Perhaps the Gonzaga Prep and Mead football teams still hadn’t shaken off upset losses to 3A teams the week before.
That would be the nice way of saying both teams had stretches of hideous play, particularly on offense.
In a game that sorely lacked crisp offensive execution, Gonzaga Prep took advantage of three of Mead’s numberous turnovers for a 21-9 win in a mistake-laced Greater Spokane League game Friday at G-Prep.
The teams combined for 10 turnovers. Mead had six turnovers in the first half – four fumbles lost and two interceptions to G-Prep’s two lost fumbles.
“It was a huge, huge win for us,” said G-Prep coach Dave McKenna, whose team is in a four-way tie for first at 4-1. “The GSL’s tough. Every opponent is tough. You’ve got to show up and play hard or you’re not going to survive.”
One would have thought the second half would have been better, but G-Prep fumbled the opening kickoff.
After Mead failed to capitalize, the Bullpups took over at their 8-yard line. On second down, the ball was snapped over quarterback Kevin Thomas’ head. Thomas, who was 3 yards behind center in a pistol formation, watched the ball scoot into the end zone and alert slotback Nick Wood knocked it out of the end zone, allowing a safety.
That would be the lone scoring in the final two quarters.
After the safety, Mead drove to G-Prep’s 3. But on fourth-and-one, the Bullpups’ defense stiffened when Panthers slotback Daniel Munoz was tackled for a 2-yard loss.
G-Prep’s defense was stingy the final two quarters, and the Bullpups’ offense ran time off the clock.
The Bullpups turned the first turnover into a quick touchdown when senior cornerback Klint Wacholz returned an interception 51 yards.
Senior cornerback Sam Dowd couldn’t have been happier for Wacholz, who missed a chunk of last season with an injury.
“It was difficult for him,” Dowd said. “This year he’s like ‘I’m jealous, I want to get a pick 6, I want to get a pick 6.’ He got it and I’m proud of him.”
Midway in the second quarter, Mead (3-2) evened the score at 7-7 when Anthony Gold scored from 2 yards out.
But G-Prep would take advantage of two Mead fumbles in the final 2:20 of the first half.
Four plays after defensive lineman Alex Shapori recovered a fumble, Bullpups quarterback Kevin Thomas hit Tom Davis on a seam route for an 11-yard touchdown connection, putting G-Prep ahead to stay at 14-7 with 1:11 to go before halftime.
Then Mead botched its second kickoff of the half and the Bullpups took over at the Panthers’ 36.
Moments later, Thomas hit John Mackey on a 34-yard TD pass for a 21-7 lead with 27 seconds left before intermission.