Brandon McClung didn’t just fill a big pair of shoes – figuratively speaking – Friday night.
He shined them, broke them in and wore them out – and he picked a great night to do it.
McClung finished with 27 carries for 181 yards and ran for three touchdowns and Central Valley shut down visiting Lewis and Clark with a 31-0 Greater Spokane League football victory in the Bears’ homecoming game.
With senior standout Grayson Sykes sidelined after suffering a concussion late in CV’s win over North Central last week, Bears coach Rick Giampietri relied on McClung to carry for the bulk of the Bears’ 283 total rushing yards.
Giampietri wasn’t disappointed.
“McClung filled some shoes out there, didn’t he?” Giampietri said. “He took over. … He’s been trading off with (Grayson) all along but this was a great game for him. That’s the hardest he’s run all year.”
After Lewis and Clark (2-3) went three and out on its first drive, Bears quarterback Adam Chamberlain, who played his first game of the season, led CV (4-1) down the field and into Tigers territory before Cory Gieffers intercepted a pass at LC’s 30.
The Tigers didn’t generate much on their ensuing drive, and Tyler Fox and Nick Ramberg’s pressure on LC quarterback Andrew Black led to a sack as the Bears took over at their 33.
With 11.1 seconds remaining in the opening quarter, McClung capped CV’s 67-yard drive with a 15-yard TD run that gave the Bears a 7-0 lead.
They added to their lead before halftime with a double pass play, which ended with receiver/kicker Austin Rehkow throwing a 35-yard TD pass to Scott Hilpert, who had been pulling quarterback duty until Chamberlain was ready to go on Friday night.
“It was good having him back and Hilpert did a good job receiving for us, so we got stronger in the receiving corps as well as quarterback position,” Giampietri said.
The Bears – McClung, specifically – scored twice more in the third quarter, first on a 5-yard run that capped a 75-yard scoring drive, and again on a 2-yard run with just more than 2 minutes remaining in the quarter.
Rehkow’s 42-yard field goal in the fourth quarter gave the Bears their final points.
“This was a great game for us,” Giampietri said. “We played really well. We hit and hustled and we told the kids that’s what we really had to do. We knew it would be a blocking and tackling game. I was pleasantly surprised with how physical we played. … We had some guys hurt and guys that had to fill in. but everyone did what they were supposed to.”
The Tigers were held to 48 passing yards and 82 rushing yards on 24 carries.
“I thought it was going to be a 14-13 kind of game,” Giampietri said. “They’re a really physical team and we just stepped in and we didn’t just match them – we played really physical too, so I couldn’t be prouder of my kids.”