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

Friday Night (High)lights: Mead perfecting comeback routine; Shadle Park sets up 2A showdown

Week 5 of football is in the books, which means we’re more than halfway done with the regular season. Contenders are gathering at the top of the standings; others are battling for respect, and a few still are looking for their first win of the season.

One interesting note: None of the 16 Greater Spokane League teams is undefeated overall after five weeks of football. That seems a little, what? Odd? Four of the five one-loss teams took their “L” in nonleague games as well.

While we chew on that, let’s go around the league and take a look at five things (plus one) that stood out to us in Week 5.

Comeback kids

For the second week in a row, Mead trailed late with the ball. For the second week in a row, the Panthers advanced down the field to get into the red zone.

But unlike last week, when Colby Danielson’s slightly high fourth-down pass deflected off the outstretched hands of receiver Max Workman, on Friday coach Keith Stamps called the same play with speedster Keenan Kuntz on the backside.

Danielson’s throw hit Kuntz in stride at the goal line with 52 seconds remaining to lift Mead to a 21-17 win over the Bears, keeping the Panthers’ hopes alive for the league’s 4A/3A title.

“This was a tough week,” Stamps said. “They went all in (against Gonzaga Prep) and didn’t get the results they wanted. And to challenge them to go all in again and that they would get the result they wanted, and they did. So, I’m pretty proud of them.”

Kuntz’s catch was terrific, but the opportunity might not have come if not for a terrific sliding catch by Johnny Talarico along the sideline two plays earlier for a first down to the CV 18.

“Johnny is as neat a young man as I have ever coached,” Stamps said. “He is really, really, really good at football.

“Being a new kid to our school he was almost a unanimous vote for team captain by his teammates which speaks volumes to who he is as a person. I bet he played 100 snaps (Friday).”

Backup plan

CV linebacker Brandon Thomas missed last week’s nonleague game against Moses Lake with a hand injury. Undaunted, he played Friday with a cast on his right hand.

As if that wasn’t enough, early in the third quarter Thomas’ prosthetic right leg broke. His brother, Joshua, scrambled to find Brandon’s backup and after replacing the limb and conferring with team trainers, Thomas made it back to the field for the Bears’ last defensive series.

“We had one on standby just in case this happened because you never know what’s going to happen with a prosthetic,” Thomas said.

“I wish we could have won,” he said. “I felt like I kind of let my team down a little for the third quarter but came back and tried to help them out again.”

Showdown ahead

Shadle Park pulled away from Rogers on Saturday, getting outstanding performances from Beckett Ensminger (163 rushing yards, three total TDs) and Jordan Dever (seven catches, 117 yards with two TDs).

The Highlanders remain unbeaten in league, the only team at 3-0, with a date against 2-0 Pullman on Friday in Pullman.

The Greyhounds had the week off but have won three in a row. This week’s showdown could go a long way in deciding which GSL 2A team gets to play at home in Week 10.

Top arms

There was plenty of talk before the season started about quarterback play in the Northeast A League, with Lakeside’s Kole Hunsaker and Freeman’s Boen Phelps back for their senior seasons.

And rightfully so, as Hunsaker is the defending league MVP and Phelps is the defending first-team QB.

But Colville’s Cale Roy has led the resurgent Crimson Hawks to a perfect record, with three league wins, and is putting up impressive numbers doing it. He had four TD passes in this week’s win over Medical Lake, two over more than 50 yards to Allan McKeraghan.

Inside track

Liberty, Chewelah and Lind-Ritzville/Sprague all won league games this week and should all be among the top 10 in next week’s media poll.

LRS had last week’s highest ranking in the Northeast 2B at No. 4, while Liberty was at No. 6 and Chewelah just outside the top 10 as the first among others receiving votes.

The Cougars will probably leapfrog Davenport, which was at No. 9 but fell for the second week in a row to a ranked league opponent.

Gem State update

It was a big week for the 4A teams, as Lakeland scored 55 points against Timberlake and Sandpoint put up 51 on Lake City. The Hawks and Bulldogs battle Friday for the league title.

In 5A, Post Falls made an impression by knocking off Mt. Spokane on the road in overtime. The Trojans host Lewiston (5-1) next week as North Idaho enters league play.

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