Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 21° Cloudy
Sports >  High school sports

Mt. Spokane shows off speed on offense, shuts down Lewis and Clark 38-16

Sept. 16, 2022 Updated Fri., Sept. 16, 2022 at 10:51 p.m.

Mt. Spokane came into this season with a new quarterback, a new tailback and competition for some spots on both sides of the ball.

But so far, so good, as the Wildcats seem to reload, not rebuild.

Led by junior quarterback T.J. Haberman and a variety of weapons on offense, Mt. Spokane beat Lewis and Clark 38-16 at Union Stadium on Friday, improving to 3-0 and putting the other powers in the Greater Spokane League on notice – underestimate the Wildcats at your peril.

“We always hope to start 3-0, but you never know,” Mt. Spokane coach Terry Cloer said. “We had a lot of inexperienced kids this year, and they’ve assimilated themselves to varsity football quicker than what we thought probably.”

Haberman went 17 of 27 for 238 yards with three touchdown passes – two to track star Boden Gardner, who finished with four catches for 145 yards.

“We’ve got a lot of weapons,” Haberman said. “And I think I got hit once tonight – the line did a great job protecting me.”

“We were able to move the ball offensively and T.J. did a great job of staying in the pocket against their pressure,” Cloer said. “They fly around on defense and they’re always physical front. I’m proud of our kids for executing our game plan.”

LC tailback Gentz Hilburn carried 20 times for 100 yards and caught a touchdown pass.

“We made sure to know where (Hilburn) was,” Cloer said. “And he’s the focus of at least half of our defense on every play, for sure.”

“We executed well on offense and our defense played outstanding,” senior slot Blake Speer said. “We pressured the ball every time – I mean we were on the quarterback every play.”

It started well enough for LC. After forcing a three-and-out, the Tigers got the ball at their 47. On third-and-14, Cooper Jeffries found Tommy Mickelson along the right sideline for a 38-yard gain to the Wildcats 6. The drive stalled, and they settled for Wilson Hash’s 26-yard field goal.

Mt. Spokane answered right back. The Wildcats picked up a first down, then Haberman hit Gardner – a member of Mt. Spokane’s state champion 4x400 team last spring – on a fly pattern for a 65-yard touchdown catch-and-run and a 7-3 lead.

“Our track work is really paying off, and we got to use it tonight,” Gardner said.

“We have speed across the board,” Cloer said. “If teams are going to try and man up on us, then you’re going to risk giving up big plays to us.”

On the next series, Jeffries fumbled and defensive back Jackson Hale recovered at the LC 18. Ethan Keene took it off-tackle and went 19 yards for a score to put the Wildcats up 14-3.

The Tigers went backward on their next possession, and Benjamin Orton’s punt was blocked by Bradley Runge. Two plays later, Haberman connected with Gardner on a post pattern for a 40-yard TD.

“It’s just hard because when you got me on the outside, and you got Blake (Speer) on the inside, it’s hard to guard – that’s two really fast dudes,” Gardner said. “We’ve got a bunch of dogs in there that are pretty fast. It’s hard to guard that.”

LC picked up a fourth-and-short as Jeffries went around the end on an option play, then he went deep to a streaking Tyler Jones for a 39-yard touchdown pass. The kick failed, and the Tigers trailed 21-9 early in the second quarter.

The kickoff went out of bounds, giving the Wildcats good field position. They moved into LC territory and Haberman hit Rece Schuerman on a post play to the 2, where Runge took a sweep for a TD and 28-9 lead.

Near the end of the half, a short LC punt put Mt. Spokane at the Tigers 39. An illegal shift penalty erased a touchdown run, and with 9.2 seconds left, Hunter McKee missed a 36-yard field goal and Mt. Spokane took a 28-9 lead to halftime.

Haberman completed five straight passes on the Wildcats’ first possession of the second half to get to the LC 9. The Tigers nearly came up with an interception at the goal line, and Speer booted a 27-yard field goal to make it 31-9.

Early in the fourth, on second-and-goal from the 6, Haberman tossed to Schuerman short of the line and the senior muscled his way into the end zone.

LC came away with something to build on for next week with a 15-play drive that churned out most of the final quarter, culminating in a 12-yard TD pass from Jack Paridon to Hilburn.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the sports newsletter

Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.