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

Friday Night (High)Lights: Mead impresses in loss, University hitting its stride, Shadle Park closes in

Mead quarterback Colby Danielson runs the ball against Mt. Spokane in the "Battle of the Bell" on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. The Wildcats won 38-24.  (Colin Mulvany/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Mead quarterback Colby Danielson runs the ball against Mt. Spokane in the "Battle of the Bell" on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. The Wildcats won 38-24. (Colin Mulvany/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

The Greater Spokane League now knows how many teams will qualify for postseason play.

Now it just has to figure out which ones they will be.

All three GSL 4A teams will advance to a Week 10 crossover with the Mid-Columbia Conference, two 3A teams will qualify for the 32-team state bracket and two 2A teams will move straight to the round of 16.

The picture got a little bit clearer after the end of the Week 7 schedule, but there are still plenty of question marks as the season hits the stretch.

Panthers prowling

Yes, Mt. Spokane won the “Battle of the Bell” on Friday behind a breakout performance by slotback Blake Speer and the deep ball attack by QB Kellen Flanigan.

But most impressive at Union Stadium was Mead’s much-improved play from the beginning of the season, giving the sixth-ranked Wildcats more than they wanted – or maybe expected – in the rivalry game.

“I wish I could have enjoyed that a little bit more,” Mt. Spokane coach Terry Cloer said.

Mt. Spokane came in with four shutouts on the season, allowing just Central Valley to score on them in five contests.

But the Panthers hung tight all night and tied it at 24 late in the contest on a couple of fourth-quarter touchdown passes before Flanigan hit Speer deep and a defensive TD sealed it.

“There’s a good chance this is the best game we played, you know, for the fifth week in a row,” Mead first-year coach Keith Stamps said.

With another year under his belt, Mead junior QB Colby Danielson is going to be a handful next season for GSL defensive coordinators.

U-Hi on the rise

University scored seven points combined in two losses to open the season. Since then, the Titans’ offense has leaned heavily on Malaki Miller, who has averaged 117.5 yards on the ground in the past four games.

Not surprisingly, three have been wins, with the only loss coming in a 27-24 decision to Central Valley.

One-loss Mt. Spokane has sewn up one of the two 3A GSL bids to the 32-team state tournament. U-Hi (4-3) faces the Wildcats next week with a one-game lead over Ferris and Mead for the second spot.

Inching closer

With two 2A teams out of the GSL going straight to state, Saturday’s game pitting Shadle Park and Pullman became something of an elimination game. Shadle left no doubt about the outcome.

Beckett Ensminger stepped in for an injured Tryson Town and rushed for 130 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown run and a 26-yard TD pass in a 39-7 win.

It puts Shadle and Clarkston two games in the clear of everyone else with two games to go. The two face off Oct. 29 for the top seed – as long as neither stumbles next week.

NEA showdown

The Lakeside-Riverside matchup was expected to be close between the two unbeaten, top-10 ranked team.

It wasn’t expected to be one-score game between the two – the teams had combined to score 417 points through the first six weeks of the season.

Instead, the ninth-ranked Eagles turned to the ground after halftime and then leaned on a stellar defensive performance to earn a 6-0 victory and remain unbeaten with two weeks left in the regular season. With no offense to Deer Park, the only thing standing in the way of an undefeated season for Lakeside is an Oct. 28 clash with Freeman, a 63-0 winner over Medical Lake.

Gem State update

Post Falls has been a work in progress all season. The Trojans lost their first two games by a combined 84-21, but since haven’t scored fewer than 29 points in a game.

Post Falls (4-4, 1-1) got a late touchdown Friday and upset fifth-ranked Coeur d’Alene 32-27. With Lewiston’s win over Lake City, it sets up a potential three-way tie if – and it’s a big if – the Vikings (5-2, 1-1) can knock off Lewiston (7-1, 2-0) next week.

In 4A, Sandpoint (4-2, 1-0) trounced Moscow 41-6, setting up a showdown against Lakeland (5-3, 1-0) next week.

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