There’s a lot on the line between Blackfoot and Shelley

There’s little doubt about the biggest 4A District 6 game this week: Blackfoot vs. Shelley, which pits the conference’s No. 1 and No. 3 teams against each other.

The Broncos win and they can move one step closer to winning the conference, which would assure them a spot in the 4A state playoffs, where they advanced to the quarterfinals last season.

The Russets win and they make the conference race rather interesting. In that scenario, Friday would end with three teams tied for the lead: Blackfoot, Shelley and Bonneville — all at 2-1 in league play. So the battle for the conference title would come down to the final week of the regular season, which features a Blackfoot/Bonneville clash.

In any case, though, the fact that Shelley is in the conversation represents a giant victory for the program. The Russets’ last winning season came in 2017. Head coach Josh Wells has ended that streak. All he has left to do is win the conference. No biggie.

Firth vs. West Jefferson: A sneaky-important 2A affair

It may be easy to write off this week’s Firth/West Jefferson game as a snoozer — the Cougars are one of the best 2A teams in the state, after all — but there’s a little more meaning here than that.

Firstly, West Jefferson has played well of late. Really well, actually. The Panthers have won four of their last five, and their one loss in that stretch came to North Fremont, also one of Class 2A’s best teams — and even that was just a 12-point loss.

So this one may be competitive, but it will also go a long way in sorting out the conference standings. Firth can remain tied with North Fremont for the league lead with a win — both enter Friday at 2-0 in conference play — but if the Panthers win, they’ll shake up the standings in a huge way.

Can Thunder Ridge scrape together a win over Bonneville?

This season hasn’t exactly gone to plan for Thunder Ridge — and that’s an understatement. In the school’s fourth season, the Titans looked primed to keep making progress, to build on last season’s five-win campaign that ended in a playoff appearance. If Thunder Ridge kept trending upward, could the club win a postseason game?

Maybe, but it won’t happen this year. The Titans enter this week at 1-5 overall and 0-4 in 5A District 5/6 play. They will miss the playoffs. They will round out the season with two non-conference tilts.

For the Titans, though, the good news is that they’re both winnable games. This week Thunder Ridge will host Bonneville, a two-win club that seems to be hitting its stride a tad, but a team that has also struggled mightily.

So this game represents a chance for Thunder Ridge to end the season on a positive note. The Titans couldn’t crack the playoffs this year, falling short in one of the best conferences in the state, but they can still piece together a couple victories to wrap up the 2021 campaign.

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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