Lightning struck University High School’s football team twice in as many games.
The bolts - in the form of iffy penalties - have left coach Mike Ganey distraught and his Titans winless.
Thursday’s strike was an illegal formation call that denied U-Hi the tying touchdown against Lewis and Clark during a 14-7 loss.
Robert Bartlett passed to Jason Berger for a first down at the one yard line and snuck into the end zone on the next play. The penalty nullified the score and in four subsequent tries, University was turned away.
“We had an OK formation,” said Bartlett. “I tried to tell that to the (official) but he thought not.”
The flag was for having six, instead of seven men on the line. At question was whether Kelly Tifft lined up properly after entering the game just before the center snap of the ball.
University had switched from a two tight-end set to one with two wide receivers, causing his late arrival. After viewing film, Ganey said the formation appeared correct.
“If we punch it in we’ve got momentum,” he said. “It would have come to a tiebreaker.”
Friday morning he told his players that humans make errors.
“One of these times it’s got to turn around and go in our favor,” he said. “Keep working hard.”
The previous week a fourth-down roughing the passer call against the Titans ultimately led to Ferris come-from-behind victory.
This time U-Hi dominated the scoreless first half of the game, missing three field goals. LC controlled the football for all but 13 seconds of the third quarter.
That was all it took for Berger’s 94-yard kickoff return and 7-6 Titan lead. The Tigers came back for a fourth-quarter score and two-point conversion before University’s hard-luck finish.
“We’re 0-2 and that close to 2-0,” said Ganey, spreading his finger and thumb a scant millimeter apart.
Knights dispatch rival
East Valley’s season-opening volleyball victory over Pullman turned out bigger than originally anticipated.
Following last week’s wins over defending champion Clarkston and Colville, the Knights remain perfect in the Frontier League, one match ahead of the Greyhounds.
Deb Asbury’s hitting against Clarkston, which lost for the second straight match, and serving against Colville produced four-set victories.
So near, yet so far
The finish was the University-Mead girls cross country meet was just as the winning coach would envision it between two teams so closely matched.
Mead runners picked off their Titan counterparts in each of the first four spots to win 26-29.
“I don’t take losses well and the kids were disappointed. They wanted to win badly,” said U-Hi coach Steve Llewellyn. “In fairness to Mead, they ran better.”
Despite the setback, Llewellyn remained philosophical. University, he said, will continue to point for end-of-season state qualifying. His runners are getting healthier and newcomers are improving.
“It was a meet that could go either way on any given day,” said U-Hi coach Steve Llewellyn. “I like our chances in the sense that we are deep and if kids get sick or injured we have others to step in.”
Liberty cup tournament
Members of the Liberty Lake Ladies 9-Holers completed their Liberty Cup Tournament last week.
During the two-day event, Arla Beck with a net 73 beat Elaine Tai’s 75 in A flight.
B flight was won by Polly Soderquist with 79.
C flight went to Pat Thompson with 70. Runnerup was Joan Rassley.
D flight was won by Deanna Hauser with 71.
Medal play at Painted Hills
Weekly medal play for Painted Hills Ladies Club golfers included a low gross 46 by Cheryl McCarthy in A flight.
Net winner was Jane Dashiell with 35.
In B flight, Leslie Zilka shot 54 and Nancy Lochmiller netted 36.
C flight winner was Marge Roark with 56. Carol Grebe netted 34. D flight went to Cathy Diehl with 65 and Stacy Blankenship with net 27.
Elaine Lukes had a chip-in on the first hole.
September eclectic score
Best scores for the month of September were announced for Liberty Lake Ladies 18-Hole golf club.
In A flight, Jackie Shea had a low gross 82. Patsy Lynn and Glenda Scott netted 66.
Leaders in B flight were Marion Jordan with low gross 87 and Mabel Watkins with net 66.
Betty Harmon shot 82 in C flight and Cathy Whitley netted 61. Barb Midkiff shot 102 in D flight and Shirley Schoenberger netted 66.