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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Greg Lee: GSL football reaches halfway point with some clear trends

We’ve reached October and the midseason mark for high school football.

There’s still much to be decided among Greater Spokane League 4A teams. But the team I picked to win the championship, Gonzaga Prep, is right where I expected it to be.

Central Valley, which I picked to finish second, topped the team I picked to take third, Lewis and Clark.

The surprise to me – actually the two surprises – have been University and Mead. And Ferris’ 3-0 win over LC last week was a shocker.

So here are some thoughts on the 4A and 3A teams.

• Gonzaga Prep: The Bullpups have a stout defense and multiple weapons on offense. What separates the 2015 Bullpups from previous teams, including the 2014 team that advanced to the state quarterfinals, is their multidimensional offense.

Previous G-Prep were run-first teams that may have been able to catch teams with too many defenders in the box and pop a pass here and there. Teams defending the Bullpups this year must honor the pass and run.

Quarterback Liam Bell has Nick Johnson and Devin Culp as targets. Johnson is the speedy option and Culp, at 6-foot-4, is the taller option, capable of outjumping cornerbacks for deep balls.

On defense, end Evan Weaver and nose guard Josh Condon, linebackers Jack Machtolf, Conor McKenna and Taj Hoard and back Sam Lockett have had big impacts.

G-Prep’s big focus now is cutting down the penalties.

Four of G-Prep’s final five games are at home including three 4A matchups.

• Central Valley: The Bears feature probably the most vanilla offense.

They have capable skill athletes, but they’re not doing anything electric. The best compliment is to say they’ve been consistent.

CV’s strength has been defense. Nose tackle Jordan Talfili, linebacker Travis Hawkins and defensive backs Ben Craig and Tanner Gummersall have been at the center of the Bears’ strength.

The big game this week has CV taking on Mead at Albi tonight.

• University: Multiple players have been crucial to the Titans’ success, but one that pops up frequently is two-way lineman Clark Barrington, a defensive end and left tackle.

The Titans’ new 3-5 defensive scheme has allowed Tyler Rickel (lineman), Gage Anderson (linebacker) and Tanner Chase (cornerback) to shine.

On offense, the Titans have been highly efficient at times led by quarterback Logan O’Neil, running back Tre’von Tuggles and receivers Chase and Griffin Thorson.

The game that has my interest is U-Hi at G-Prep next week.

• Mead: Despite such a late start under their new coach, the Panthers have been impressive. They’re just going to get better as they get more used to their new schemes.

The Panthers don’t plan on being the odd team out in the chase for the three play-in teams. We’ll learn more about where Mead stands tonight.

• LC: We knew the Tigers would have a solid defense and figured they had enough skill players to move the ball and score on offense.

But starting quarterback Jordan Summers was injured two weeks ago in a loss to CV and didn’t play against Ferris. Having two losses in 4A play might be too much to overcome.

• Ferris: The young Saxons had a brutal start to the season. They hope to have a say in which teams earn play-in berths. Be advised – don’t sleep on Ferris in October.

• Mt. Spokane: The Wildcats are heads and shoulders above the rest of the 3A teams.

They should handle their 3A opponents. They must challenge themselves to get playoff ready this month because it could easy for them to lose focus the final three weeks.

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