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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Clarkston holds North Central scoreless for three quarters, cruises to first league win 43-14

By Steve Christilaw For The Spokesman-Review

Jeff West spent the past week working hard on his technique as a first-year defensive end for the Clarkston Bantams.

His five sacks in his Greater Spokane League debut at the position says he has a good handle on the job’s duties.

The Bantams blanked North Central for three quarters Friday night at University High, posting their first win of the season in their league opener, defeating the Wolfpack 43-14.

“We started off with Moscow and played Lewiston last week in our main rivalry game,” Clarkston coach Brycen Bye said. “Our goal was to come out of this game 1-0 in league. It feels good.”

West spearheaded a defensive effort that took away most of NC’s offense. The Wolfpack got their initial first down of the game in the second quarter by way of a defensive penalty. They went three-and-out on their first five possessions.

“Our defense did a really good job,” West said. “Our DBs, our linebackers – everyone had a really good game.”

NC’s primary weapon was quarterback Carter Strom – not so much for his ability to throw but for his ability to run for his life – changing direction multiple times.

Strom eluded West’s grasp in the fourth quarter and scrambled 18 yards for the Wolfpack’s first touchdown in the fourth quarter, then found room to toss a short pass to Thomasson Latterian for a score in the final seconds.

“He was impressive – I told him so when I shook his hand after the game,” Bye said of Strom.

Clarkston quarterback Carter Steinwand wasn’t listed on the Bantams’ roster, but made up for the oversight by throwing a pair of long touchdown passes to Cayden Vinson in the first quarter, the first from 55 yards out to open the scoring with 5 minutes left in the period, then followed it with a 73-yard strike with 28 seconds left.

Running back Ikaika Millan didn’t make the Bantams’ roster, either, but he blasted through a big hole just before halftime to give Clarkston a 22-point advantage, then plowed his way for a 5-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

“We didn’t get a chance to play North Central last year,” Bye said. “That’s a good team and it was good to get the chance to play them.

“Our job this week will be to get ready to play Pullman next week in our first home game. It’s going to be good to play in front of our fans for the first time.”