There was no going back to the drawing board for Central Valley coach Rick Giampietri.
Giampietri planned too many changes, rendering an eraser useless.
After his defense allowed nearly 500 yards in a season-opening 33-27 loss last week, Giampietri made what he called wholesale changes defensively.
The difference was measurable Thursday as the Bears handled the Mead Panthers 31-14 in the opener of a Greater Spokane League doubleheader before 3,365 at Joe Albi Stadium.
After giving up 478 yards last week, Central Valley limited Mead to 229.
“What a difference a week made,” Giampietri said. “Talk about turning that defense around. We knew we were young on defense. We just moved a bunch of guys around and they responded.”
Junior Dustin Dach switched from safety to cornerback and pulled off a hat trick, intercepting Mead quarterback Andy Wetzel three times.
CV’s defense allowed just one touchdown. The other came on an 83-yard kickoff return by Wes Bailey.
“We were mortified last week,” Giampietri said. “Our whole thing is to hit and hustle (defensively). Not taking anything away from Mt. Spokane, they executed beautifully, but we didn’t execute like I know we can.”
Senior wide receiver Ryan Nungester got the Bears (1-1) off to a quick start when he returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a TD.
Then in the third quarter, Nungester broke a run designed to go to the perimeter inside and sprinted 73 yards for another TD that extended CV’s lead to 24-7.
“I just followed the holes,” Nungester said. “When the holes open up you’ve got to go.”
Nungester also played well at cornerback.
“We went to work at practice, we worked on the things we needed to work on and we just took care of business,” Nungester said. “We made some great stops. Everyone did a great job. Everyone was flying to the ball and aggressive. (Dach) came to play today.”
A 46-yard field goal by Austin Rehkow gave CV a 17-0 lead with seven seconds to go in the first half.
Mead (1-1) got a big lift moments later, though, when state champion hurdler Bailey returned the ensuing kickoff 83 yards to pull the Panthers within 17-7 at halftime.
Two third-quarter TDs, however, allowed the Bears to open a 31-7 lead.
Nungester expects the Bears to play well the rest of the season.
“We’ve got the potential,” he said. “We’ve just got to want it.”
Mt. Spokane 33, Gonzaga Prep 19: If a team plans on dethroning the Wildcats as league champs, they’ll have to rip the crown from their paws.
The Wildcats (2-0) piled up 507 yards of total offense, led by senior quarterback Carson Blumenthal.
Blumenthal completed 11 of 14 passes for 242 yards and three TDs while rushing for 74 on 25 attempts and one TD.
“We play assignment football, come out here prepared and do what we need to do,” said Blumenthal, who was a backup at QB, running back and linebacker last year.
“The defense was great. We held Bishop (Sankey) to I don’t know how many yards. That was our game plan. We just wanted to eliminate the big plays.”
For the most part, Mt. Spokane did. Sankey still got his yards, finishing with 252 on 25 carries and three TDs.
Trailing 20-7 late in the second quarter, G-Prep (1-1) was driving with a chance to pull within a TD. But the Wildcats’ defense stopped Sankey on fourth-and-1 at the Mt. Spokane 26-yard line.
Blumenthal extended the Wildcats’ lead to 26-7 when he hit Kellen Clute on a 37-yard pass.
Clute, who started in the backfield, got behind G-Prep’s secondary for the TD.
Three plays later, G-Prep pulled within 26-13 on a 4-yard run by Sankey.
Then on their next possession, the Bullpups scored on a 1-yard dive by Sankey and all of a sudden G-Prep trailed 26-19 with 3:25 to go in the third quarter.
Mt. Spokane answered, though. Blumenthal found Dan Moore wide open on a 61-yard TD with two seconds to go in the period.
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