What more could fans ask for in a Valley football game?
This Friday, when Central Valley travels to University, it is not only the annual meeting of district rivals but also of Greater Spokane League unbeatens.
“It’s the biggest game (between the two) in a long time,” said CV coach Rick Giampietri, “not only for bragging rights but also for first place.”
You’d have to go back to 1982, when CV beat U-Hi to determine which team went to the state playoffs, for a game with this significance.
There have been only two other seasons - 1983, when U-Hi upset the eventual league co-champions, and 1979, when the Titans finished in third place a game ahead of CV - that the Bear-Titan game had league implications.
“The game is always huge,” said U-Hi coach Mike Ganey. “Not only is this a rivalry, but it has the extra attraction of two contenders vying for a playoff spot.”
Central Valley went 2-0 in league last week with a 27-19 win over previously unbeaten Mead. U-Hi won its league opener by whipping unbeaten Ferris.
Between them, the two Valley schools amassed 923 yards of total offense. Both have impact runners. CV’s Giorgio Usai is averaging some 240 yards per game and U-Hi’s Tim Buchanan 150 per contest.
Each team passed for approximately 200 yards.
And both have kickers who played a part in last week’s victories. Titan Kelly Tifft kicked a field goal, five extra points and put four of seven kickoffs into the end zone.
His counterpart, Peter Martin, has kicked three field goals so far this year, 7-of-8 extra points and kept Mead at bay with his squib kickoffs.
Last week the Bears held Mead’s running game in relative check while taking a 27-13 lead, including touchdown passes of 22 and 38 yards from R.J. Del Mese to Ryan Millar.
Millar caught four passes for 110 yards and fullback Luke Stavros had four catches for 74 yards and blocked superbly.
Defensively, CV’s player of the game was John Jolley, subbing for injured Will Beck.
“He kind of filled in where we needed him and played exceptional football,” said Giampietri.
Both Beck and Rick Giampietri Jr., who played against Mead, should be in the lineup Friday against U-Hi.
“It will be an emotional game no matter what,” said Giampietri Sr. “And now it has implications of a championship game.”
EV takes unbeaten start into league
East Valley and Jesse Ewell are both off to hot starts.
On Friday the Knights take a 2-0 record into their Frontier League opener at Clarkston.
Wins over a pair of Couer d’Alene high schools were EV’s fourth and fifth straight over two seasons.
The Knights have compiled 626 yards of offense, including 340 rushing by Ewell.
“For a young line, it was the best opening we’ve had in a long time,” said coach Jim Clements, after the team’s initial win over Coeur d’Alene. “The defense was superb holding them to 39 yards rushing. I can’t remember doing that.”
Last week, during a 28-14 win over Lake City, the Knights limited the Timberwolves to minus-39 third-quarter yards and 143 overall.
Clarkston, a two-time Frontier champion before finishing fourth last year, is 0-2 for the year.
Valley Hooops this weekend
Valley Hooops basketball players will fill 10 courts this weekend at University City.
Competition for 87 teams in various categories will begin play at 9 a.m. Saturday and continue through Sunday’s 4:30 games.
The third annual event is a joint fundraiser for the March of Dimes and Valley YMCA.
“We were hoping for more teams,” said Valley YMCA director Pat Estes. “But it’s a good start.”
The conflict with Harvest Hustle Hoopfest at the Southeast Spokane County Fair and Saturday’s UCLA-Washington State University football game, said Estes, may have kept entries down.
“Anyone willing to volunteer can call the Valley YMCA,” Estes said.
Office number is 927-1474.