While chatting with Rick Giampietri at Albi Stadium last week, he talked about the nature of Central Valley’s football schedule, which began favorably and ends with successive murderous games against Ferris, Gonzaga Prep and Mead.
He liked it, saying it will prove if the Bears deserve to be in the playoffs. Last year they proved not only they belonged, but also came within an eyelash of the State 4A semifinals, losing for the second time in stirring games with Ferris’ Saxons.
The two go at it again at 8 p.m. Friday at Albi Stadium. CV is 5-0 in the Greater Spokane League and Ferris is 4-1.
Both teams have veteran and talented lines.
CV’s schedule has enabled an inexperienced set of backs on both sides of the ball to season. Taylor Evans is the league’s second-leading rusher and leads the league in scoring. The Bears have the third-best running game behind G-Prep and Mt. Spokane. CV’s linebackers have impressed.
Ferris hasn’t had to rush much because Connor Halliday has thrown for 1,290 yards, moving up to eighth in the GSL for his career. Favorite receiver Jason Bates already has the ninth-best single-season yardage total at 696.
Last year’s Saxons wins at CV were 27-23 (creating a first-place tie) and 14-7 in the state semifinals. Friday they are on home turf at Albi, where the odds favor them again.
Assuming Mt. Spokane wins at East Valley, as expected, in the game between top-two GSL 3A schools, and depending upon the outcome between Mead at G-Prep – the league’s two best defensive teams statistically – there could be a four-way tie for the lead with two weeks remaining..
G-Prep’s Bullpups also have the league’s top offense (with 1,945 of those yards on the ground). G-Prep junior Bishop Sankey has rushed for 976 yards in four games. Before he moved here, he was touted on a Web site as one of the all-time top youth football players of his age group in Ohio.
GSL and Columbia Basin Big Nine athletic directors agreed that this year’s crossover games will be played Nov. 6.
Games to reach the state playoffs will feature, in 4A, Big Nine No. 4 at GSL No. 1; Big Nine No. 3 at GSL No. 2; and GSL No. 3 at Big Nine No. 2. In 3A, GSL No. 1 will host Big Nine No. 2, and GSL No. 2 will be at Big Nine No. 1.
There’s still a possibility for a three-way tie among the 3A teams. Current 4A division leaders are Eisenhower and Kamiakin, Wenatchee and Southridge, respectively.
The regular season comes to an end for GSL schools today. Tournament play among the top six finishers runs Monday, Tuesday and next Thursday.
Defending champion University is atop the league.