The defense appears to be ripening at the right time for the Ferris Saxons.
And if the Saxons get out of their way on offense and few more times, that side of the line of scrimmage could round into late-season form.
The Saxons shut out South Hill rival Lewis and Clark 17-0 in the late Greater Spokane League football game Friday at Joe Albi Stadium.
Ferris (6-1) kept pace with Mead (6-1) and a game behind league-leading Gonzaga Prep (7-0) as the teams try to sort out which two earn 4A play-in berths.
The teams played to a scoreless tie in a lackluster first quarter.
Midway in the second, Ferris had its best offensive series. The Saxons used seven plays to march 78 yards with junior Cole Karstetter scoring from 2 yards out with 6:31 to go before halftime.
On the ensuing kickoff, LC’s Brennan Schon returned the kick 55 yards to the Saxons’ 44-yard line. But much like most of their series, the Tigers stalled at the Saxons 38.
LC had the ball the final possession of the first half, and quarterback Andrew Black five passes to Ferris’ 30. With eight seconds left, Black was flushed from the pocket and scrambled for out of bounds but couldn’t get out in time as the clock expired.
The Tigers were still in the game, trailing 7-0 going into the second half. But on their third play after receiving the opening kick, the Saxons’ Beau Lockmer came up with an interception.
That set up the Saxons’ next score, which came on a 40-yard field goal from Clay Paull.
LC (3-4) appeared it might finally break through on its next series. The Tigers drove to the Saxons’ 24, but two straight runs netted nothing and on fourth-and-5 a pass from Black, that would have gotten a first down, was dropped.
The final score for Ferris came next. The Saxons drove 76 yards in nine plays with quarterback Christian Olson hitting Karstetter on a 14-yard TD pass as the clock showed 13 seconds remaining in the quarter.
In the fourth, Nate Buchkoski recovered a fumble and picked off a pass.
Gonzaga Prep 53, Rogers 14: The league-leading Bullpups (7-0) overwhelmed the visiting Pirates (0-7) quickly, building a 30-0 lead by halftime.
Senior quarterback Zach Bonneau returned from a concussion for G-Prep. Senior running back Griffin Hare led the Bullpups’ offense with TD runs of 56 and 44 yards. He finished with 184 yards on 12 carries.
Senior placekicker Max Gruber had field goals of 25 and 35 yards.
Rogers senior running back Luke Rogers, out the last two weeks after a school athletic code violation, had a game-high 194 yards on 26 carries.