Ferris answers call to hold back Rogers
There are momentum swings and then there are momentum swings.
And then, the momentum switched back to the Ferris Saxons.
With Ferris leading 21-0, the Rogers Pirates scored two touchdowns in a matter of 57 seconds.
The Saxons answered, though, and that was more than enough as Ferris held off game Rogers 35-24 in a Greater Spokane League football game Friday at Joe Albi Stadium.
“The real positive after last week – when we didn’t handle adversity at all – this week after it go 21-14 we got the two scores right away,” said Ferris coach Jim Sharkey, whose team improved to 3-1. “We had a great drive and then a great kick return. I think that’s going to help us down the road. They’ve (the Pirates) got some talent and they were flying around for a while.”
On the Saxons’ opening drive of the second half, quarterback Christian Olson hit speedy sophomore receiver Jalen Hicks, who did most of the damage with his feet on an 80-yard touchdown that increased the lead to 21-0.
Moments later, Rogers’ Anthony Hampton returned a punt 43 yards for a touchdown and the Pirates trailed 21-8.
Then the Pirates caught Ferris off guard with an onside kick, and Hampton recovered.
Two plays later, running back Luke Rogers broke about three arm tackles, busting 46 yards for a TD to pull Rogers within 21-14 with 5:39 to go in the third.
As quickly as Rogers scored, Ferris responded in kind. Olson hit receiver Beau Lockmer on a 12-yard TD pass and Gunnar Seefeld plunged 2 yards on the Saxons’ next series as Ferris extended the lead to 35-14 with 10:50 to go.
Ferris junior running back Christian Shaffer, a transfer from Redding, Calif., made his first start, and he made the most of it. He had a team-high 163 yards on 17 carries.
“I was really hungry and it was great blocking by the line,” Shaffer said.
Shaffer said the Saxons had to settle down after Rogers took the momentum away.
“We got in with the coach and talked and the team just worked together,” Shaffer said. “It was an all-around good effort. We had a great week of practice.”
Rogers, which came into the game averaging 201 yards, finished with a game-high 175 on 31 attempts.
“It’s a big win,” Sharkey said. “I thought we played physical. Luke Rogers just keeps coming at you. He’s good and made some plays. They executed well.”
Ferris faces North Central next week.
“They’re improving a lot,” Sharkey said. “It’s like we thought at the beginning of the year. You better show up every week.”
In the first half, Ferris didn’t score until its third possession. In fact, a holding penalty on the second series brought back a 73-yard touchdown run by Shaffer.
Field position at the 50-yard line set up the Saxons’ first TD. Seefeld broke loose on a 29-yard TD run with 9:01 to go before halftime.
Ferris took advantage of good field position again for its second TD. Taking over at Rogers’ 44, the Saxons needed just five plays before Olson hit Lockmer on a 19-yard scoring strike, giving Ferris a 14-0 lead with 53 seconds to go in the first half.
Rogers was beset by some undisciplined penalties in the first half.