In the topsy-turvy world of Greater Spokane League football this season, it was only fitting that the league’s final game would boil down to a thrilling conclusion.
Ferris turned away University mere inches from the Saxons’ goal line in the final minutes to hold off the Titans for a 28-23 victory Friday night at Albi Stadium.
The Saxons, nearly eliminated from postseason contention with a loss last week, earned a spot in a three-way playoff that will determine the Greater Spokane League’s third berth in the state playoffs.
Coupled with Lewis and Clark’s 21-20 win over Gonzaga Prep, the Saxons (5-3) moved into a tie for third place with G-Prep and University. Ferris and G-Prep will square off in a mini-playoff at Albi at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The winner of that game will immediately face U-Hi, and the victor will snare the league’s third seed at state. Both games will consist of two 8-minute halves.
After trailing most of the game, U-Hi was primed to take the lead with 2 minutes left. Facing fourth-and-goal at the Ferris 10, Titans quarterback Tony Tabish threw a pass to Brandtly Thornton at the 3. Thornton was swarmed by the Saxons’ defense and was tackled just inches shy of a go-ahead touchdown.
With no timeouts remaining, the Titans were helpless as Ferris subsequently ran out the clock.
Connor Halliday completed 13 of 17 passes for 233 yards, including a 51-yard pass to Jason Bates that gave the Saxons a 28-13 lead midway through the third quarter. Bates hauled in five receptions for 90 yards.
Gage Orosco rushed for 94 yards on 12 carries for Ferris, which overcame five turnovers. Orosco scored two touchdowns in the first half, and his 31-yard burst pushed Ferris ahead 21-13.
John Wright finished with 29 carries for 140 yards, and he also threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Blaska to pull U-Hi within 28-23 with 8½ minutes remaining.
In the first half, Wright scored on a 2-yard run for U-Hi, and place-kicker Aaron Gleason booted field goals from 43 and 37 yards to help the Titans pull within 14-13 at halftime.
Tabish completed 19 of 39 passes for 242 yards.