You can be sure the Shadle Park and Ferris football teams will combine for many yards of offense when the teams face off this week.
You can be sure, though, the game will be decided by defense.
Shadle Park (1-0) and Ferris (1-0) square off in the first game of the Greater Spokane League doubleheader Thursday at Joe Albi Stadium. Kickoff is at 4:15.
Ferris held slight preseason favorite Central Valley to 14 points last Friday. Shadle’s high-scoring offense from a year ago picked up where it left off in a 62-14 win over Rogers the same night.
If the Highlanders hope to challenge for the league championship, Thursday would be the opportune time to throw their name in the hat with their first quality win over a 4A team.
The Saxons’ defense will be tested against 2012 GSL Most Valuable Player Brett Rypien, Shadle’s junior quarterback who re-wrote the league record book last year.
Shadle returned its top three wide receivers from last year – Tanner Pauly, Nick Kiourkas and Skyler Kelly – and the Highlanders have added other weapons.
The obvious question is whether Shadle can slow down the Saxons, who cruised to 42 points against the Bears behind a balanced offense led by quarterback Christian Olson, running back Cole Karstetter and utility back Jalen Hicks.
• In the second game Thursday at Albi, Mt. Spokane (1-0) and Lewis and Clark (0-1) meet at 7:15.
• In a doubleheader Friday at Albi, North Central (0-1) goes against Mead (1-0) at 5 followed by Rogers (0-1) taking on CV (0-1) at 7:30.
• In the outside GSL game, Gonzaga Prep (1-0) visits University (0-1) at 7. It’s also the SWX Game of the Week.
• In what should be a tug-of-war in North Idaho, two-time defending Washington 4A state champ Skyline of Sammamish (0-1) visits Coeur d’Alene (1-1). Kickoff is at 8.
Skyline, behind ultra-talented quarterback Max Browne, routed the Vikings 71-20 at the Kibbie Dome last year.
CdA is coming off a last-minute loss to Bothell in the Emerald City Classic last Saturday at the University of Washington. The Viks watched a 43-30 lead dissolve into a 44-43 loss.
Skyline played in the final of four games at the Emerald City Classic last Saturday, falling to 3A powerhouse Bellevue 45-7.
This game has a late start because it’s part of the Idaho Football Classic doubleheader. In the opener at 5, teams from California and Utah – Vanden of Fairfield, Calif., and Copper Hills of West Jordan, Utah – play.
• In another matchup involving the Great Northern and Northeast A leagues, Pullman (1-0) visits Freeman (1-0) Friday at 7.
In their openers, Pullman held off visiting Lakeside 42-34 and Freeman scored a big road win at Colville 14-7.
• Also Friday, Sandpoint (0-1) and Post Falls (0-2) are taking their game across the state line to Eastern Washington University. Kickoff is at 7.
The annual Highlander Invitational is Saturday at Shadle Park. The varsity girls race is at noon followed by the varsity boys at 12:30.
Eight of the 10 Greater Spokane League schools will be at the meet.