ws football

West Side’s Cristian Plancarte jumps to the outside for additional yardage against the Firth Cougars earlier this season.

Football is back this week, which means it’s time to check out a few matchups and storylines to check out. Here is a sampling.

Bear Lake at Firth

Rigby and Skyline aren’t the only teams playing at Holt Arena on Friday. The first matchup will be between Bear Lake and Firth, with kickoff set for 5:30 p.m.

Short of two wins, Firth has gotten off to just about as good a start as the team could hope for. In Week 1, the Cougars fell to West Side in a crazy ending. The following week, Firth ran all over Soda Springs in a 57-8 win, moving into the No. 2 spot in Class 2A in Tuesday’s media poll.

The question for the Cougars: Can they keep things rolling? Bear Lake is also 1-1, opening the season against two foes from Wyoming, so the Bears will finally get a taste of competition from Idaho. Doing it against the Cougars will represent quite the challenge, but either way, Friday evening’s game will provide intrigue.

Thunder Ridge at Idaho Falls

There won’t be a more interesting game in Idaho Falls Friday night than this one. The Titans enter off something like a perplexing start: They clipped Blackfoot in Week 1, and last week, they played defending 4A champion Skyline close — right up until starting quarterback Tao Johnson exited with a bad case of calf cramps.

That’s what makes Thunder Ridge’s clash with Idaho Falls so interesting. The Tigers enter 2-0 for the first time in eight years, but how will they stack up against a Titans club that looks so vastly improved from a year ago?

The game may come down to how well Idaho Falls can defend Johnson, the defending 5A state champion in the 100-meter dash. Even Skyline struggled in spots to keep him contained. If the Tigers can find ways to mitigate the damage Johnson deals, they’ll likely find themselves in a compelling game.

Sugar-Salem looks for first win of the season

It’s unclear when the last time Sugar-Salem opened a season with two losses, like the team has this season. A perennial authority in Class 3A and the defending state champions, the Diggers haven’t looked like the Diggers of old this season, falling in Week 1 to Utah’s Morgan, 20-3, and in Week 2 to Shelley, 20-7.

For Sugar-Salem, an 0-3 start would be even more mystifying.

On Friday, the Diggers will visit Star Valley in Wyoming, hoping to earn win No. 1 in a season that has opened in the worst way. It’s far too early to count these guys out, especially because conference play hasn’t started, but needless to say: Kicking off a new season with three straight losses would be far from encouraging for the Diggers.

Greg Woods is a sports reporter at the Post Register. Reach him 208-542-6772 and follow him on Twitter at GregWWoods.

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