Week 7 of the high school football season is upon us, which means it's time to check out a few storylines to follow. Here is a sampling.
How will Shelley respond to its first loss of the season?
If there was one surprise from Week 6, it was the way Shelley’s unbeaten season came to an end. The Russets dropped a shocker, a 13-7 loss to Bonneville, the Bees’ first win of the season. In one fell swoop, it was the most points Shelley had given up in a single game and the fewest Bonneville had.
So for the Russets, the question turns into this: What’s next? This week, Shelley will host 4-2 Pocatello, which fell just outside Class 4A’s top five in the latest media poll. The Thunder’s only losses this season have come to 5A powers Highland and Idaho Falls, which is why this figures to be a particularly good matchup.
Either way it unfolds, though, it’s an interconference affair — so it won’t affect Shelley’s postseason outlook much. The Russets’ Week 8 and 9 games will. Next week, Shelley gets Blackfoot. The week after that, Skyline.
A lot will change over those two weeks. It’ll be intriguing to see whether it will swing the way of the Russets, who have engineered an upstart season.
Keep an eye on Blackfoot — no matter what happens this week
Check out Blackfoot’s record. Headed into Week 7, it’s 3-3. That might not raise many eyebrows — not for the right reasons, at least — and ahead of the Broncos’ road matchup with Rigby, they could fall below .500 again.
But don’t sell your Blackfoot stock. All three of the Broncos’ losses this season have come by one point, and on two occasions, they couldn’t convert on go-ahead two-point conversions in the fourth frame. So in quite literally all six games, Blackfoot has been in positions to win late.
That bodes well for the postseason, as does the Broncos’ 2-0 conference record. That’s why, even if the Broncos can’t topple 5A titan Rigby this week — so far, nobody has — they’ll stay on track to win the conference and earn a solid playoff seed.
Can Thunder Ridge get things turned around against Madison?
Good luck finding someone at Thunder Ridge who wasn’t optimistic about the football team’s season back in August. Entering their fourth season, the Titans figured to keep making progress — maybe even win a playoff game. After all, they returned two of their best players, quarterback Tao Johnson and two-way force Paul Fitzgerald.
For Thunder Ridge, things have spiraled since then. The Titans clipped Blackfoot in Week 1, but now they’ve lost four straight. All four may have come to solid clubs, from Skyline and Idaho Falls to Rigby and Highland, but Thunder Ridge expected to compete with teams like that this season.
Now, the Titans have an opportunity to prove they still can. This week, Thunder Ridge gets a road test against Madison, which has dropped two in a row. The Bobcats are trying to find their footing under first-year head coach Chandler Rhoads.
So this may be a matchup between two 5A teams who have endured disappointing seasons, but for Thunder Ridge, it’s a chance to end a long losing streak and prove to itself — and fans — that all is not lost.
North Fremont vs. Aberdeen: More of the same, or a test for the Huskies?
North Fremont has played itself into a funny scenario this season: Outside of a close win over Filer to kick off this year, the Huskies have won going away in their other four victories, including a 54-8 win over Malad and a 64-0 shellacking of Salmon last week. What does that do for North Fremont headed into the postseason?
We won’t find out for a few weeks — there’s still two regular-season games to go — but the Huskies might get a hint this week against 3-2 Aberdeen. It’s an out-of-conference matchup, so it won’t have much impact on North Fremont’s postseason landscape, but it might give the Huskies a chance to play the kind of tight game they will likely face in the playoffs.
Aberdeen is coming off two blowout wins, one over Soda Springs and the other over Malad. Thing is, so is North Fremont. That’s why this will be a tilt to watch this week.