In the age-old struggle between immoveable object against irresistible force, it took a big-name player to make a big-time play.
Mt. Spokane’s Colten Williams broke a 0-0 stalemate with an amazing 72-yard scamper with fewer than 3 minutes to play and for the first time in five seasons, the bell tolled for the Wildcats.
They defeated rival Mead 7-0 in the Battle of the Bell at Albi Stadium Friday night when Williams raced around the right side, sprinted and spun, twisting his way out of tackles and lunging into the end zone with 2:43 left in the game.
“It was a matter of a special player making a special play,” said coach Mike McLaughlin following the end to a tight defensive battle.
Anyone expecting an offensive shootout would have been disappointed, but this standoff in a mano-a-mano test of defenses was just as compelling.
For a half neither team could gain a toehold what with penalties, turnovers and resulting poor field position dooming both the Wildcats and Panthers.
Mt. Spokane picked up 60 yards in penalties and was picked off one time. Though eventually working their way to Mead’s 11-yard line, the Wildcats came up short on a short second-quarter field-goal attempt.
The Panthers didn’t suffer the penalty malady, but their quarterbacks were intercepted three times. On their one foray into scoring position, Mitch Kayser was ruled out of the back of the end zone on a reception of a deflected pass from Sam Baird. And a 33-yard field goal sailed left late in the half.
Between them, the two teams had but 115 yards of offense.
The second half was more of the same, although the Wildcats appeared they were going to finally break through with a 7-minute, 50-second drive that consumed much of the third quarter. But the 62-yard drive stalled at the 9-yard line and another chip shot field-goal attempt missed.
The teams couldn’t mount much offense in the final period either until the Wildcats got the ball at their 15 with 3:31 remaining.
From the 28, Williams took the toss and once he got to the corner it became a foot race and test of balance.
“I knew scoring had to open up sooner or later,” Williams said. “It happened to be me.”
His run accounted for nearly half of Mt. Spokane’s offense and Mead couldn’t muster 200 yards either as the defenses held sway.
“It was really crazy,” Williams said. “I didn’t expect it at all. At least we got the bell.”
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