3A showdown on Thursday at Albi
Week 5 in Greater Spokane League football will be similar to the first four weeks.
That means there’s at least one potentially entertaining game. As it turns out there are two that jump off the schedule.
League-leading Mt. Spokane (4-0) takes on Shadle Park (3-1) in the second game of a doubleheader Thursday at Joe Albi Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:15.
The game takes on particular significance after both teams pulled off big wins last Friday. Mt. Spokane shut out Mead 10-0 and Shadle Park shocked Gonzaga Prep 42-13.
The Mt. Spokane/Shadle game could essentially decide the top 3A postseason berth.
Mt. Spokane has proven to be particularly stout against the run. So the Wildcats will get to see how their pass defense can stack up against Brett Rypien and his talented receivers.
It’ll be interesting to see which team can bounce back after such big wins and whether either team suffers a letdown.
“I told our guys this can be a great moment,” Shadle coach Alan Stanfield said following the win against G-Prep. “It should just be the tip of the iceberg. We want more. Being 3-1 is nice and beating Prep is nice, but there’s still work to do. We’re excited about the challenges ahead.”
This begins a stretch of three straight Thursday games for Shadle. The next two are against Mead and North Central before the Highlanders finish with Central Valley and Lewis and Clark.
Mt. Spokane coach Mike McLaughlin was asked what he thought of Shadle’s win over the Bullpups.
“They looked very good,” McLaughlin said.
Stanfield said the obvious challenge for his team comes down to two players.
“They’ve got arguably one of the most dynamic players in the league in (Stu) Stiles,” Stanfield said. “We’ve got to take (Roy) Hyatt (running back) and Stiles away and make the other guys beat us.”
Stanfield hopes his team’s offensive tempo can keep Mt. Spokane off balance. The Highlanders start 22 different kids while the Wildcats start seven both ways.
“We hope our tempo neutralizes their size advantage,” Stanfield said.
In the opener Thursday at Albi, CV (2-2) takes on LC (1-3). It’s a must win for both teams if they hope to stay in the hunt for a postseason berth. Kickoff is at 4:15.
The big game Friday has Mead (3-1) going to G-Prep (3-1). Kickoff is at 7.
Both teams want to run and run often. So the difference could come down to which team catches the other off guard with a pass.
Another intriguing element is which team best bounces back from a disappointing loss.
In the doubleheader Friday at Albi, Rogers (0-4) meets University (0-4) at 5 followed by Ferris (3-1) taking on North Central (1-3) at 7:30.
In Great Northern League play Friday, Colville (3-1, 1-0) visits East Valley (2-2, 1-0), Deer Park (1-3, 0-0) goes to Pullman (3-1, 1-0) and Clarkston (1-3, 0-1) is at West Valley (1-3, 0-1).
In a 5A Inland Empire League opener Friday, Lewiston (2-2) travels to Coeur d’Alene (2-3).
The best Greater Spokane League dual today has the Central Valley girls playing host to Gonzaga Prep and Mt. Spokane at 4.