If there's been a common thread to this year's Greater Spokane League football season, it's been how quickly the fortunes of war change. A turnover here, a missed kick there have determined the outcome of numerous games. Ferris made mistakes that hurt in three contests. Two untimely fumbles coming close together cost Gonzaga Prep against Mead. But the Bullpups were on the other end at Central Valley Friday when the contest swung on the final 20 seconds of the first half.
At least, following a breakfast meeting this morning, the playoff picture has cleared up. Mead is a lock for the playoffs and Central Valley is close.
At CV Friday, the Bullpups trailed 10-6 (and it could easily have been 13-6) with 2 minutes, 49 seconds remaining in the half. They drove for the go-ahead touchdown on the legs of Shane Schmidlkofer and a brilliantly executed reverse to Nick Lenoue to take the lead with 19.5 seconds left. Then, defender Sam Lavis essentially intercepted a bobbled center snap on CV's first play following the kickoff, Gonzaga scored with 7 seconds remaining for a 20-10 halftime lead and controlled the football for 18 of 24 second-half minutes to win 30-13.
That has set the stage for this week's final games. The way Randy Ryan and school principals figured it today there are eight ways the league could end. Mead has qualified for post-season regardless of its Thursday game against CV and the Bears have a 7 in 8 chance of getting in. Plus, if they lose and both Prep and University win, the three would play off for two remaining spots. Three scenarios have U-Hi qualifying plus the Titans could be in three mini playoffs. Two have the Bullpups advancing outright with three shots at the mini-games. Ferris' only recourse is the mini-series providing they and Lewis an Clark are victorious on Friday.
By the way, this weekend the Columbia Basin Big Nine determines its five teams to the playoffs.
Cascade Division No. 1 Eisenhower (7-1, 7-0) vs. Columbia Division No. 5 Pasco (2-5, 1-5); Columbia No. 1 Wenatchee (8-0, 6-0) vs. Cascade No. 5 Richland (3-5, 3-4); Cascade No. 2 Kamiakin (6-2, 6-1) vs. Columbia No. 4 Kennewick (3-4, 3-3); Columbia No. 2 Southridge (6-1, 5-1) vs. Cascade No. 4 Eastmont 3-5, 3-4) and Cascade No. 3 Walla Walla (5-3, 5-2) vs. Columbia No. 3 Moses Lake (5-3, 4-2).