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Mead uses defense to hold down Mt. Spokane

What do two teams averaging nearly a combined 80 points per game decide to do for their annual rivalry game?

What else, but play a tight defensive contest. Mead (4-2, 2-0) beat Mt. Spokane 24-19 on Friday night at Albi Stadium in a nonleague Greater Spokane League contest.

Joe Heitman had three interceptions, the second with 9:15 to play, to give the Panthers a short field which Mead used to take a 21-10 lead.

On third-and-9, Ryan Chan tossed a lateral to Kannon Katzer and sucked in the Wildcats defense. Katzer then threw to a wide open Jonathan Baird in the back left corner of the end zone for a touchdown.

Mead entered the game – the Battle of the Bell – averaging 46.6 points. For their part, the Wildcats came in averaging 32.2 points, and so it was no surprise both teams scored on their first drives of the game.

The Panthers took the opening kickoff and posted a 7-0 lead when Chan threw a 48-yard score to Michael Workman on the game’s sixth play.

Mt. Spokane (4-2, 0-0) then responded with a 5 1/2-minute scoring drive that covered 13 plays in 65 yards, culminating with Jagger Jacobi’s 3-yard touchdown plunge to even the score.

Then, unexpectedly, the game got defensive. Mt. Spokane forced Mead to punt on its next three drives while the Panthers defense came up with an interception and forced a punt. The Wildcats’ final drive of the second quarter ended as time expired.

The punt parade continued in the second half as Mt. Spokane punted on its first two possessions while Mead did the same on its first drive.

Finally, with 7:14 remaining in the third quarter, Katzer took a hand-off and bounced out to the left sideline and ran 43-yards to score for a 14-7 lead. Katzer finished with 16 carries for 112 yards.

The Wildcats closed the deficit to 14-10 on Cody McDonald’s 29-yard field goal with 3:32 left in the third.