Bishop Sankey … gunslinger?
Gonzaga Prep’s spectacular and sought after back is bearing down on the all-time Greater Spokane League rushing record.
But Friday night at Central Valley, half his total offense came through the air as the Bullpups (5-1) throttled the Bears (3-3) 45-20.
Sankey, taking direct snaps essentially out of a “Wildcat” formation, had what was, even for him, a memorable night. He amassed 424 yards of total offense in less than three quarters of playing time, rushing for four touchdowns and passing for a fifth. He completed 5 of 6 passes for 195 yards to go with a typical 200-yards rushing (229 on 27 carries).
Witnessing the performance was ex-CV star Tyree Clowe, whose single-season (2,318) and career (3,937) yardage marks have stood since 1997. Clowe and his teammates were being honored at halftime for their state championship season.
What he saw was a seemingly inevitable changing of the guard. Sankey moved into second, within 429 yards of Clowe for career yardage with three games remaining.
“He’s a hard runner,” Clowe agreed.
But what about his passing, which ultimately left the Bears shell-shocked and in disarray?
“We practice throwing plays all the time in case we have to pull (a game) out,” Sankey said. “I worked on my mechanics this past week.”
A 42-yard completion led to Prep’s first score, a 25-yarder to the third, a 31-yarder to the fourth – Sankey doing the rest with his feet – and a 20-yarder set up a first-half-ending field goal by Shane Schmidlkofer for a 31-0 lead.
His second completion to Harrison Covey covered 35 yards for a TD to open the third quarter.
With about 9 minutes remaining in the game, Gonzaga was up 45-7. Two of CV’s scores came on short field following turnovers.
Coming in, G-Prep had a mere 39 yards through the air. Sankey quintupled it.
“I’ve been harassed all year that we don’t throw the football,” coach Dave McKenna said. “We threw tonight.”
G-Prep’s easy victory was done mainly without Stanford-bound lineman-fullback Charlie Hopkins, who injured his knee late in the first quarter.
Schmidlkofer, unable to quarterback as a precaution because of an injured shoulder, played at a wing, catching a couple of passes and also carrying the ball for 72 all-purpose yards besides his kicking duties.
“He’s an athlete,” McKenna said. “We’ve missed him. He’s a leader and inspiration to the team.”