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

Austin Clark, West Valley storm past Clarkston with six team rushing touchdowns

By Steve Christilaw For The Spokesman-Review

The second half was less than a minute old when Austin Clark stormed out of the backfield and headed for the corner on the right side of the West Valley line.

Clark raced 55 yards for his fourth touchdown in a 42-13 win over Clarkston on Friday night.

It was that kind of a night for the Eagles (3-1), who have won three straight and remain tied for the Greater Spokane League 2A lead at 2-0.

For the second straight week, the Eagles kicked off to start the game and recovered an onside kick. It took them just four plays, all runs by Clark, to reach the end zone. Clark scored again on West Valley’s next possession to make it 14-0 midway through the first quarter. By halftime the Eagles held a 28-13 advantage.

Clarkston (2-2, 1-1) came into the game riding high after posting a 51-26 win over East Valley a week ago. The same night, Eagles needed to stop Shadle Park on downs late to hold onto a 13-7 victory.

Six rushing touchdowns and a 29-point defeat wasn’t what West Valley expected.

“We watched (Clarkston) on film and they looked good,” WV coach Craig Whitney said. “They’re impressive. And we were without our best defensive lineman …. But we had a really good week of practice and did the best we could to get everyone ready, and I think they were really excited to come out and play


WV’s Clark said: “We were just really pumped up to start the game. We had the music cranked up before we came out and that really got the energy flowing and we just kept it going. Our offensive line did a great job and our offensive coach, (Rick) Kuhl had a great game plan for us … ”

The Bantams were forced to punt after going three-and-out on their first two possessions, and quarterback Carter Steinwand threw incomplete on his first six pass attempts. Clarkston’s third possession started after the Bantams recovered a fumble at the WV 40, and Steinwand picked up their initial first down on a keeper to the WV 29. After the Eagles were flagged for pass interference in the end zone, he hit Marecisio Noriega on a slant to the 5, and Milo Kunnap scored to make it 14-7.

WV’s Ethan Turley ran for the first of his two touchdowns to start the second quarter, and Clark added a 4-yard TD to make it 28-7 with 5 minutes left in the half.

Clarkston put together its finest drive to end the half, marching 70 yards before Steinwand founde Bodee Thivierge in the back of the end zone as time expired to make it 28-13.

With the offense calling Clark’s number play after play , it’s little wonder his number was pulled loose and flapping on his uniform early in the third quarter


WV failed to order a new No. 5 jersey for Clark, who took over running back duties from his older brother, Judah, who was the Eagles’ leading rusher a year ago.

The night before WV’s first game, Whitney’s mother volunteered to sew the number on a jersey for him.

Whitney noted: “She said, ‘This isn’t going to last.’ ”