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Gonzaga Prep moves to top spot in NWPrespNow power rankings

The lineup received a slight shuffle, but all the players remained the same.

In the week four edition of our NWPrepsNow Power Rankings, the same six teams remain from week three. Gonzaga Prep’s dramatic 38-35 win over Ferris vaults the Bullpups to No. 1, while the Saxons dip three spots to No. 4. G-Prep received first-place votes from six of nine panelists.

Paul Sorensen of Vision Marketing put the ‘Pups atop the list for one simple reason: “When you knock off the No. 1 team in the poll, you become the No. 1 team in the poll.”

“A big message was sent by this Bullpup team on Friday night,” SWX director of sports Sam Adams said. “My biggest question about any Gonzaga Prep team has always been, ‘Can they beat you with the pass?’ That question was answered when Kevin Thomas found Nick Wood for the eventual game-winning touchdown pass against Ferris.

“Yes, this team will continue to run the ball, but they can throw if they have to.”

Lind/Ritzville-Sprague jumped four spots to No. 2, thanks in part to two first-place votes. “Another dominating win,” GSL play-by-play voice Larry Weir said, referring to the Broncos’ 43-6 thrashing of Kittitas. “I continue to think they have the best chance at a state title from our area.”

“The defending state 2B champs have a huge challenge in from of them this Friday with a road trip to Reardan,” Adams said. “If the Indians are able to knock off the champs, I can guarantee you they’ll be thrust into my top 6, but I like LRS on the road.”

Freeman held firm at No. 3 after another blowout victory, winning at Bonners Ferry 47-0. “They look as dominant as anyone,” said SWX’s Bill Ames. “Like LRS, more results like they have had to this point and they will certainly move up. The problem for the Scotties is that they won’t be truly tested until they get into the playoffs, which can be dangerous.”

Ferris, after two weeks on top, now looks up at three teams, though The Spokesman-Review’s Greg Lee ranks the Saxons No. 2 on his list. “The way I see it is the Saxons are 1B. G-Prep and Ferris are evenly matched,” Lee said.

“The Saxons fall a bit on my rankings this week, but have ample opportunity to work their way back up in the coming weeks,” SWX producer Neil Stover said. “Ferris has had a brutal schedule to start the season, and it finally caught up with the Saxons in Friday’s loss to Gonzaga Prep. But Ferris is very much still a title contender and I’ll be shocked if this team has more than a couple of losses by the end of the season.”

The Mead Panthers received SWX anchor/reporter Michelle Dapper’s first-place vote thanks to an impressive body of work thus far. “They’ve outscored their opponents 105-28 and have given up two touchdowns the last two games,” she said. “Solid in my book.”

Solid indeed, and good for No. 5 on the list.

Mead and rival Mt. Spokane have their annual “Battle of the Bell” showdown on Friday, following another anticipated Greater Spokane League matchup between Shadle Park and Gonzaga Prep.

Despite its third loss in as many weeks, Coeur d’Alene maintained its hold on the final spot of our NWPrepsNow Power Rankings. The Vikings led Highland 21-3 in the second quarter of their Saturday game, but allowed 21 unanswered points en route to a disappointing 24-21 loss, dropping the Viks to 1-3.

“People may jump off the Viking bandwagon, but they played the No. 1 team on the road and nearly got the win,” Ames said.