their running back is also really good, so we’re going to do everything we can to slow down what they do offensively.”
Genesee running back Jack Johnson also has been a crucial part of the Bulldogs offense according to Podabsky. But, he’s been a bigger leader on defense.
“Jack has stepped up on defense, Cy and him are the leaders,” he said. “They’re doing a great job on both sides of the ball while holding their teammates accountable.”
Prairie (6-0, 5-0) is used to being the hunted.
“We’re used to having a target on our back,” he said. “We know everybody is going to give us everything they got. They’ve all played in playoff games and have a lot of experience in playing in big games. It’s a real resilient bunch of kids.”
Podabsky said the Bulldogs need to limit mistakes on both sides of the ball.
“We’re going to have to control the ball and limit big plays,” he said. “We got to bring pressure and limit our turnovers, we don’t want to give them an extra possession because they’re so dynamic.”
Pullman at Shadle Park
Pullman (2-4, 2-1) had a rough start to its season, but is starting to find its footing now that league competition is underway. They’ll get another test at 2 p.m. Saturday against Shadle Park at Union Stadium in Spokane.
“We went out and found teams that would test us,” Pullman coach David Cofer said. “We didn’t know when we’d start to find our groove but, I think it happened during the West Valley game. (Quarterback) Riley Pettitt has done a great job at rebounding from a tough stretch at the beginning of the season.”
The Greyhounds offense goes as Pettitt goes, Cofer said.
“We’ve trimmed down our playbook to feature more quick passing concepts and he’s strived on that,” he said. “We eliminated long developing plays and the quick reads have done wonders.”
Shadle Park (3-2, 3-0) is a team that eliminates the big plays defensively and relies on it offensively. So, the nickel and dime strategy of Pullman should be in full effect.
“It’ll work to our benefit for sure,” Cofer said. “It works really well with what they want to do offensively. The way they play defensively and the way our offensive is structure will allow our receivers to make a big play in space. Riley just has to get them the ball.”
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