Skip to main content

Here is an inside look at the top high school football games across the state of Idaho in Week 8 (Oct. 16):


7 p.m (MST) Friday at Highland High School, Pocatello

Game nugget: Although Highland has put a few notable names in the NFL (Merril Hoge, Bryan Johnson, Taysom Hill), it is Rigby who produced an NFL Hall of Famer - safety Larry Wilson, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection with the St. Louis Cardinals (1960-72).

About the Trojans: The reigning state champions would certainly like to repeat last season's blueprint (32-13 win) - jump on the Rams early and let their front seven on defense, led by LBs Landon Johnson and Brigden Craig, control the action. First-year QB Tiger Adolpho (1,159 passing yards, nine TDs, one INT; 271 rushing yards) has given this offense stability, even with WR Trejan Larsen missing multiple games. Rigby has never won back-to-back 5A High Country titles, but can with a win Friday.

About the Rams: Coach Gino Mariani's spread offense has traditionally put up need-a-calculator type numbers. But with the team's up-and-down quarterback play (14 TDs, eight INTs) - expect Easton Durham to play most of the way Friday - play-calling has been more tailored to feature the rushing attack, led by RB Kaleb DeMuzio (655 rushing yards, six TDs), who just became the school's all-time leader with 2,016 yards. The 14-time state champions know how important grabbing the No. 1 seed is to the playoffs.

SBLive Idaho pick: Highland, 37-33.


7 p.m (MST) Friday at Meridian High School

Game nugget: Longtime Boise-area coach Troy Gleave knows both programs well: He's been the offensive coordinator at both schools running a spread attack - Rocky Mountain (2017) and Meridian (2019-currently).

About the Grizzlies: What haven't they done recently in dominating the 5A SIC the past few years? They've won the past three league titles. And they are on a 13-game league winning streak. Expect Rocky Mountain to try and exploit open-space matchups, particularly with QB Kobe Warr (546 passing yards, eight TDs) and explosive RBs Jordan Erickson (17 catches, 219 yards, five TDs: 154 rushing yards, two TDs; two kickoff return scores) and Maxwell Lehman (443 rushing yards, four TDs).

About the Warriors: Can Meridian find a way to end the Grizzlies' reign? It is a program growing in numbers - and back on the rise in production. And second-year coach John Zamberlin has had two weeks to prepare for this marquee matchup, so it would not be surprising to see the home underdog feature a couple of razzle-dazzle wrinkles to give QB Malakai Martinez (916 passing yards, 11 TDs; 116 rushing yards, two TDs), RB Kross Antonnacchi (399 yards, six TDs) and the offense a little extra juice.

SBLive Idaho pick: Rocky Mountain, 38-27.


7 p.m (MST) Friday at Skyline High School, Idaho Falls

Game nugget: It was the Knights who snapped then-two-time defending champion Skyline's 15-game winning streak with a 13-12 victory in 2018. Hillcrest won the 4A High Country title, and went all the way to the state championship game, losing to Bishop Kelly.

About the Knights: What you see is what you get with Hillcrest - helmet-on-helmet football. The Knights are big up front, and want to bundle bodies in tight formations so RBs Keegan Porter (701 yards, 10 TDs) and Tre Kofe (682 rushing yards, eight TDs) can pick their spots and rumble through creases. And if defenses crash down, QB Demik Hatch (472 rushing yards, eight TDs) will call his own number on counter runs. Hillcrest has to win Friday to keep league title hopes alive.

About the Grizzlies: As Skyline coach Scott Berger quips, this game will be so physical, you will find "a pile of colons and elbows" after every play. But against a suffocating defense that prefers to play man-to-man coverage, the Grizzlies will really attack the hashes with dynamic slot WRs Eli Ames (30 catches, 451 yards, eight TDs)and Connor Maloney (27 catches, 394 yards, six TDs) - targets that QB Cade Marlow (1,184 passing yards, 18 TDs) will target often. Skyline wraps up No. 1 seed with a win.

SBLive Idaho pick: Skyline, 23-13.


7 p.m (MST) Friday at Bishop Kelly High School, Boise

Game nugget: Both of these schools have captured state championships in 4A and 3A - with Vallivue winning in 3A in 1979, and 4A in 1999; and Bishop Kelly winning in 3A in 1994, and six times in 4A since 2004.

About the Falcons: It is elimination time in the 4A SIC, and the loser not only falls out of league title contention, but could be facing a run of away games in the playoffs. For Vallviue to have a chance, DLs Brayden Ary and Tye Lehman will need to be active in neutralizing Bishop Kelly's run game - and giving the football back to playmaking QB Casey Cope (1,259 passing yards, 17 TDs) to put points on the scoreboard.

About the Knights: One of the benefits of a forfeit victory last week over Caldwell is that Bishop Kelly could work on the passing game. QB Keegan Croteau (455 passing yards, three TDs; five rushing scores) has a big opportunity to exploit Vallivue's soft secondary, and the coaching staff wants to see WR Jason Buss gets more involved, especially in space. Knights' depth could go far in wearing down Vallivue defense.

SBLive Idaho pick: Bishop Kelly, 33-28.


7 p.m (MST) Friday at South Fremont High School, St. Anthony

Game nugget: If the Diggers win on the road Friday, they will wrap up their third consecutive 3A Mountain Rivers Conference championship and No. 1 seed to the state playoffs. They are the two-time defending 3A champions as well.

About the Diggers: If Sugar-Salem, indeed, goes on another extended run from here on out, it can point back to its bye week when it made key personnel moves along the offensive line to spark the run game (averaged 161.5 yards the past two weeks). When that is effective, QB Kyzon Garner (738 passing yards, seven TDs; 194 rushing yards, two TDs) can really hit on play-action big gainers, especially to WR Brigham Lee (19 catches, 299 yards, three TDs).

About the Cougars: South Fremont still controls its own league title-chasing destiny, but has to win Friday, then the following week against Teton. To do so, QB Kaimen Peebles (1,425 passing yards, 20 TDs, three INT; 122 rushing yards) has to find a way to deal with the Diggers' stout defensive line, led by DT Boyd Sorensen (31/2 sacks) and a rotation of pass rushers. If he finds time, Peebles has favorable size matchups on the outside, including WR Dallin Orme (31 catches, 517 yards, seven TDs).

SBLive Idaho pick: Sugar-Salem, 26-21.