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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  High school sports

Beckett Ensminger steps in on offense, Shadle Park defense shuts down Pullman in GSL 2A clash

UPDATED: Sat., Oct. 16, 2021

Shadle Park gets set to run a play against Pullman at Union Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021.   (Dave Nichols)
Shadle Park gets set to run a play against Pullman at Union Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021.  (Dave Nichols)

When Shadle Park star senior Tryson Town went down last week to injury, the Highlanders needed someone to step up.

They found someone – and he wasn’t even on the squad when the season started.

Junior Beckett Ensminger considered foregoing the football season to play fall baseball, but later decided to give the gridiron a go after missing a couple of weeks of practice.

He’s more than caught up to everyone else.

Ensminger rushed for 130 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown run and a 26-yard TD pass and the Highlanders topped visiting Pullman 39-7 in a Greater Spokane League 2A game at Union Stadium on Saturday.

Shadle Park’s Natreven Dickerson went 12 of 16 for 216 yards with two TD passes and a TD run.

“I signed up a little late for football this year, and I honestly regret not signing up sooner,” Ensminger said. “I love it out here right now.”

“We knew he was darn good back,” Shadle Park coach Jim Mace said of Ensminger. “We got a lot of carries early (from Town). Town played great, but we knew we had another great guy.”

The win puts Shadle (4-2, 4-0) and Clarkston (4-2, 4-0) two games ahead of the competition with two games to go. They face off in Clarkston on Oct. 29.

The GSL 2As don’t have a crossover this year, so two teams qualify for state.

“Obviously, we’ve got to take care of business,” Mace said. “But we knew if we won today we kind of locked up first or second seed and so that was the big thing. On to state.”

Shadle limited Pullman quarterback Riley Pettit to 7-of-18 passing and held the Greyhounds (2-5, 2-2) to under 50 yards rushing.

“Our whole focus this week was, we’ve got to start playing playoff defense,” Mace said. “Finishing plays, getting off the field. And we stepped up today.”

Shadle took its first possession 11 plays. On fourth-and-2 from the Pullman 26, Ensminger took the direct snap, drifted to his left, then pulled up and lobbed it to a wide-open Jordan Dever for a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead.

The teams traded punts until the middle of the second quarter. The Highlanders started a drive at their 21 and Ensminger broke a tackle to go 23 yards. With third-and-23 at the Pullman 43, Dickerson went deep again to Dever, who hauled it in at the 5 and dragged two tacklers into the end zone.

After a Pullman three-and-out, Shadle took it back at its 30. Dickerson went to Dever for 14 yards, then took it himself for 22 to the Pullman 12. Three straight runs by Ensminger out of the Wildcat formation resulted in a 1-yard TD. The PAT was blocked and Shadle led 20-0 at halftime.

“I’m thanking my linemen,” Ensminger said. “They played great today, made me holes. Our goal was just to pound the ball all game.”

The Highlanders received the second-half kick and went on an 11-play, 68-yard drive culminated in Dickerson’s 1-yard plunge and Shadle went up 26-0.

On the next series, Dickerson found Johnston wide open down the right sideline for a 58-yard catch-and-run.

Pettit connected with Tanner Barbour on a 55-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, but Shadle Park ninth-grader Nick Tilton scored on a 12-yard run with less than a minute left.

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