Sometimes even veteran football teams have difficulty defending an option offense. Imagine the problems Ferris, which graduated its front seven defenders, had Thursday against the Gonzaga Prep Bullpups.
Once the Bullpups found their groove, there was no stopping them in a 39-13 Greater Spokane League football game at Joe Albi Stadium.
A week after committing five turnovers, G-Prep (3-0) was efficient. And all the Saxons could do was watch.
“We limited the turnovers – that was the big thing,” running back Griffin Hare said.
G-Prep sputtered at the start, and the Saxons (2-1) took advantage.
On its second possession, Ferris drove 61 yards on six plays with Gunnar Seefeld going the final 39 yards to give the Saxons a 7-0 lead.
The Bullpups got untracked on their next possession, using a 28-yard field goal from Max Gruber to pull within 7-3 with 4:47 to go in the first quarter.
Then G-Prep took advantage of a fumble and interception for a 17-7 lead at halftime. Tom Davis scored Prep’s first touchdown on an 11-yard run and he followed with the second TD, sprinting 14 yards untouched with a minute to go before halftime.
G-Prep continued the momentum in the third quarter, scoring on two runs from quarterback Zach Bonneau to build a 32-7 advantage with 4:18 to go in the period.
“This means a lot going into the second half of the season,” Hare said. “We have such great team chemistry. We just played great overall and everyone did their part.”
G-Prep coach Dave McKenna agreed.
“It’s a big win for us,” McKenna said. “That’s a good football team we beat. I couldn’t be more proud of the guys on both sides of the ball.”
Ferris was never in the game in the second half.
Bonneau led G-Prep with 140 yards on 18 carries and Hare had 102 yards, also on 18 attempts.
The Bullpups finished with 442 yards on 57 carries.
“We ran assignment football on both sides of the line of scrimmage,” McKenna said.
“The coaches prepared well and the kids executed and played well. The thing I loved about our offense is we played unselfishly. It didn’t matter who made the play, they just made plays. They were in it together.”
On defense, G-Prep never let the Saxons break a big play.
“Our defense flew to the ball and we were physical,” McKenna said. “They trusted the call all night. They’re finding a little bit of an identity.”
Hare gave much praise to the defense.
“Our defense always creates timely turnovers,” Hare said.