Make no bones about it – Gonzaga Prep showed on Friday why many in the state think the Bullpups are among the top three in Class 4A.
Their showdown against Central Valley – in essence a Greater Spokane League 4A title game – featured the Bullpups’ pounding ground game and bruising defense, especially in the fourth quarter when they hounded CV’s Luke Abshire every time he dropped back to pass. G-Prep won 35-7.
With a little more clarity on the big picture, let’s go around the area for some of the outstanding performances of the weekend.
G-Prep pressured the Bears into three turnovers, including a pair of picks by Abshire, and came up with six sacks. Central Valley moved the ball in the first half, but untimely penalties and turnovers kept the Bears in check.
Still, it was a two-score game entering the third quarter, when the Bullpups really turned up the pressure.
“I think this was a perfect game to show how we play defense as a team,” G-Prep defensive end Kaz Melzer said. “The DBs locking down, allowing our D-line to get the pressure and everybody doing their job.”
Meanwhile, Ryan McKenna rushed 18 times for 159 yards and three TDs and hit on one of his two pass attempts on a fourth-down, 27-yard touchdown pass.
“He’s a beast,” Melzer said of McKenna. “I love that kid. He plays his heart out every night. He’s a true leader on the team and he does great things for us.”
First for Falcons
The young Ridgeline team has been taking its lumps this season in the first year for the new school. On Friday, some of that effort paid off as the Falcons edged Cheney 13-10.
It was something of a coming-out party for ninth-grader Brayden Allen, as he lit up the Blackhawks’ secondary for 17 catches, 127 yards and two touchdowns, including a 60-yard scoring catch in the fourth quarter that was the difference maker.
Ridgeline had to back out of its contest last week against G-Prep due to a lack of healthy varsity players. It doesn’t get any easier for the Falcons with dates against Walla Walla and Central Valley on the schedule.
But at least the players and coaches will be able to hang their collective hats on at least one win this season, the first in program history.
There’s a battle a-brewin’ in the Northeast A League.
Lakeside (6-0, 3-0) and Riverside (6-0, 3-0) both picked up lopsided league wins on Friday, setting up their date this week as the de facto league championship game.
Riverside was ranked No. 4 in last week’s state media poll. The Eagles were No. 9, and the wins should only cement their status.
Small schools, big talent
It seems like every year Odessa and Almira/Coulee-Hartline meet late in the season ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in the 1B ranks. This year, it was no different.
What was different than in recent years past was that ACH came out on top – convincingly.
Dane Isaak combined for 292 total yards and five touchdowns and the Warriors (6-0, 5-0) beat the visiting Tigers (5-1, 3-1) 50-20.
That’ll shuffle the 1B rankings this week, but don’t be surprised if these teams meet again, even possibly in December.
Gem State update
The Inland Empire League moved into league play. While Coeur d’Alene had little trouble dispatching archrival Lake City 38-0, the other 5A game was a barnburner, and settled on a late missed field goal.
Lewiston and Post Falls traded scores all night. When Kruz Hepburn scored his fourth touchdown of the night with 69 seconds left, the Bengals held a precarious one-point lead.
The Trojans moved quickly into field-goal range, but a winning kick wasn’t meant to be
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