Here’s an inside look at the best high school football games across the state of Idaho during the fifth full weekend of 2022.
NO. 4 HIGHLAND RAMS (2-2) at NO. 2 MERIDIO WARRIORS (4-0)
7 pm (MST) Friday at Meridian High School
Game nugget: Only the fourth meeting between the two shows since 2004.
How do the Rams win?: One word – defense. Highland has held its last two opponents under 236 yards of total offense. Defense against the run will have to be a particular point of emphasis. Meridian has run the ball down everyone’s throat by averaging 224 yards per game this season. So the play of the linebacking corps (Mason Fullmer, Colton George and Gunner Wilhelm) will be key. They need to get second-year quarterback Zeke Martinez to beat them.
How do the Warriors win?: Defense will always be the name of the game for Meridian (allowable rating: fewest 8.5 points per game), who has forced 11 turnovers in the last two games alone. But the Warriors’ offense has been dynamic of late, racking up 50-plus points in consecutive games. That’s mostly due to their running game, led by RB Marco Del Rio, who averaged nearly 8.0 yards per carry just a week ago. So he expects more of the same.
SBLive Idaho Pick: Meridian, 35-21.
NO. 10 NAMPA BULLDOGS (3-1) at NO. 6 MUSTANG EAGLE (2-2)
7 pm (MST) Friday at Eagle High School
Game nugget: First place in the 5A SIC River Division on the line.
How do the Bulldogs win?: The Bulldogs’ 3-1 start in their return to the Class 5A ranks is a nice boost, given that they went 2-7 in 2017 the last time they were a member of this classification. His formula has been simple: run football. They have the best 5A rushing game with 322 yards per game. That’s mostly due to senior Daniel Carrillo, who at 183 yards per game, has the highest average of any running back at this level.
How do Mustangs win?: Stop the race. Eagle has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season and that has come against the likes of Meridian and Rocky Mountain, which has Idaho committing Art Williams. The Mustangs allowed just 31 rushing yards last week to Owyhee. But they will also have to find ways to score more points. Eagle ranks 16th out of 21 teams in scoring (18.0 points per game) and lost to RB Deegan Martinho (ACL) during the season.
SBLive Idaho Pick: Nampa, 24-20.
NO. 3 RIGBY TROYANS (3-1) at NO. 7 (4A) BRONCOS FEET NEGROS (3-1)
7 pm (MST) Friday at Blackfoot High School
Game nugget: Rigby has won the last five matches.
How do Trojans win?: The combination of top-notch defense and plays from quarterback Luke Flowers has served Rigby well. The defense is No. 2 in points allowed (8.8 ppg) in 5A, while Flowers has shown why Arizona offered him even before he made his first career start. He threw four touchdown passes last week alone. So they will be looking to exploit a Blackfoot defense that only allowed 35 points to Shelley, who was then winless.
How do the Broncos win?: The 1-2 hit from senior WRs Javonte King and Deegan Hale will have to wreak havoc on the Trojans secondary that has held up despite being almost an entirely new group. Blackfoot will need that to reignite their big-play offense that has been a bit stagnant since he looked so impressive in a weekend opener victory over 4A champion SIC Emmett.
SBLive Idaho Pick: Rigby, 42-28.
NO. 4 (4A) SANDPOINT BULLDOGS (1-2) at NO. 8 LEWISTON BENGAL (3-1)
7 p.m. (PST) on Friday at Lewiston High School
Game nugget: The teams are playing for the ninth straight season, with Lewiston leading the series during that span, 5-3.
How do the Bulldogs win?: Sandpoint finally got the offense going a bit in a 28-21 win at home over Homedale (No. 2 in 3A). He’s probably going to need even more than that against the highest scoring team in Class 5A thus far. Preseason state QB Parker Pettit, who hadn’t thrown for more than 145 yards through the first two games, exploded for 320 passing yards in the win. He will have to do that again.
How do the Bengals win?: It’s simple: offend. Whether it was QB Drew Hottinger, WR Austin Lawrence, or the RB tandem of Ethan Shaw and Jackson Lathen, Lewiston’s offense is packed with firepower, leading to an league-best 45.3 points per game. classification. It will be interesting to see if the Bengals can maintain that against the Bulldogs, who have held all of their opponents to under 21 points.
SBLive Idaho Pick: Lewiston, 32-26.
NO. 5 BURLEY LYNXES (4-0) at NO. 6 MINI SPARTANS (4-1)
7 pm (MST) Friday at Minico High School, Rupert
Game nugget: Minico has won the last 17 meetings.
How do the Bobcats win?: By breaking the marker. There may not be a more impressive offense in the state right now than Burley, led by QB Caleb Loveland, WR Gatlin Bair (the state’s top recruit in 2024), and Jacob Williams and RB Ramsey Trevino. Among all, the Bobcats are the highest scoring team in the standings with 55.3 points per game.
How do the Spartans win?: If anyone can stop the Bobcats, it’s the reigning Great Basin Conference champions. While the Spartans’ offense is sixth in the standings (34.6 points per game) behind RB Jafeth Bendele, they can’t risk trying to match them on a point-for-point basis. Instead, they’ll have to make the Bobcats earn it with their strong defense, which is allowing the fourth-fewest points at just 11.2 per game.
SBLive Idaho Pick: Burley, 38-31.