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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Bill Pierce’s Almanac: Spokane City League goes out with bang in ‘75

The year was 1975 and it was a year of both firsts and lasts for Spokane City League football.  It was the final season for the league after 50 years of operation as 1976 would be the inaugural year of the Greater Spokane League.

It was also the first year of tie breakers for high school teams, and the first time the Spokane schools would participate in the new state football playoffs.

Preseason picks had Lewis and Clark, Gonzaga Prep, Ferris and North Central all mentioned as title contenders and it turned out to be one of the most competitive races in league history.

Ferris started strong, winning its first five games, but lost three of the final four.  Prep did the opposite, being 2-3 at mid-season, but winning the final four, including a 21-0 season-ending contest against LC. With that win, the final standings showed a three-way tie for the top, another first for the league. North Central finished only one game behind the leaders.

A representative then had to be selected to face Kamiakin in the first round of AAA playoffs.

 The three teams, Ferris, Gonzaga Prep and Lewis and Clark, met at Albi Stadium in front of 5,000 fans to decide the issue. In a Kansas Tie Breaker, the Bullpups edged Ferris 10-7, in the first series of downs, but then lost to LC when Jay Floyd scored on a fourth-down play to give LC the win 6-3, and the right to advance.

That was Lewis and Clark’s third try with the new Kansas Tie Breaker system. The Tigers had been the only school in the league to win two games during the regular season using the new format.

The game against Kamiakin was another first, as 1964 was the last time a city school had played an outside opponent.  From 1965 through 1975 the league only played a round robin schedule amongst themselves.

In the playoffs, the Tigers prevailed with an easy 29-8 victory over Kamiakin, but lost a close game the following week to Richland, 21-14, to end their season, and the half-century run of the Spokane City League.           

Bill Pierce
Bill Pierce is a sports blogger who writes the weekly nwprepsnow prep sports almanac.

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