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

Central Valley handles University 39-14 in rivalry game

By Steve Christilaw The Spokesman-Review

Beau Butner put a big smile on his dad’s face after their Central Valley Bears won the 70th renewal of the annual CV-University rivalry game on Friday night.

Scoring three touchdowns, blocking a kick and having an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown called back will do that when your dad is your football coach.

The Bears beat the Titans 39-14 in a game the players will remember well.

“I had a couple former players text me today, wishing us luck and reminding me this will be the only game these guys will be talking about at the 10-year reunion,” coach Ryan Butner said.

The fact that the Bears were already ticketed to face Richland Tuesday night in a state play-in game when Gonzaga Prep beat Lewis and Clark Thursday night never entered the equation, let alone the pregame preparation, the coach said.

“I don’t even like to talk about it,” he said. “It will be a fast turnaround, but we’ve played them before and know what we’re in for.”

What will complicate the situation, he said, is the fact that the game was shifted at the last minute from a home game for CV to a home game for the Bombers in Richland.

“It was supposed to be played right here,” Butner said. “It’s supposed (to be) No. 3 plays at No. 2, but they appealed and got it shifted to the Tri-Cities. We even offered to play the game in Moses Lake if they weren’t happy about playing here, but (Richland) wasn’t interested. We’ve appealed to the WIAA and they will take it up at their meeting on Sunday. We should know then where we’re playing. We have our buses ordered and everything ready, just in case.”

The grin on the coach’s face was broad and there was an extra twinkle in his eye when he talked about the game his son turned in.

“He was cramping up so bad last week that he barely played, so we were a little concerned about him coming in,” he said. “Our play was to use him on the backside and have him run down plays from behind because he has really good speed.”

He did all that and more.

After U-Hi’s first-quarter pick-six by Caleb Walcott, the younger Butner fielded the ensuing kickoff, burst between two U-Hi defenders and raced 80 yards for a touchdown only to have it erased on a holding call – an infraction that happened well behind Butner and had no effect on the actual return.

Not to be deterred, the junior running back waited for his time while Danner Smith carried the offensive load and moved the Bears down the field before capping the drive by jetting to the outside and racing 23 yards for a touchdown that put the Bears in front for good, 7-6.

After Smith scored to make it 14-6, Butner took a second-quarter handoff and tried to run the ball inside. When the Titans closed the hole, he popped outside and raced for the corner of the end zone for his second touchdown of the half, giving the Bears a 21-6 lead.

It proved to be a costly touchdown allowed for the Titans. Wolcott raced over from his safety position and tried to make the play short of the goal line, but stayed down and was helped off the field afterward.

Wolcott had been University’s most potent offensive player, and one of the Greater Spokane League’s best rushers, running out of a Wildcat formation that featured two running backs and a wingback all acting as lead blockers.

With Wolcott out, U-Hi turned to Camren Breeden and a more traditional running attack using Logan Rosholt.

It was not without its challenges. Twice the Titans got the ball deep in their territory and twice had trouble with the snap – both muffed exchanges led to Central Valley touchdowns, including a fumble recovery in the end zone by Butner for his third touchdown of the game.