As penalties go, this one was pretty special.
Leading by seven points with 10 seconds until halftime and Austin Rehkow lining up for a 51-yard field goal, the Central Valley Bears were whistled for delay of game.
“I looked over at the sideline and said, ‘Just keep me out there,’ ” Rehkow said after offensive coordinator Rick Sloan gave the go-ahead, and Rehkow responded with a 56-yarder, fourth longest in GSL history.
More important, it gave the Bears a 20-10 halftime lead and was the eventual winning score in their 33-17 Greater Spokane League win Friday night over Mt. Spokane.
“I was just ecstatic when it went through,” said Rehkow, who kicked four field goals on the night to tie former CV and NFL star Mike Hollis for the GSL career record with 19.
Rehkow also averaged 55 yards on four punts, keeping Mt. Spokane pinned in its own territory for most of the second half.
The Bears improved to 2-1 despite falling behind 10-0 in the first quarter as Mt. Spokane quarterback Danial Munoz led two early scoring drives.
“We didn’t have our mindset and we weren’t hustling the way we usually do,” Central Valley’s Shawn Buck said.
But the Bears adjusted, eventually forcing six turnovers – none bigger than defensive back Michael Butler’s third-quarter interception that set up Grayson Sykes’ 2-yard touchdown run that boosted the lead to 27-10.
“It was a simple screen play and I read it,” Butler said. “It was a nice lofting pass and I went in there and grabbed it.”
It was Sykes’ second TD of the game and came on the heels of a four-TD performance last week against Rogers.
Munoz, who finished with a game-high 128 rushing yards, responded with an 80-yard touchdown run to cut the gap to 27-17.
But after a Central Valley punt, Buck recovered a fumble on a bad handoff and ran 10 yards to set up Rehkow’s third field goal, a 40-yarder that made it 30-17 early in the fourth quarter.