Hard to believe we’re down to two weeks in the regular season for most high school football leagues in the region.
And, still, much hangs in the balance.
For the second straight year, look which team is making a charge for a postseason berth – yep, Central Valley.
The Bears, a slight favorite to capture the Greater Spokane League championship, started slow. They were 1-2 after three weeks. Now they’ve won four in a row and five of their last six.
CV was at its best Friday. And it’s easy to understand why. We expected senior quarterback Adam Chamberlain to be heavily involved in the Bears’ success and he hasn’t disappointed. He’ll be in the middle of things come basketball season, too, when CV will be heavily favored to not only win a league title but challenge for a state championship.
Tony Splater, CV’s team statistician, always sends me a copy of the box score each week. The numbers the Bears piled up were impressive.
Chamberlain finished with four rushing touchdowns, running for 49 yards and throwing for 111. Running back Spencer Miller, just a number on the roster a year ago, has played a big role in CV’s success as well. He rushed for 136 yards against one of the top defenses in the league.
But let’s be honest. This is a Mead team that’s slowly become a shell of the potential it had at the start of the season. Friday the Panthers played without injured quarterback Matt Wetzel and running back Luke Hilmes.
Mead didn’t complete a pass. Not that that’s a surprise in its fly offense. But the thing this program hangs its hat on has now become so predictable.
CV’s next challenge is Friday at home against the hottest team in the league – Shadle Park. A loss doesn’t necessarily knock the Bears out of postseason contention. They can lose if Mt. Spokane beats Gonzaga Prep.
It’ll be interesting to see what defensive coordinator Steve Kent designs to try to slow down the Highlanders. The best effort so far was the three-man front, eight in coverage scheme Ferris used.
The difference might not come down to how CV defends Shadle but how Shadle defends CV. And Shadle is playing superb defense. The Highlanders may win this with defense.
Around the region
It was such a great line it bears repeating. West Valley coach Craig Whitney told his team this before it went out and shocked Great Northern League leader East Valley 39-26: “We talked about making a memory before the game. I told the players ‘Catch the paper boy. I want that headline to read West Valley tops East Valley.’ ” And his Eagles did just that, forging a three-way tie for second in the loss column between his team, EV and Colville – all a game behind Pullman (3-0), which had a bye. The big game next Friday is Pullman at EV. In the usually whacky GNL, EV will probably win and there will be a four-way tie for first. League play continues a week longer than all other conferences in the region.
• How about what happened at Lakeland on Friday. Not the result but at halftime. It was Lakeland’s homecoming and festivities took 37 minutes. By rule, halftime is 15 minutes and extended to 20 for homecoming. But 37 minutes? Lakeland was penalized for unsportsmanlike delay of game – 15 yards.
• Another game worth a second look was Lake City-Chiawana. LC did exactly what it needed to do against the third-ranked Riverhawks – stay close and have a chance in the end. It’s the same thing LC hopes to do Friday when Coeur d’Alene visits and the league’s lone state berth is at stake.
“We’ve still got a lot to prove and they’re still the top dogs (CdA) but we’re not going to back away,” Lake City coach Van Troxel said. Chiawana came in undefeated, but coach Steve Graff thinks the loss will serve his team well. “We’ll be alright,” he said. “It was good for us to be honest with you. These kids needed to be set down. You don’t just show up and beat good teams.”