In a football game that served as a tune-up for the postseason, Gonzaga Prep needed some time to get the machinery at full speed.
“Our kids faced a lot of adversity and sometimes we created our own adversity, but they found a way to respond and I’m proud of them for that,” Bullpups coach David McKenna said Friday night after the Bullpups overcame Ferris 47-7 in their Greater Spokane League finale at Bullpup Stadium.
As usual, defense did the job for the unbeaten Bullpups (9-0), who held Ferris (2-7) to a 17 yards and just two first downs in the first half while cruising to a 26-7 halftime lead. Two quick scores in the third quarter put the game away.
Next up for the GSL champs: a state play-in game at home Friday at 6 p.m. against Walla Walla, which figures to offer a better test for a team that won every GSL contest by at least three touchdowns.
“It’s the second season,” McKenna said. “It’s what we wanted. Now it’s about us, but we have a lot of things to clean up.”
In a game that meant little more than pride for both teams, the Bullpups finally overcame the emotion of Senior Night, along with several penalties and a blocked punt that led to the Saxons’ only touchdown of the night.
Early in the first quarter, after long runs by Bullpups Mason Plese and Devin Culp were nullified by penalties, Plese ran up the middle, then cut to the left. James Mann hauled him down at the Ferris 1, but Nick Johnson scored two plays later from 6 yards after a Prep procedure penalty.
Two plays later, Evan Weaver forced a fumble at the Ferris 26 and G-Prep recovered. This time the Pups wasted no time, and Plese twisted into the end zone after a 9-yard run up the middle.
That made it 14-0, but Ferris cut the deficit in half after blocking a punt and getting a first-and-goal from the Prep 4 following a pair of unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties on Prep. On second down, James Mann scored for Ferris on a 1-yard plunge.
Prep upped the lead to 16-7 after a Ferris punt was blocked for a safety, and after an exchange of punts, quarterback Liam Bell hit Johnson for a 27-yard TD to make it 23-7.
Prep took a 26-7 lead on Jared Kutsch’s 42-yard field goal on the final play of the half, then got another big special teams play to start the third quarter.
The Bullpups forced another three-and-out, then blocked another punt to set up Johnson’s third score of the night, a short run that pushed the lead to 33-7. Plese followed with a 59-yard TD run to put the game out of reach at 40-7.
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