Northwest Showdown scores Idaho’s best against Oregon, Washington

Northwest Showdown scores Idaho’s best against Oregon, Washington

Some of the best high school football teams in the Northwest are coming to Meridian this fall.

Rocky Mountain High will host a four-game series called the Northwest Showdown from September 6-7, featuring powerhouse programs from Idaho, Washington and Oregon.

The lineup includes Rocky Mountain, Eagle, Rigby and Highland from Idaho. West Linn and Summit will represent Oregon, while Chiawana and Moses Lake will make the trip from Eastern Washington.

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The eight teams have combined to win four state championships over the last two seasons and 14 titles over the last 11 years.

“In the coming years, we would like to bring in the state champions from Oregon, California and Washington and give kids a chance to go out and see where they stand,” said Joel Schneider, the event organizer. “I think people will be surprised at the level in Idaho. It has improved a lot. But the best way to prove that is to play against other teams.”

Tickets for the first edition this fall go on sale June 1 and cost $8 for adults and $5 for children and seniors.

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl signed on as the title sponsor and Schneider said plans are already underway for a second event in 2025.

Here’s a closer look at the schedule and matchups.

Rocky Mountain and Eagle, above, will both compete in the first Northwest Showdown this fall. Rocky Mountain takes on Chiawana from Tri-Cities, Washington. Eagle will take on West Linn from the Portland area. Darin Oswald [email protected]


When: 5:00 PM Friday September 6

Outlook: Rocky Mountain has won three state championships in the past nine years and reached the semifinals nine of the past 11 seasons. Chiawana won the state title in Washington’s largest classification in 2013 and reached the finals again in 2014. The Tri-Cities high school went 19-3 the past two seasons and the Riverhawks have won at least a share of their national title in five of the past six years.


When: Friday, September 6, 8:00 PM

Outlook: Rigby has won three 5A state championships over the past five years and reached the finals four times, posting a 48-10 record in that time. Moses Lake was 21-10 with one playoff appearance over the past three seasons. It won three consecutive league titles between 2015 and ’17.


When: 11am Saturday September 7

Outlook: Eagle is the reigning 5A SIC champion and has qualified for the state playoffs 16 years in a row, the longest active streak in the 5A SIC. West Linn has won two state titles in Oregon’s largest class in the last seven years, and the Portland region program has reached the state semifinals three years in a row.


When: 2:00 PM Saturday September 7

Outlook: Highland remains Idaho’s most decorated program. The Rams won their record 12th state title last fall and they have made the playoffs 34 straight years, the longest active streak in Idaho. Summit won state titles in Oregon’s second-largest classification in 2022 and ’15, and reached the state semifinals last fall. The Bend school is 28-9 over the past three seasons and has reached at least the quarterfinals each year.


The Northwest Showdown gives Idaho its second big-school showcase event. The Rocky Mountain Rumble in Pocatello started in 2008.

Eagle coach James Cluphf said the 5A SIC’s large conference made scheduling out-of-state games difficult. But he always wanted to play in a similar event and jumped at the chance.

“It brings excitement to our community,” Cluphf said. “We always try to make our community proud and give them something to advocate for.

“It’s another game our kids are ready for. We have a difficult conference. There are no bad opponents. But it’s cool to see a regular-season team that people are talking about is the favorite in Oregon.

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Michael Lycklama has been covering high school sports in Idaho since 2007. He has won national awards for his work uncovering the stories of the Treasure Valley’s best athletes and exploring behind-the-scenes trends. If you enjoy seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.
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