How do you win a game after seeing the red zone just two times?
By limiting your opponent’s red zone visits to just one.
That’s what the Ferris Saxons did during a thrilling, come-from-behind 14-10 victory over the Central Valley Bears in a game each team needed to win to remain in the hunt for the second 4A playoff spot in the Greater Spokane League.
Ferris senior quarterback Mitch Pike ran in from five yards for the go-ahead touchdown with less than a minute to play. CV fumbled the ensuring kickoff, and Ferris recovered to seal the win.
“It seems like every time we come out here it’s kind of wild,” Ferris head coach Jim Sharkey said. “We’ve had wars with (CV) over my nine years.”
With the game tied at seven in the fourth quarter, CV had the Saxons right where they wanted them – on the Ferris one-yard-line after a booming, 73-yard punt by sophomore Ryan Rehkow.
The Saxons (4-4, 3-1 GSL) promptly went three-and-out, and CV’s punt return by Tucker Stout gave the Bears the ball on the Ferris 14-yard-line – CV’s first and only trip inside the red zone.
A 30-yard field goal by Rehkow gave CV a 10-7 lead and seemingly all the momentum.
But on Ferris’ ensuring possession, a 42-yard run by Jalen Hicks set up the game winning score. Hicks lead the way with 86 rushing yards.
Both defenses were stout all night. The teams combined for 17 punts, with Ferris failing on a fake punt pass attempt as well.
Despite all of that and how demoralizing it can be, Sharkey said his team didn’t let it get them down.
“As an offense, you feel like you’re letting your team down,” he said. “But tonight our offense found a way.”
Finding its way took a while. CV (3-5, 2-2) opened the scoring in the second quarter on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Sloan to P.J. Bowden.
After the deluge of punts, Ferris got its offense going with a nifty hook-and-lateral touchdown. Tim Kirby caught the initial pass from Pike, then lateraled to a streaking Hicks, who took care of the rest of the 75 yards to tie the game.
“We run trick plays every Thursday before the game,” Sharkey said. “Yesterday, they just looked clean and clicked.”
Rehkow’s late field goal looked like it gave CV all it needed to win. But in fact, it was the Ferris defense holding the Bears to just three points on that drive that ended up being the key moment.
“Our kids showed a lot getting stops (throughout the game),” Sharkey said. “I thought defensively we played outstanding, our best game of the year. That’s what really won the game for us.”
• SWX announced it was unable to broadcast the game because of technical difficulties.
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