Mead’s defense shut out Gonzaga Prep in the second half, and the
Panthers scored two touchdowns after halftime for a 17-13 comeback win
over the Bullpups.
The Bullpups used a 5-yard touchdown run by junior running back Bishop Sankey in the first quarter and a 1-yard rushing TD by quarterback Shane Schmmidlkofer late in the second quarter to open a 13-3 halftime lead.
Mead came out in the second half looking to shift the momentum, going for it on fourth down on Gonzaga Prep’s 40 yard line on the first drive of the third quarter. The Panthers didn’t convert, but the Bullpups couldn’t take advantage.
Both teams were scoreless in the half until late in the third quarter, when Mead cut the deficit to 13-10 on a 52-yard touchdown run by running back Mike Smith.
In the fourth quarter, the Bullpups fumbled deep in their own territory. Mead recovered and took advantage of the opportunity, with quarterback Andy Wetzel’s touchdown pass to Mitch Kayser with about nine minutes left in the game giving the Panthers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
After the ensuing kickoff Gonzaga Prep fumbled again. But a missed Mead field goal attempt gave the Bullpups a final chance to regain the lead. The drive fizzled, though, and the Panthers got the ball back with less than a minute left and ran out the clock on their fifth victory of the season.
“Our defense was on the field too long,” Gonzaga Prep head coach Dave McKenna said. “Give credit to Mead; they had a good game plan and they stuck to it and did a good job.”
Mead head coach Sean Carty attributed the win to the efforts of his defense, which held Sankey to 121 rushing yards on the night – the first game of the season Sankey has been held to less than 200 yards in a game.
“We wanted to hold him to under 80,” Carty said. “They give him the ball a lot. Their style of offense is difficult to defend and he’s a heck of a runner.”
But all eyes were still on Sankey, who, despite his season-low performance, broke the school record for total rushing yards in a season with two regular season games left on the schedule.
With a 39-yard carry in the second quarter Sankey broke the record set by Tim Lappano in 1974 of 1,299 total yards. Sankey now has 1,340 yards this season.
Sankey wasn’t the only one picking up yards on the ground Friday. Smith led all rushers with 156 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
Both teams face tough opponents next week, with Gonzaga Prep taking on Central Valley, while Mead takes on University, a team that beat the Bullpups 20-17 earlier this season.