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Little guys make big strides

LRS vaults into first place in area prep football rankings

Who says bigger is better? Definitely not these panelists.

It only took 15 straight wins and a huge upset loss from previously No. 1-ranked Gonzaga Prep, but 2B Lind-Ritzville/Sprague is finally atop the NWPrepsNow Power Rankings. This week marks the first time that a non-GSL school has captured the top spot.

The Broncos dispatched Reardan on the road 27-13 and garnered first-place votes from three of the nine panelists.

“They got tested by a good Reardan team, but were in control the entire game,” GSL play-by-play voice Larry Weir said. Weir has had the Broncos at No. 1 on each of his ballots.

Strengthening their hold on the No. 2 spot are the Freeman Scotties, gaining seven points from last week’s rankings. Freeman had no trouble with Newport, winning an easy home contest 42-0.

“After a while you run out of things to say about them and how dominant they have been,” SWX analyst Bill Ames said. “You get the feeling that it might be the Scotties and LRS who will finish the season ranked 1-2 in the power rankings.”

Making its first appearance in the NWPrepsNow Power Rankings is Mt. Spokane – the top Greater Spokane League team on the list – who shut out rival Mead 10-0 in the annual “Battle of the Bell” Friday night at Joe Albi Stadium in front of 10,202 chilly onlookers.

Spokesman-Review preps writer Greg Lee ranked coach McLaughlin’s Wildcats atop his list, but admits they’re not a perfect team.

“The Wildcats still face some challenges,” Lee said, “but they have one of the best defenses in the league.”

The Cats stifling “D” allows just 10.5 points per game.

Mead dropped off the list after being ranked No. 5 last week.

Ferris, holding down the four spot, bounced back from a tough loss at Gonzaga Prep and took care of Rogers 42-0 after jumping out to a five-touchdown lead at halftime.

“The Saxons hit a stretch in their schedule that will allow them to build some momentum,” Lee said.

Ferris has games against North Central (1-3), Lewis and Clark (1-3) and University (0-4) in three of the next four weeks.

SWX sports director Sam Adams ranked the Saxons third on his list, calling them “the most complete team in the GSL.”

Coeur d’Alene got back to its winning ways after losing three of its first four games, shellacking Minico 60-14. Ames likes the Vikings so much hed gave them his first-place vote – the only one the Viks received.

“With the challenging part of their schedule behind them, I expect them to run the table to the Kibbie Dome,” Ames said.

Finally, after a three-week absence, Shadle Park makes a triumphant return to the list. The Highlanders rode the right arm of gunslinger quarterback Brett Rypien and the backs of the Highlanders defenders, who all but shut down the vaunted Gonzaga Prep rushing attack in a 42-13 win.

“The Highlanders have arrived,” Lee said. “Now we’ll see how they live with success.”

We won’t have to wait very long; Shadle takes on GSL-leading Mt. Spokane on Thursday night at Joe Albi.

1.LRS (3)44
2.Freeman (2)39
3.Mt. Spokane (2)29
4. Ferris28
5.Coeur d’Alene (1)19
6. Shadle Park13

First-place votes in parentheses