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Cole Karstetter of the Ferris Saxons crosses the goal line Friday against Mt. Spokane. (Jesse Tinsley)

Ferris’ defense puts clamps on Mt. Spokane

While it may not have been the Ferris Saxons’ most consistent offensive game Friday, it was certainly more than enough.

Especially considering it may have been the Saxons’ best defensive output as Ferris handled the Mt. Spokane Wildcats 28-7 in a Greater Spokane League football game at Joe Albi Stadium.

The Saxons (5-1), who stayed in a tie for second with Mead and Central Valley, set the tone early. Starting on Mt. Spokane’s 48-yard line, Ferris scored in seven plays when Cole Karstetter dashed 24 yards.

Ferris sputtered on its next three possessions before putting together a 70-yard drive late in the second quarter. Karstetter, seeing more carries at running back for injured starter Christian Shaffer, scored from 1 yard out to extend the lead to 14-0 with 3:47 to go before halftime.

Shaffer is expected back next week.

The Saxons had an 18-play, 80-yard series to open the second half. Running back Gunnar Seefeld scored on a 5-yard run.

After forcing the Wildcats (1-5) to punt on their first second-half possession, Ferris scored its final TD, and the Saxons needed just one play.

Quarterback Christian Olson hit receiver Beau Lockmer in stride for a 56-yard TD with 42 seconds to go in the third.

The receivers for both teams had frequent cases of the drops.

“Defensively, we took a step forward,” Ferris coach Jim Sharkey said. “Offensively, we sputtered a little bit in the first half, but we did some things well. In the second half we played a pretty complete game on both sides of the ball.”

Ferris appears to be rounding into form at the most opportune time. The Saxons face South Hill rival Lewis and Clark (3-3) on Friday.

“We’ve improved the last couple of weeks,” Sharkey said. “We’ve set ourselves up. I think you’re going to see close games with LC and U-Hi (the next two weeks). If we can get a couple of wins it sets up for a playoff berth the last week (against Mead). That’s the goal right now.”

Sharkey, though, isn’t looking beyond next week.

“It’ll be a great game,” Sharkey said.

Ferris senior middle linebacker Damon Unland was all over the field with several solo and assisted tackles.

“It was definitely our best defensive game we’ve had,” Unland said. “We were a lot more physical. We were running around and swarming to the ball a lot more. That’s what we were focused on a lot for this game. We wanted to flow to the ball and have as many people there as possible.”

Lockmer led the Saxons with eight catches for 126 yards.

“It definitely wasn’t our best offensive game, but we still did what we had to do to score points,” Unland said.