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Ferris' Kurtis Karstetter, left, flies high in celebration with teammate Kole Heidinger after Karstetter scored the only Ferris touchdown of the first half, Friday, Sept. 30, 2011, at Central Valley High School. Also pictured are Carson Fuller (82), Chris Beaulaurier (50) and Max Lee (53). The two GSL contenders ended the first half 10-7, CV edging the Saxons. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Saxons get by despite faults

Kurtis Karstetter wasn’t in a hurry to get to the locker room.

The senior linebacker/running back knew he and his Ferris Saxons teammates were about to hear about the mistakes they made. The good news, though, was the No. 1-ranked Saxons, despite not functioning on all cylinders, had more than enough to hold off the Mt. Spokane Wildcats 24-7 in a Greater Spokane League football game in rainy weather Thursday at Joe Albi Stadium.

“We had a lot of mistakes and we’re about to hear about it,” said Karstetter, who was solid from his outside linebacker position including a key tackle for an 8-yard loss late in the game.

Ferris (6-0), which pushed its winning streak to 20, uncharacteristically lost three fumbles. But the Saxons’ defense bailed out the offense each time.

“We turned the ball over and we were a little spotty,” Ferris coach Jim Sharkey said. “We weren’t as sharp. We had maybe a little letdown.”

Sharkey was referring to the Saxons’ big 28-10 win over Central Valley last week.

“Part of it was they’re a good football team,” Sharkey said of the Wildcats, who fell to 1-5. “They’ve got some good football players. You put Chase Naccarato on the field, he’s a threat any time. I thought we did some very good things defensively.”

Mt. Spokane received the opening kickoff in the third quarter with a chance to cut into the Saxons’ 10-0 lead. But the Wildcats couldn’t handle the squibbed kick and Ferris’ Hayden Monasmith recovered at Mt. Spokane’s 29-yard line.

Seven plays later, Drew Sharkey plunged 1 yard to put the Saxons ahead 17-0.

On the Saxons’ next possession, they extended the lead to 24-0 when Ben Goodwin, behind a nice block from Sharkey, dashed 41 yards for a TD.

Mt. Spokane finally punched one in on its next possession. Naccarato ran 7 yards to pull the Wildcats within 24-7 with 2:52 to go in the third quarter.

Sharkey and Kole Heidinger combined for 239 yards rushing. Heidinger led with 124.

“We had to handle adversity a lot,” Karstetter said. “Coach preaches to us that we need to handle adversity. The defense played great from the line to the secondary.”

Ferris took the opening drive, marching 75 yards on 11 plays for what would turn out to be the lone touchdown of the first half. Sharkey scored from 3 yards out.

Then Mt. Spokane and two Ferris fumbles stymied the Saxons thereafter until Clay Paull kicked a 35-yard field with 13 seconds left before halftime to give Ferris a 10-0 lead.

The Saxons piled up yards, but Heidinger fumbled twice.

Heidinger rushed for 79 yards on 15 carries in the first half and Sharkey picked up 75 on 14.

Ferris ran 42 plays in the opening two quarters to 23. But the Saxons had little to show for it.

The Saxons had 232 yards total offense in the first half to the Wildcats’ 65.

Mt. Spokane played without senior slotback Tyler Green, who was suspended for an athletic code violation.

Mead 63, Rogers 34: The Panthers did anything they wanted anytime they wanted, and the result in the opener at Joe Albi Stadium was predictable.

The Panthers (5-1) rushed for 464 yards on 36 attempts, opening a 63-20 lead by late third quarter.

Mead scored seven touchdowns in the first half. And Rogers helped a lot. In fact, the Pirates fumbled the opening kickoff and two plays later Evan Maack scored from 3 yards out.

Then Rogers (0-6) threw an interception. Two more plays later, Skylar Lookabill dashed 19 yards for Mead’s second TD.

Mead added four more TDs in the second quarter.

Rogers running back Luke Rogers returned from a two-game suspension, and he immediately made his presence felt. On the Pirates’ first scoring drive, he gained 79 of 80 yards.

Then out of the Wildcat, Rogers threw an 8-yard TD pass to Anthony Hampton.

Rogers gained 130 yards on 20 carries in the first half. He finished with 181.