Darkness falls a little earlier every day. The air is getting a little crisper in the evenings. And league play is heating up across the Greater Spokane League and everywhere else across the region.
Nothing was decided over the weekend, but league races are becoming more defined even as challengers mount their threats.
Let’s revisit some of Friday’s bigger games.
The showdown between Central Valley and Mt. Spokane was worth the price of admission. And then some.
CV took advantage of a couple of Wildcats special teams mistakes – and its stingy defense – to build a 14-3 halftime lead. When Luke Abshire connected with Dylan Gravelle on a short slant on fourth-and-3 at the Mt. Spokane 35 and the receiver took it all the way with 9 minutes left, it looked like “game over.”
But there’s no fold in the Wildcats. A couple of long quick-strike passes set up a short TD run, then a short field goal made it a one-score game with 1:15 to go. Two recovered onside kicks gave Mt. Spokane a chance to win with 4.5 seconds left, but Texas A&M-bound Ethan Moczulski’s 60-yard FG attempt was wide left.
Still, an incredible late effort by the Wildcats, an impressive defensive performance by the Bears, and just a terrific overall high school football game.
No slowing down
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Gonzaga Prep rushed for over 300 yards and won for the fourth game in a row.
The Bullpups got 182 yards (on just 13 carries) by quarterback Ryan McKenna and 170 by Matteo Saccomanno as they built a 35-0 first-half lead in a 56-21 win over Mead.
As if the offense wasn’t dominant enough, G-Prep added a defensive touchdown and a kick return for a score.
The Bullpups travel to CV on Oct. 8 in what looks like an early GSL 4A regular-season title game.
North Central did a lot of good things in a 52-21 win over Rogers. And a lot of that started with Carter Strom.
The senior quarterback doesn’t get enough attention, but he’s a smart runner (164 yards on 11 carries) and he’s developing as a passer, hitting 11 of 17 for 191 yards with four TDs through the air.
That puts the Wolfpack at 1-1 in league and should make for some interesting football down the road.
Riverside, Lakeside and Freeman all added wins and remain unbeaten this season.
Riverside (4-0, 1-0), ranked No. 6 in 1A by state media last week, got by a pesky Bonners Ferry squad, while Lakeside pulled away from Newport and Freeman routed Colville.
Riverside travels to Freeman next week before hosting Lakeside on Oct. 15, setting up an interesting three-way battle for supremacy in the Northeast A.
Sandpoint hosted Lewiston in what might have looked like a nonleague mismatch on paper – 5A Lewiston came in at 4-0, while the 4A Bulldogs were 1-2.
But Sandpoint’s record wasn’t necessarily an accurate reflection on what it is as a team. The Bulldogs handled Post Falls on opening night, then narrow losses to Coeur d’Alene and a long road trip to 3A No. 1 Homedale put their record in the red.
Lewiston had looked like a world-beater in running up a perfect record.
What resulted was an immensely entertaining football game settled in overtime, when Sandpoint coach Ryan Knowles eschewed a tying extra point and told his offense to go for two. Which the Bulldogs did successfully, resulting in a 43-42 win they’ll remember it for the rest of their lives.
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