The last team to qualify is the last team standing among Greater Spokane League 4A football playoff teams. Ferris put behind a season of frustration in one week and plays host to Kamiakin Friday, 7 p.m., at Joe Albi Stadium in the Saxons’ third straight state appearance.
“It was a strange deal,” said coach Jim Sharkey, “not only with the errors we made, but that every one was just critical. Everything snowballed at times. We were two plays away against Gonzaga Prep, could have won against Central Valley and really imploded against Lewis and Clark.
“We were in shock.”
Despite a 5-3 record, which by rights could have spelled season’s end, things broke right for Ferris the last week of regulation. The Saxons then survived a three-team tiebreaker last Tuesday to qualify third for play-in purposes and won at unbeaten Wenatchee on Friday.
“We’ve practiced well the past three or four weeks. The kids haven’t let down, we just made big-time errors,” Sharkey said, noting they practically eliminated those last week and played loose in Wenatchee.
Two big plays – an interception and recovered on-side kick – led to a quick two-touchdown lead en route to a 21-point first quarter and ultimate 21-10 victory. It was, said Sharkey, their most complete game of the season.
“We tried to control what we could, got a few breaks and we’re in it,” he said. “We’re just happy to be playing.”
The GSL’s top two seeds, Mead and Central Valley, both lost at home.
•It’s back to Fran Rish Stadium against Hanford for Mt. Spokane, but this time in the first round of the State 3A playoffs, also Friday at 7 p.m. Last year’s game was a wild one, going down to the wire in a 42-39 Mt. Spokane win.
The Wildcats’ foe could just as easily have been East Valley again. The Knights led Hanford 21-0 in the first half and 21-10 before giving up two fourth-quarter TDs in a 24-21 loss.
Tigers, Titans burn bright
Soccer can be an upredictable sport. Just ask GSL 4A district champion Mead, which outshot Pasco 24-3, but lost 1-0 and failed to return to state. Instead, league No. 2 Lewis and Clark and No. 3 University play on tonight in the first round of the tournament.
The Tigers play host to Pasco at U-Hi. The Titans are in Kennewick at Lampson Stadium against Columbia Basin Big Nine champion Kamiakin. Both matches start at 7 with berths in the state quarterfinals on the line.
“All accounts seem to think Pasco was very fortunate on Saturday,” said LC coach Casey Curtis. “That doesn’t mean we can relax.”
The Tigers lost to the Panthers 3-0 for the district championship, but Curtis said his girls put the game behind them and focused on the Bombers, who had beaten them 1-0 earlier this fall. LC also lost 1-0 to Pasco.
“I told the girls then that the results weren’t that important and how we progressed in each game was,” he said. “I knew having played those games would help us later in the season and I believe it has.”
Bev Amstadter’s second-half goal and “safety net” Sarah Wood’s goalkeeping held the fort.
U-Hi trailed on the road against Southridge, but two quick goals in the final six minutes moved the Titans on.
LC’s last girls state appearance was 2001, the Titans’ in 2005.
“Only 16 teams are left playing and we’re pretty darn excited to be one of them,” Curtis said.
•In 3A, Mt. Spokane was eliminated in the first round Saturday by West Valley-Yakima. In 2A, Pullman is at East Valley-Yakima at 4 p.m., West Valley is at Ellensburg, 5 p.m., and Cheney hosts Prosser, 2 p.m., today. In 1A, Lakeside, hosts Overlake on Wednesday at 1 p.m.
More GSL records
With Connor Halladay setting several league season passing records at Ferris this year, it makes sense that a Saxon receiver should become a beneficiary.
Jason Bates caught 63 passes, second most in league history behind the 64 of Rogers’ Cody Glasgow. Bates set the single-season yardage record with 1,091, nearly half of Halladay’s record 2,255.
The top five single-season receivers are all from Ferris.
Among Halliday’s other marks are top one-game yardage total (437) and total offense, first in completions for a season (162), third in season total offense (2,269), fifth in career passing yardage (4,270) and sixth in career total offense (4,372).
Several other GSL athletes moved up on the records lists. Mt. Spokane’s Colten Williams is ninth in career receiving with 1,246 yards and sixth in career scoring with 210 points.
University’s Tony Tabish had the fifth best single-season total offense with 2,029 yards. His 1,848 passing yards ranks sixth. Bishop Sankey of Gonzaga Prep had four games rushing over 200 yards, moving into the top 10 with his 323-yard game, and had the fifth best single-season total with 1,460. The 2,211 career rushing yards of Lewis and Clark’s Levi Taylor are 15th best.