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Phelan chooses well, and East Valley wins

Halfback pass to Burland highlights 20-0 victory

Adam Fisher had faith that J.T. Phelan would make the correct choice.

Phelan’s choice became a lot easier because of Gage Burland.

Phelan’s 25-yard touchdown strike to Burland on a third-quarter halfback pass Friday night highlighted East Valley’s 20-0 win over visiting Colville in Great Northern League play.

“Like anything, you try to put the ball in the hands of guys you trust and you know will make good decisions,” EV coach Fisher said. “It’s a run/pass option on that play.”

“We work on (that play) in practice, but I think that’s the first one this year in a game,” said Phelan, EV’s senior receiver/defensive back. … “I was going to tuck and run, but I decided to give Gage a chance and he made a play for me.”

Phelan also caught a 14-yard TD pass from junior Connor Ramm in the second quarter as the Knights (3-2 overall) improved to 2-0 in the GNL and dropped Colville (3-2, 1-1) out of first place. Pullman is also 2-0.

Ramm, returning from a knee injury he suffered two weeks ago against Post Falls, completed 10 of 15 passes for 145 yards without an interception.

“I sat one out game and after that I just took care of it, iced it and was ready to go,” Ramm said. “According to our trainer, it was a bruised tibial plateau on my knee. I took a helmet right to the top of the tibia bone.”

The Knights are also dealing with an ankle injury to senior running back William Nixsdorf, who is expected back for Friday’s game against Cheney.

Senior Isaac Jordan carried the workload with Nixsdorf out, carrying the ball 23 times for 71 yards and a 1-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.

“We hope to have William back next week and that way both of those guys can stay fresh,” Fisher said. “Then the plan is to see if someone gets a hot hand or if they have equal reps.”

EV’s defense sacked Colville quarterback Ben Knight six times for minus-47 yards. The Indians were held to 2 net yards rushing because of the sacks.

The secondary also hounded Knight, who finished 4 of 19 for 43 yards.

“I’m very proud of the defense and how we didn’t give up many big plays,” Fisher said. “Guys were very disciplined in their assignments.”

Phelan had four receptions for 75 yards. Colville’s Jacob Morris had three catches for 33 yards.