Gridiron Guesses: When neither team is the “home team”


BY MARK NELKE

and JASON ELLIOTT

Sports journalists

What is part of a game on the neutral side?

In August, Lakeland and Preston met midway at Montana Tech in Butte to open their seasons.

Tonight, Post Falls and Mount Si will play at 7pm at Lions Field in Moses Lake.

For Mount Si, it is approximately a 250 mile drive from Snoqualmie, Washington, to Moses Lake. Post Falls is approximately 130 miles.

Post Falls coach Blaine Bennett said he likes his teams to play on college campus whenever possible, so playing at Central Washington University in Ellensburg has been considered.

“Central was an option, but we thought Moses Lake would be a better place in between, and Moses Lake always does a good job hosting those games,” said Bennett. “It’s a nice grass field, more like halfway there.”

A few weeks ago, Moses Lake replaced its 15 year old artificial turf on Lions Field with a new FieldTurf.

With the Moses Lake soccer team out tonight (in Lake City, it turned out), Moses Lake was able to host the game.

“They (the two schools) are renting the stadium to meet in the center, and we all share the responsibility to run the event,” said Loren Sandhop, sports director of the Moses Lake School District. “Just like we would do at post-season events.”

Columbia Basin officials would normally be deployed nearby, but all officials were booked (there’s a shortage of referees in case you haven’t heard). However, Post Falls sports director Craig Christensen was able to field officials from northern Idaho.

Sandhop said Moses Lake has hosted “countless” WIAA playoff events at Lions Field since the turf was brought in 15 years ago – and they don’t mind.

“We’re centrally located and it’s a great facility,” said Sandhop. “It is a win-win situation so that the competing schools can meet in one central location with a great facility and are great for our community hosting events that bring our city revenue.”

The only remaining soccer game in Kootenai County this weekend is the aforementioned Moses Lake in Lake City Tilt, at 7 a.m. tonight.

Coeur d’Alene returns this week after not one but two teams were canceled at the Vikings last week over COVID-19 reasons. Coeur d’Alene travels to Bothell, Washington on Saturday to play North Creek.

Timberlake opened the weekend on Thursday evening and hosted Colville, Wash. After Connell, Wash. Had to cancel due to COVID-19 reasons.

As for the picks, Mark went 5-2, Jason went 4-3 and after four weeks he’s totaled 13-9.

FRIDAY GAMES

Moses Lake (0-2) in Lake City (1-1), 7pm

Carnation: Moses Lake played two quarterbacks and showed some signs in a 42-26 loss to Post Falls last week, but the Chiefs were inconsistent. Lake City has had a long bus ride and a 40-point loss to Garfield in Seattle on Saturday afternoon.

Lake City, 22-20

ELLIOTT: Lake City should be hot for its home opener.

Lake City, 26-24

Post Falls (1-2) vs. Mount Si (1-1), at Moses Lake, 7 p.m.

Carnation: Who knows? Post Falls finally got some grudge last week, and maybe the Trojans will be “fresher” after the “shorter” trip.

Post Falls, 28-26

ELLIOTT: Post Falls is finding a way to win it late.

Post Falls, 35-33

Seenland (2-2) in St. Maries (0-3), 7 p.m.

Carnation: Curt Carr, former St. Maries soccer coach and recently retired Lakeland administrator, is back with St. Maries as an assistant coach. There was a time when Carr was first with the Lumberjacks, when St. Maries vs. Lakeland was a game for the Intermountain League title. These are not those times. Lakeland is now a 4A school and has been playing well for the past few weeks and St. Maries is 2A and has been struggling a bit this season.

Lakeland, 36-6

ELLIOTT: It seems like after four games in Lakeland things are going in the right direction.

Lakeland, 42-12

Clark Fork (2-0) at Lakeside (1-2), 7 p.m.

NELKE: If Lakeside is at full strength it could be a good game. The Knights were understaffed in Mullan’s game last week.

Clark Fork, 42-22

ELLIOTT: After Lakeside fell behind early last week, things only went downhill from then on. Chances are it won’t happen again this week.

Lakeshore, 38-34

SATURDAY GAME

Coeur d’Alene (1-1) in North Creek (2-0), Bothell, Washington, 3:00 p.m.

NELKE: Coeur d’Alene meets the third tough opponent in as many games. North Creek averaged 46.5 points in its two wins. Again who knows?

Coeur d’Alene, 30-28

ELLIOTT: I can imagine the Vikings trying to beat someone other than themselves after their game was canceled last week.

Coeur d’Alene, 34-30

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