Playoff football is here so there are probably more than five storylines this week. Let's start by looking at how one defending state champion got its groove back.
Hillcrest and its running game
Despite losing a ton of players off of last year's 4A state title team, the Knights entered the season with the goal of running through, over or around opponents. A rash of injuries and some personnel changes made for a rollercoaster season, but Hillcrest is back, having rushed for nearly 500 yards and nine touchdowns in last week's playoff-clinching win over Idaho Falls.
Hillcrest opens the playoffs tonight at Jerome.
Right in the middle of the action will be Tre Kofe, a running back who's emerged as a big-play and scoring threat as a sophomore.
That shouldn't be surprising considering the athletic lineage in his family.
Kofe's mother Trish and father Benny were both standout local high school and Ricks College athletes, so Tre naturally followed in their footsteps.
Kofe ran for 148 yards and averaged more than 10 yards a carry last week.
"With all of us being healthy it helps so much," he said.
Coach Kevin Meyer said this is the team he envisioned when the season started, especially on the offensive side.
"The kids have been super motivated the last two weeks," he said. "I think they understand how well they can play when they get healthy and all work together."
Kofe hasn't been alone. The Knights (5-4) have a talented offensive line with right tackle Trace Laird, right guard Spencer Astel, left guard Wyatt Billman, and left tackle Cole Bogle and center Caleb Aikey doing the heavy lifting along with tight ends John Zirker and Ben Maxwell.
They spearhead what Meyer calls his three-headed monster - Kofe, Keegan Porter and Demick Hatch. Hatch recently moved to the quarterback position and all three have been productive of late. Last week they all topped 100 yards rushing.
Payback for the Rams?
Perhaps the most interesting matchup this week is in 5A, where perennial power Highland heads to Madison in a rematch of a game two weeks ago that earned the Bobcats a playoff berth.
Madison upset the Rams 18-15, who then lost last week to Rigby.
Madison (3-6) has the homefield advantage again, but it's hard to think Highland won't be motivated.
Takin' a break
Emotions get turned up a notch for the playoffs, but what about those teams that have a bye?
Rigby comes off its big win over Highland and has to wait a week to get back in action. Sugar-Salem, the top team in the 3A state media poll, has to not only wait to find out which team they play next week, they also have to wait to see where they're seeded.
Not takin' a break?
The 1A Division I playoffs don't start until next week. Lost Rivers (8-0) finishes up its regular season tonight against a struggling Challis team after already clinching a playoff berth and Snake River Conference title.
The Pirates face either Clearwater or Kamiah in next week's quarterfinals.
Most of the area teams are on the road this week, but Clark-Watersprings is hosting its first-round game against Murtaugh today at 3:30 p.m.
Clark-Watersprings (6-2) has won five straight games to claim the Rocky Mountain title and is back in the postseason after going winless a year ago.