On the periodic table of elements, Max Gruber and Zach Bonneau would be the oxygen supply – responsible for breathing life into their team.
And both Gonzaga Prep seniors did just that on Friday night as the Bullpups routed Shadle Park 57-19 in a Greater Spokane League football game at Gonzaga Prep.
Bonneau was 6 for 8 for 140 passing yards and ran the ball 14 times for 184 yards and four touchdowns. Gruber carried the ball six times for 87 yards and a pair of TDs, and added a 45-yard field goal late in the first period.
“We’re going to enjoy this, it’s a good win for us,” Bullpups coach Dave McKenna said. “The team chemistry is really coming along.”
On Friday night, that chemistry was there from the moment Gruber kicked off and the Bullpups (4-0) stopped the Highlanders (1-3) deep in their end on the opening drive. After Shadle punted, Bonneau ran a couple of plays before finding a hole in the middle and taking off for a 78-yard TD run with 7 minutes, 25 seconds on the clock.
“I was talking to Zach Bonneau on the sideline and he was saying the same thing I was,” Gruber said. “Offensively and defensively, Shadle Park is very tough. But I just think we came out and ran the ball well, blocked well, our defense was on fire – everything.”
After taking a 30-13 lead in the first half, which included a 58-yard TD run from G-Prep junior running back Tom Davis, the Bullpups outscored the Highlanders 21-6 in the third quarter as Bonneau added his other three rushing TDs.
Sophomore Nick Wood connected with senior Brooks Bonham for a 19-yard passing touchdown in the fourth quarter as McKenna shifted his lineup.
The Bullpups finished with 583 total yards of offense while holding Shadle Park to 304.
“Their offense can move the football but our defense stepped up,” McKenna said. “We had a chance to make a couple more interceptions (in addition to the one) and didn’t, but that’s life. Still a great win, but we made some mistakes. We tried to execute perfectly and we didn’t.”
Neither did Shadle, but their performance was far from poor.
Quarterback Brett Rypien was 26 of 42 for 202 yards and a pair of touchdown passes to junior receiver Tanner Pauly, who also picked up 78 yards on nine carries.
Stanley Renz, who finished with 61 yards on 13 carries, scored Shadle Park’s first touchdown on a 2-yard run.
“Shadle is a really good team, but our team is really intense,” Gruber said. “Our defense sparked our offense tonight and it was a great night.
“Every Friday night it’s a blessing to be out here.”
Especially when all the elements are mixing well.