The University football team is on the brink of school history.
The Titans all but locked up the top State 3A playoff berth Friday as they cruised past the North Central Indians 56-7 in Greater Spokane League action at Joe Albi Stadium.
University appears to be playoff bound for a third straight year in the rebuilding project under coach Bill Diedrick.
“I thought the kids did a nice job of executing,” Diedrick said. “They did a nice job adjusting to some of the things they (the Indians) did. I thought our production was very good.”
Leading the way was senior quarterback Conner Johnson, who passed for 177 yards and five touchdowns. Wide receiver Austin Flynn caught two of those TD passes, finishing with six receptions for 53 yards. He also returned an interception 33 yards for a TD.
“North Central is not a team to look past, that’s for sure,” Johnson said. “They’ve got great talent. We wanted to get off to a fast start and we did. Everybody performed very well.”
U-Hi (3-3) played like a team fully focused on the task at hand, opening a 28-7 lead by halftime.
“I think each week we’ve gotten better and better and better in our execution,” Diedrick said. “It’s beginning to show. Now is when we need to have that flawless execution.”
NC (2-4) couldn’t muster much on offense and didn’t have an answer on defense.
“The defense really came to play,” Johnson said. “It puts a smile on my face to see the scoreboard. We’ve been trying to work into a rhythm. … I think we found it tonight, and we just have to keep going. It’s a crucial next couple of weeks that we have.”
Titans running back Zach Bruce rushed for 136 yards on 20 carries.
Lewis and Clark 28, Shadle Park 24: In one of the more entertaining games of the season, the Tigers (5-1) rallied from a 24-14 deficit to keep the Highlanders winless (0-6) in the opener at Albi Stadium.
It appeared LC was going to score, but running back Ammar Johnson fumbled at the 1-yard line and the ball was recovered by the Highlanders’ Cameron Babcock in the end zone.
Then on Shadle’s first offensive play after the fumble recovery, Aaron Anderson broke off an 80-yard TD run to put the Highlanders ahead 24-14 with 7:14 to go in the third quarter.
A 14-point swing. But the Tigers bounced back behind quarterback Jeff Livingston, who completed 28 of 35 passes for 391 yards and three TDs. His final scoring pass was an 86-yard connection with Brennan Schon, giving LC a 28-24 lead with 9:08 left.
Schon hauled in 12 passes for 236 yards and three TDs.
The game marked the debut of freshman Brett Rypien at quarterback for Shadle. He completed 11 of 26 passes for 190 yards.
Gonzaga Prep 41, Central Valley 24: The Bullpups are getting healthy and that’s bad news for the rest of the GSL.
Junior running back Griffin Hare returned from a hand injury and rushed for 162 yards and scored three TDs to lead the Bullpups in the home victory.
Joe Lenoue led G-Prep (4-2) on defense, picking off two passes and recovering a fumble. CV (4-2) had three interceptions and lost two fumbles.
It was a big win for G-Prep, which had little margin for error in terms of staying in the hunt for a playoff berth.