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Karstetter’s show

Saxons turn to versatile senior to seal deal against Wildcats

Just call him Every-Down Karstetter.

Ferris’ senior two-way standout Cole Karstetter rarely came off the field Friday, and that was a good thing for the Saxons.

Karstetter, the leading rusher in the Greater Spokane League and one of the top defensive players as a safety, added to his big lead as the top rusher with 179 yards and three touchdowns as Ferris held off the Mt. Spokane Wildcats 24-14 at Joe Albi Stadium.

After leading 10-0 at halftime, Ferris (5-1) watched the Wildcats, behind quarterback Stu Stiles, score back-to-back touchdowns in the third quarter for a 14-10 lead.

Stiles found a seam on a counter play to sprint untouched 40 yards for the first TD.

The Wildcats (4-2) then forced Ferris to punt, and Mt. Spokane marched 61 yards on nine plays with Stiles scoring from 2 yards out to put his team ahead.

That’s when Ferris coach Jim Sharkey trimmed his playbook to one page and went solely with double-wing calls. That meant extra activity for Karstetter.

On the next 14 plays, the Saxons drove 80 yards with Karstetter’s number being called nine times, including a 12-yard TD run over right guard for the go-ahead score 30 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Mt. Spokane didn’t have an answer, and Ferris’ next possession started at its 42.

This time the Saxons used 10 plays, eight going to Karstetter, including a 1-yard plunge for the final score with 4:13 remaining.

Karstetter passed 1,000 yards for the season. He has 1,032.

He smiled talking about running behind his line, especially in the double-wing sets.

“Our linemen are so good,” Karstetter said. “They’re big and strong and physical and we put in so much time in the weight room. It’s easy when you’re running behind all those big guys.”

The most important thing for Karstetter on double-wing plays is to be patient.

“There are so many guys at the point of attack so I just have to sit back there and wait,” Karstetter said. “They’re like a freight train coming through there. They’re just driving and I just have to follow them and then pop it wherever I find it.”

Added Sharkey: “It came down to we were going to bleed it and give the league’s leading rusher and a great football player the ball until they stopped it.”

Mt. Spokane didn’t stop it.

Ferris got on the board after it recovered a botched catch on a punt and Matt Beaurlaurier kicked at 28-yard field goal.

Later in the first quarter, Ferris extended the lead to 10-0 when Karstetter broke loose for a 37-yard TD run.

“We did a great job defensively,” said Sharkey, not surprise that Mt. Spokane fought back in the third quarter.

“They’re a talented team and Stiles is as good as there is,” he said. “We knew it was a tough matchup for us.”

Stiles rushed for 106 yards and passed for 90.