Down by 10 points, Central Valley was still a confident football team at halftime Friday night.
And why not? The Bears had trailed Ferris by 17 just a few minutes earlier, but momentum was turning their way.
Everyone could feel it.
“We just wanted to remain calm,” said Bears coach Ryan Butner, who got a dominant second half in every phase as Central Valley beat the Saxons 38-17 in a Greater Spokane League game at CVHS Stadium.
CV improved to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the GSL 4A standings. Ferris is 2-4 and 0-2.
Homecoming festivities were still going strong as the Bears took the field in the second half. They stalled on their first two drives, but gained momentum on the arm of quarterback Conner DeGeest and, above all, the legs of running back Braedon Orrino.
The 5-foot-7, 160-pound Orrino more than made up for a second-quarter fumble.
The payoff came on Orrino’s 33-yard run that set up DeGeest’s remarkable 14-yard touchdown scramble that cut the deficit to 17-14. Two minutes later, DeGeest and receiver Micah Mason connected for their second touchdown to give CV the lead for the first time, 21-17.
“It felt pretty good,” said Orrino, whose left leg cramped at the Ferris 10-yard line as he seemed destined to score.
By then, momentum was wearing navy blue. The clincher came courtesy of linebacker Hunter Chodorowski. Under pressure, Ferris quarterback Logan Bunker lofted a ball that Chodorowski batted and snagged out of the air and returned 35 yards for a 31-17 lead with 6:45 left.
Early on, the game seemed destined to go Ferris’ way.
After going three-and-out on its first two possessions, Ferris took over on its own 36 after CV failed to convert a fourth-and-2. On first-and-goal, Bunker fumbled on a keeper, but Eric Mast recovered to keep the drive alive.
Two plays later, Bunker hit Mast for a 4-yard score to put the Saxons up 7-0.
The lead doubled less than a minute later following a CV fumble deep its own territory. Ferris recovered, and Bunker found Braden Brock on a short post pattern to make it 14-0 on the first play of the second quarter.
Ferris almost got a third touchdown after James Zastrow took a short crossing pattern 65 yards to the CV 5, but the Bears held and forced a 22-yard field goal by Brock.
That left CV with less than four minutes to work with to get back in the game. Runs by Orrino set up the passing game, and DeGeest took advantage, hitting Mason on a 4-yard fade route with 1:08 left in the half.
“We had all the momentum after that,” Orrino said.
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