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

Friday Night (High)lights: Week 8 brought little bit of everything to Greater Spokane League, including 4A/3A title for Gonzaga Prep

You want undefeated teams clashing late in the season? Multiple teams fighting it out for final playoff spots? A senior trying to will his team into the postseason for the first time in decades? This past weekend in the Greater Spokane League had it all.

Here are our weekly five thoughts (plus one) about the football performances in the GSL and Eastern Washington.

Worthy title game

It was a defensive slugfest for most of the game, but in the second half, Gonzaga Prep imposed its will and pounded the ball up the middle time and again, churning out yardage and draining the clock in a 21-10 win over Mt. Spokane to secure the GSL 4A/3A regular-season championship.

G-Prep’s Nate Moinette finished with 31 carries – 22 in the second half – for 140 yards as the Bullpups used a 7-minute drive in the fourth quarter after the Wildcats kicked a field goal to seal the win.

The Gonzaga Prep offense didn’t get much going in the first half, but its defense and special teams made up for it with a pair of interceptions and a long kickoff return that gave the offense a short field.

Still fighting

Central Valley (3-5, 3-4) won big over Ferris as Danner Smith carried 25 times for 142 yards with three touchdowns and the Bears defense provided 11 sacks and two interceptions. CV moved into a tie for the second 4A playoff spot as Lewis and Clark (4-4, 3-4) was edged by University on a fourth-quarter touchdown by Titans QB Caleb Walcott, who piled up 261 rushing yards on 43 carries with three touchdown runs.

CV beat LC in September, so if the Bears beat U-Hi on Friday, they’ll take the second bid. They will know if that’s necessary before they hit the field though, as the Tigers host 4A/3A champ Gonzaga Prep Thursday night.

Clinching effort

Carter Steinwand threw three touchdown passes and added a 7-yard TD run in the fourth quarter, and Clarkston (6-2, 5-1) clinched a postseason berth with a win over visiting Shadle Park (6-2, 3-2). The Bantams finish with a nonleague game against Grandview, Washington, so they are locked in as one of the two playoff teams from the league.

West Valley (6-2, 4-1) is at Pullman (3-5, 2-3) on Friday and will take the other spot with a win. If they stumble, Shadle hosts one-win East Valley while Rogers (6-2, 3-2) plays winless North Central. West Valley owns the head-to-head tiebreaker against Shadle but not against Rogers – and a three-way tie would necessitate a Kansas tiebreaker the following week for the second bid.

Staying alive

Rogers still needs a lot of help to break its playoff drought during this strong season for the program, but the Pirates took care of the hardest part Thursday, knocking off first-place and previously unbeaten-in-league West Valley 38-14 at ONE Spokane Stadium as Gavynn Bodman had 22 carries for 118 yards and three touchdowns.

Rogers senior Aaron Kinsey continued to impress, doing it mostly one-handed with his right arm heavily wrapped in a cast. He returned a fumble for a score, caught a long touchdown pass and intercepted a pass on a fake punt attempt. The injury has kept Kinsey from playing QB the past few weeks after leading Rogers to a 4-0 start, but he keeps finding ways to lead his team down the stretch.

NEA

Lakeside (7-0, 5-0) handled its business with a convincing 38-0 win over Colville (4-4, 2-3) as Calvin Mikkelsen threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score. Coupled with Freeman’s loss at Newport, the Eagles clinched their third consecutive league title and secured one of the league’s two playoff spots.

The second is still up for grabs, with five teams sitting with two or three losses. Freeman (5-3, 3-2) has a chance to bounce back and claim the second bid as it faces winless Medical Lake.

The other football

League championships were also decided in GSL girls soccer this week, with Ridgeline beating Gonzaga Prep 2-1 on Wednesday to capture the program’s first district title in its third season. It happened in exciting fashion, as Natalie Thompson scored her second goal of the game at the 88-minute mark, only moments after G-Prep had tied it, to lift the Falcons to victory.

District play for 4A and 3A starts Tuesday; 2As begin Wednesday.