Like a certain uncle who piled up yards at Joe Albi Stadium a couple of decades ago for Shadle Park, another Rypien appears as if he might throw up some records before his career is concluded.
Brett Rypien, who started the final four games as a freshman last year, showed why there’s some pedigree to his name Thursday.
The Shadle Park quarterback passed for 279 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Highlanders past the Rogers Pirates 37-22 in a season-opening Greater Spokane League football game.
Rypien completed 24 of 38 attempts with touchdown passes of 35, 6, 14 and 25 yards and no interceptions. His final TD, a well-thrown ball on a deep fade route, was hauled in by junior Tanner Pauly, who finished with a team-leading eight receptions for 159 yards and two TDs.
“I just told the guys that this is the first time since I’ve been at Shadle (third season) that we’re on the right side of .500 instead of looking up from the bottom,” said coach Alan Stanfield, whose team went winless last year.
Rypien said he saw good things coming through preseason camp.
“Definitely,” he said. “Our focus was to come out here and get a win. I felt like we had a great team effort. The sideline energy was a lot better than last year. We’ve got great senior leaders on our team this year. We’re a better team and we’re ready for Ferris next week.”
The Highlanders opened quickly, scoring two TDs on Rypien passes for a 15-0 lead with 5:57 to go in the first quarter.
Rogers bounced back, though. On senior running back Luke Rogers’ first carry, the Pirates’ running back dashed 80 yards to pull Rogers within 15-8.
After a scoreless second quarter, Rogers took a brief lead early in the third. Running back Anthony Hampton sprinted 31 yards on an inside reverse. A two-point conversion put the Pirates ahead 16-15 with 9:56 to go in the period.
The rest of the game belonged to Shadle.
“This year our team has bonded a lot better,” Rypien said. “We have great team chemistry and we can get some more wins. Our guys have been working really hard. Last year was a really disappointing season. We don’t want to have that again.”
Rogers managed to pull within 30-22 with 3:08 remaining when Hampton scored on a 10-yard run. But Shadle scored an insurance TD 24 seconds later.
“It’s always a luxury when you can get a guy for three seasons,” Stanfield said of Rypien. “We’ve got him for 3½ seasons. Those four extra starts will give him a chance to go after some of those (Mark) Rypien records.”
Rogers and Hampton powered the Pirates’ running game. Rogers finished with a game-high 175 yards on 24 carries and Hampton had 106 on 15 attempts.
Graham-Kapowsin 27, Post Falls 17: The visitors from the Tacoma area took control in the middle quarters and never relinquished it in a nonleague season opener for both teams.
Post Falls opened a 3-0 lead when Tim Mueller kicked a 20-yard field goal. But G-K scored two straight touchdowns to seize the momentum.
Trojans junior quarterback Joey Pfennigs threw a TD pass to Mason Lickfold in the third quarter, pulling Post Falls within 21-17. But G-K pushed the lead back to double digits at 27-17 when it answered the score.