Commentary: My top five games of 2013 for Bingham County H.S. football
Over the last few weeks in newspapers all over the state I have seen lists of the top high school football games for the 2013 season.
While each list was intriguing in its own way and offered views and opinions on why each game was important, each also had stipulations in which the authors limited themselves to only district games or some other inconsequential subject.
Well I decided to make a top five list of my own, the top five games involving teams from Bingham County.
I went through each of the five schools schedules for 2013 and analyzed which games I thought were important or going to be games sure not to miss. Some of the games I picked were slam dunks, others like the annual American Falls/Aberdeen game came up just short.
While I know some of you may disagree with the games I picked and that's OK, the entire point of writing something like this is to generate discussion.
Without further ado, let's take a look at my top five Bingham County games for 2013.
5. Pocatello at Shelley, Sept. 20
Two programs heading indifferent directions.
Shelley is coming off a 12 win season and a 3A state title, while Pocatello finished 5-4 and missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2002 season.
But what intrigues me to this game is the last time these two teams met, in the 2011 4A playoffs Pocatello won 20-14.
The Russets have not lost a game since.
What makes this game important to me is it is the week following the Russets trip to Manti, Utah and it is Shelley's last home game until the season finale against Teton.
Depending on what the result was in Manti will determine how hungry the Russets are when the Indians come to town.
Shelley beat teams in three different classifications last season, while Pocatello is looking to not be embarrassed by an opponent from a lower classification.
4. Bear Lake at Snake River, Oct. 25
I know, to most of you this game seems to have little importance. But if you go back and look at last year's 3A Fifth District results the Panthers and Bears were the top two teams and both made the playoffs.
Bear Lake has been improving steadily over the past two seasons going from one win to last seasons four, while Snake River has been the cream of the district for a long time and I am sure is welcoming a challenge for the title.
This very well may be a game that has the district crown on the line, or at least that's what I hope for.
3.Shelley at Manti, Utah, Sept. 13
This will be the second game against a team from Utah for the Russets in season's first four weeks. After opening the season in Holt Arena against West Jordan as part of the Rocky Mountain Rumble, the Russets will make the almost five hour trip down I-15 to take on Manti.
Shelley head coach Travis Hobson told me earlier this summer that the excursion down to Manti will end up costing over $10,000, let's hope the Russets make the trip worth it and can come back with a win.
Manti is a 2A power in Utah after winning the last two state titles. This will be a real opportunity for the Russets to see how they stack up against one of Utah's best.
2. Firth at West Side, Aug. 30
When these two teams met last November in the semifinals of the 2A playoffs an injury to Firth starting quarterback Jake Orme almost cost the Cougars a shot at the state title.
But a second half comeback led by Mitch Orme gave Firth a 22-14 win and the title berth.
The two squads will open the 2013 against each other in Dayton, the game will be the third between the two in the last 12 months.
First swept both meetings last season, but this season the Cougars are without both Ormes' and will be breaking in a new quarterback against one of the top 2A teams in the state.
While it is tough to judge how good a team will be after one game, this one will be a test for the Cougars for sure.
1. Madison at Blackfoot, Oct. 18
Was there any doubt that this would be the top game of the year? I think not.
Most of eastern Idaho looked forward to the meeting between the top team in 4A and the top team in 5A in Rexburg.
For fans of the Bobcats things could have not gone any better. The Madison spread offense picked apart the Broncos defense to the tune of 279 yards passing.
The loss also snapped Blackfoot's 18-game winning streak.
This year the Bobcats come to Blackfoot as the game will mark the Broncos return home after three consecutive weeks on the road.
I am sure that Blackfoot head coach Stan Buck and his coaching staff remember what happened in Rexburg a year ago and that they are determined to make sure what happened last year does not happen again.
Regardless of the story lines there is no way that someone can not be pumped about this game, the downside is the game is still 11 weeks away.
Just missed the list: Blackfoot at Pocatello, West Jordan, Utah vs. Shelley, Century at Blackfoot, Snake River at Aberdeen, Firth at Salmon.