Tigers Earn 4a Playoff Spot With 16-15 Win Over Ferris
UNPUBLISHED CORRECTION: The name of football player Jeremey Williams is misspelled in this story. The correct spelling was confirmed by his mother.
A touchdown and an extra point.
That’s all the edge John Hook has on Ferris.
Hook has been the football head coach at Lewis and Clark for 14 seasons and has fashioned an 8-5-1 record against the Tigers’ South Hill rival. The scoring difference in those 14 games is seven points.
Despite the close nature of the rivalry - seven games have been decided by a touchdown or less - Hook said Friday’s 16-15 win was one of the most amazing, coming as it did on Pete Flatt’s 42-yard field goal with 20 seconds to play.
“That’s the biggest win, the most exciting win, against Ferris since I’ve been at LC,” Hook said Monday.
Part of the thrill comes from the fact the win guaranteed the Tigers a spot in the 4A playoffs three weeks from now. Even though LC entered the game with a 4-1 record in the Greater Spokane League and the Saxons were 1-4, Ferris earned Hook’s respect.
“That was critical to have to come from behind and win a game and have to play a real physical team like that,” he said. “They had a real good plan against us and they had their kids ready to play.”
Hook was particularly impressed with the Saxon defense in general and three players in particular. They included linemen Jeremy Williams, Dejuan Jones and back K.C. McVey.
“Does Ferris have two of the best defensive linemen in the league or what?” Hook marveled. “Their strong safety, McVey, may be the hardest hitter in the league, pound-for-pound.”
Both defenses dominated, but the difference was LC’s offense was able to scratch out a little turf in the second half.
The key play was the Tigers holding the Saxons, who didn’t have a first down in the second half, on a third-and-inches down deep in Ferris territory with two minutes to play.
A short punt, a first down and Flatt was a hero.
LC plays Shadle Park Friday night, goes to Tumwater next week and closes the season against leagueleading Central Valley.
“We have to try to get better, try to get more consistent,” Hook said. “We have to work on our kicking game. We were kind of atrocious kicking (against Ferris). In close games, ultimately the kicking game is going to decide the game, like it did this weekend.”
The Tigers should be heavily favored against Shadle in the 8:30 p.m. game at Albi with the Highlanders just 1-4 in GSL games, 1-5 overall. But Hook is anything but overconfident.
“We’ll be showing our guys a tape of two years ago when we had a good football team, and they just kicked us up and down the field,” he said, referring to a 35-16 whipping. “Our kids have already heard about that and they’ll see the film. What they do is different enough that it will be hard for us.”
The Tigers have already come a long way this year, after opening with a 13-7 loss to Gonzaga Prep.
“I think our improvement from week to week has indicated to me that we had a great chance to get into the playoffs,” Hook said. “How do you quantify (the improvement)? In Week One we couldn’t run the ball or throw the ball. I think we’ve demonstrated we can do both somewhat effectively. Of course, Gonzaga Prep has demonstrated they’re a pretty good defensive team.”
So are the Tigers.
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