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Stout defensive effort, quick start leads Lewis and Clark to 34-8 victory over Davis

Lewis and Clark decided that Davis High had traveled enough in getting to Spokane from Yakima.

A stout defensive effort kept the Pirates from moving the football while Keani Guthmueller scored three touchdowns to spark the Tigers to a 34-8 victory Friday night at Albi Stadium to start the season 2-0.

“Our defensive line and our offensive line are dominated by seniors and definitely a strength of our team,” LC coach Dave Hughes said. “They like to get after it.”

The Tigers already had made bold statements on both special teams and with their defense before the offense ever took the field.

Guthmueller fielded the opening kick at the LC 8-yard line, bolted straight up the field through a wide opening, veered toward the sideline at midfield and raced, untouched, into the end zone for a 7-0 start.

Davis answered with a 10-play drive, but LC stopped the Pirates four straight times inside its 3.

“That really set the tone,” Hughes said. “They could have really grabbed some momentum if they’d been able to score.”

In the shadow of their goal, the Tigers could not move the ball on their next possession and a short punt gave Davis a first down at the LC 32. On second-and-13 from the 23, Pirates quarterback Angel Amezola faced three free-running LC defensive linemen after they burst through the Pirates’ line. Rushed, he fired a desperation pass toward the goal line, where LC’s Xavier Guillory collected it to stop the threat.

From there, LC kept the Pirates on a short leash, piling up three-and-outs in the second half. The Tigers maintained a shutout for 47 1/2 of the game’s 48 minutes. Davis punched the ball in from the 1 with 23 seconds left to keep from being blanked.

Lewis and Clark’s primary nemesis was itself.

Penalties nullified a number of big plays and plagued the Tigers all night.

“We got a couple holding calls on our receivers on the outside where I think their hands were in the right place,” Hughes said. “We’re going to have to look at the tape to see what was going on. We had some of our young guys in there later when we got a bunch of those penalties.”

Still, the Tigers found a way to overcome the miscues.

Quarterback Michael Flaherty hit Joshua Bewick on a slant pattern on the final play of the first quarter to give the Tigers a first down at the Davis 41. Guthmueller found a seam and gained 17 yards, then swept left for another 15. Flaherty lobbed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Guillory to make it 14-0 minutes into the second quarter.

Guthmueller scored from the 5 with 3:37 remaining in the half to send LC into intermission with a 20-0 advantage.

The Tigers face a tough test to open Greater Spokane League play next week, taking on the Bears at Central Valley.