It took a break for Georgio Usai to become Central Valley’s starting tailback. It was a bad break for Lewis and Clark.
Usai ran for 285 yards, third best in city history, and tied a league record with five touchdowns as the Bears beat the defending Greater Spokane League champion Tigers 34-20 at Albi Stadium on Friday night.
“I didn’t expect it,” the 5-foot-6, 160-pound senior said. “I would have thought 100 yards. The fullback knocked players on their butts and the line blew people back. Then it was a track meet. It was surprising how easy it came. I just wanted to fill in and do the best I could do. Obviously, I didn’t expect anything like that.”
Usai inherited the starting job when Rick Giampietri separated his right shoulder on the third day of practice. His status is day-to-day and he was in uniform on Friday as a CV captain.
In the second game of the Albi double-header, Gonzaga Prep’s rebuilt defense stopped North Central 20-10. In a non-league game at University, the visiting Eisenhower Cadets won 31-6 behind quarterback Adam Bledsoe.
A day after Ferris running back Tim Benton had the third best day in league history by running for 257 yards, Usai blew past him, as well as Frank Doctor, who compiled 274 yards for Shadle Park in 1967. The only numbers left in front of him are the 311 yards Archie Grant of Ferris rushed for in a 1970 game and the 290 Robert Barlow had for Lewis and Clark two years ago.
Among the names Usai passed in the record books was his coach, Rick Giampietri, who had a 255-yard game for North Central in 1965.
Usai became the 10th player to score five touchdowns in the game, the last was Brett Bellinger of Lewis and Clark in 1992.
Amazingly, Usai did it against a team known for its rugged defense in recent years.
“They ran the ball a lot better than we expected (with Giampietri out),” LC coach John Hook said. “That’s a pretty good football team. They’re very physical, very talented.”
A young Prep team put together just enough offense to go with a steady defense.
“We’ll take the win,” Prep coach Don Anderson said. “We got a lot of young people baptized but now that we have them baptized, we have a long way to go.”