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Ferris strengthens Power Rankings lead

Ferris players celebrate win over Shadle Park last Friday. The defense held Shadle Park QB Brett Rypien to 131 yards passing. (Colin Mulvany)
Ferris players celebrate win over Shadle Park last Friday. The defense held Shadle Park QB Brett Rypien to 131 yards passing. (Colin Mulvany)

Different week, same result.

Once again, the Ferris Saxons crown our NWPrepsNow Power Rankings after limiting prolific Shadle Park quarterback Brett Rypien to a meager 131 yards passing and defeating the Highlanders 38-14.

Once again, notorious “lone dissenter” and GSL play-by-play voice Larry Weir serves as the barrier between Ferris and a sweep of first-place votes from our nine panelists. Weir went with Lind-Ritzville/Sprague once more, fresh off a 40-21 victory over Warden and winners of 14 straight games.

Utilizing a three-man front and dropping eight into coverage, Jim Sharkey’s Saxons stymied Rypien from the opening whistle, limiting the junior gunslinger to less than 3.3 yards per pass attempt. One week earlier in a 62-14 win over Rogers, Rypien averaged over 15. What a difference a week makes.

“They say defense wins championships, and there’s not a better defense to be found in the area,” SWX director of sports Sam Adams said. “Cole Karstetter is a standout defensive back who leads a stingy secondary, and the offense is every bit as good.”

“Just dominant,” added SWX/KHQ sports reporter/anchor Michelle Dapper.

“They proved last week that they can dominate in any style of play. Here comes the option,” said SWX football insider Bill Ames, referring to Ferris’ upcoming matchup with Gonzaga Prep Sept. 20 at Bullpup Stadium.

Ferris’ hold on the top spot grew in week 3, with 18 points separating the Saxons from No 2., the Mead Panthers, who handled North Central with ease in a 42-7 win. “If you haven’t taken notice of the Panthers yet this year, it’s time to start,” SWX sports producer Neil Stover said. “This is a good team that could give Ferris – and others – a lot of problems when they meet.”

Mead has outscored its opponents 84-21. A similar 80-28 mark for Ferris.

Mark your calendars now: Mead vs. Ferris, Halloween night, 7:15 p.m., Joe Albi Stadium. It’s each team’s last game of the regular season.

New on our list at No. 3 are the Freeman Scotties, the class of Northeast 1A football, who drubbed 2A Pullman in a 40-14 victory that was more lopsided than the scoreboard indicated. A week earlier they defeated Colville 14-7, another 2A school.

“Sorry Scotties,” Spokesman-Review preps writer Greg Lee apologized. “You’re much better than I thought.”

Adams ranked Freeman No. 6 and likes the mentality instilled by coach Jim Wood. “This team is angry, and playing with a chip on its shoulder,” he said. “Keep doubting, folks. If they are able to win their next two games on the road (Bonners Ferry, Newport), I’m putting these guys in my top-four.”

Just a vote shy of the Scotties are the Bullpups of Gonzaga Prep, who rolled up 500 yards on offense – 425 of them rushing – in a 51-28 thrashing of host University. Not bad for a team with nine new offensive starters.

“G-Prep has a chance to make a real statement come Friday night when the Bullpups host top-ranked Ferris,” Stover said. Ames called the ‘Pups “a nightmare for a defensive coordinator.”

Larry Weir’s Lind-Ritzville/Sprague Broncos make the rankings for the first time this season after defeating Warden 40-21 in their first game of the season. “They were my No. 1 last week and stay there,” Weir dissented. “I still think they have the best shot to win state.”

Rounding out our week 3 NWPrepsNow power rankings are the Coeur d’Alene Vikings, who have the only two losses of teams in our top-6. Last week, the Viks surrendered two touchdowns in the final three minutes of a 44-43 heartbreaker to Bothell at Husky Stadium. This week, two-time defending state 4A champs Skyline took advantage of Coeur d’Alene mistakes from the get-go on its way to a 38-23 road victory.