November 13, 2009 in Sports

Saxons, Wildcats open state

Mt. Spokane on a roll; Ferris meets hot Braves
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Tonight’s state football playoffs

Washington

4A: Kamiakin vs. Ferris at Albi Stadium, 7

3A: Mt. Spokane

vs. Hanford at Richland, 7

Idaho

5A: Eagle at Coeur d’Alene, 7

Inside

Washington small school preview/B3

Matchups

4A

Kamiakin (8-2) at Ferris (7-3), 7 p.m. Friday, Albi Stadium: Both teams like to throw. The visiting Braves’ Corey Hutchinson has completed 156 of 300 for 2,189 yards and 21 touchdowns. The Saxons’ Connor Halliday is 212 for 325 for 2,934 yards and 28 TDs. Kamiakin’s Tim White has 70 catches for 1,052 yards and 11 TDs. Ferris’ Jason Bates has 81 catches for 1,303 yards and 16 TDs. Saxons Bo Bozett and Jason Tonani finished among the league’s top six receivers. Ferris’ Gage Orosco has rushed for 739 yards, Kamiakin’s Dom Davis for 502.

3A

Mt. Spokane (9-1) at Hanford (4-6), 7 p.m. Friday, Fran Rish Stadium, Richland: These teams also met last year in a state-qualifying game won by Mt. Spokane 42-39. Mt. Spokane’s Travis Ward has completed 80 of 123 passes for 1,017 yards in league – plus 11 for 11 for 215 yards last week against Sunnyside – and has 14 TDs for the season. He has also rushed for more than 400 yards and six TDs. Mt. Spokane’s Colten Williams rushed for 1,000 yards, caught passes for nearly 500 and has scored 21 TDs. Slot Nate Blackham and receiver Chip Propp are dangerous for the Wildcats. Hanford’s Brenton Griffin passed for 816 yards and rushed for 336. Cam Wagar rushed for 882 yards.

Teams that somewhat mirror each other square off tonight in the first round of State 4A and 3A football playoffs.

Greater Spokane League champion Mt. Spokane (9-1) travels to Fran Rish Stadium in Richland against Hanford (4-6) and late-charging Ferris (7-3) hosts Kamiakin (8-2) at Albi Stadium. Both games are at 7.

3A

It’s unlikely, given comparative scores, that last year’s state-qualifying barnburner – won by the Wildcats 42-39 in the game’s final minutes – will be repeated.

East Valley, which lost to Mt. Spokane 56-0, jumped to a 21-0 lead when it played Hanford. EV led the Falcons 21-10 in the fourth quarter before giving up a couple of touchdowns and losing by three points. The Wildcats also beat Sunnyside much easier than did Hanford.

“They’re probably not the team they were last year,” Mt. Spokane coach Mike McLaughlin said of Hanford. “The quarterback and running back last year were two special players. But it is hard to determine until you see them on the field.”

The field holds fond memories for the Wildcats, he said.

“That is where this team really grew up and got a spark,” McLaughlin said.

The defensive focus against Hanford will be on stopping the run. McLaughlin said the Falcons run more than last year, when the Wildcats had trouble with the ground game. “Their quarterback is the key to the offense,” he said.

“We’ve been playing well,” McLaughlin said. “We just need to protect the football, protect the quarterback and make plays on special teams. That’s what we’ve done for five weeks.”

4A

“They’re hot right now,” Ferris coach Jim Sharkey said of Kamiakin, which has won five straight.

Sharkey said Kamiakin receiver Tim White is the “real deal,” comparable to Ferris’ Jason Bates, but the Saxons’ defense can’t overlook other receivers. The same could be said for the Braves, who face a deep Ferris receiving corps.

Sharkey said Braves QB Corey Hutchinson throws well and came up with big plays against Central Valley in the 21-0 win last week.

As has been the case all season, the Saxons must avoid turnovers, Sharkey said.

“We moved the football well last week against a good Wenatchee defense,” he said. “We had a couple of plays called back and had 10 (pass) drops or we’d have put up big numbers.”

Sharkey’s main concern is that a couple of starting linemen will miss the game. Dillon Beschel tore a meniscus and is out for the season.

“It’s too bad for him,” Sharkey said. “He’s a kid who loves football.”

Russell Stinson has been out since the Lewis and Clark game because of injury. But sophomore Joe Arguinchona has been a quick learner.


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