The Greater Spokane League will be down to one undefeated football team after Friday.
That’s when the No. 1-ranked and defending State 4A champion Ferris Saxons (4-0) visit the No. 8 Central Valley Bears (4-0). Kickoff is at 7.
The team that wins will likely be the one that gets out to a faster start. Both have been slow starters so far.
“We’ve got to start fast in all phases,” Ferris coach Jim Sharkey said. “They have the ability to pound you and control the tempo.”
Except for the first half in their season opener against University, the Saxons have yet to be tested.
“I’m excited to see what kind of team we have,” Sharkey said.
What the Saxons will face in CV is a balanced team led by the passing of quarterback Gaven Deyarmin, who has teamed with running backs Alex Jacot and Grayson Sykes for a solid effort on the ground. The Bears have rushed for 797 yards and passed for 793.
Ferris has stuck mainly to the ground – largely because no team has forced it to pass. The Saxons have rushed for 1,149 yards and passed for 409.
Sharkey knows the Saxons will have to move the ball through the air to keep the Bears’ defense honest.
“We know we can pass. We just haven’t had to yet,” Sharkey said.
Ferris begins the most difficult part of its schedule. After CV, the Saxons play, in order, Mt. Spokane, Mead, Lewis and Clark and Gonzaga Prep.
“This is the start of our gauntlet,” Sharkey said. “Every team has its stretch and this is ours.”
Players from both teams have mutual respect for each other.
“Their defense is very athletic,” Ferris running back Kole Heidinger said. “They’ve proven themselves against respectable teams. It will take a full four-quarter effort to beat them.”
• The other key GSL game is tonight when Mt. Spokane (1-3) takes on University (1-3) in the second game of a doubleheader at Albi Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:15.
The winner will take a big step toward securing the top 3A playoff berth. Two 3A teams advance to the playoffs. North Central (2-2) has the best record among 3A teams.
The teams have two common opponents. U-Hi defeated Gonzaga Prep 35-14 while Mt. Spokane lost to G-Prep 35-19. Both teams lost to CV – Mt. Spokane by a 45-25 margin and U-Hi by a 27-14 count.
Rematch, with feeling
For the second time in a month, Post Falls (3-1) and Lake City (2-2) face off.
Lake City travels to Post Falls in a 5A Inland Empire League opener Friday. Kickoff is at 7.
Post Falls defeated LC 17-7 in a nonleague game in the teams’ second game of the season.
The winner Friday will take a big stride toward securing a state playoff berth. The top two teams advance to postseason.
LC coach Van Troxel said his team had its worst week of practice of the season going into the first game. He’s been encouraged by his team’s focus this week.
When Troxel looks at Post Falls he sees weapons all over the field. But LC has played good defense.
“That’s why I think we have a shot,” Troxel said. “Defensively, I think we match up with their athletes. We knew going into the season Post Falls was good, and we have the potential to be a very good team.”
The Trojans have added senior multipurpose back Marcus Colbert to their team since the first game. He missed last year with bulging discs in his back and his season was cut short his sophomore year because of a sprained ankle.
Post Falls coach Jeff Hinz said the recipe for success Friday is simple.
“We need to come out and play hard,” Hinz said. “There have been times we haven’t played hard. We need to convert offensively when we have the opportunities.”