Ryan Blair had his way with Post Falls’ secondary.
When the Mead senior quarterback wasn’t firing quick-hitters to his cache of receivers on Friday, he was showing off his arm.
Touchdowns throws of 46 and 45 yards to Evan Wiersma, and others to Kolby Blacker (46 yards) and Kaden Gardner (43 yards) helped the Panthers handle Post Falls 42-21 in nonleague play at the Pine Bowl.
Mead (1-0), which returns 40 lettermen from last year’s Greater Spokane League runner-up team, looked like the veteran club against the Trojans (1-1), who yielded 536 total yards.
Blair, who completed 23 of 30 passes for 393 yards and four touchdowns, looked like the All-GSL quarterback he was a year ago in Mead’s season opener.
“It was tough in the first half. (Post Falls) was bringing pressure, but once we got into our spread offense things started clicking,” Blair said. “The offensive line did a good job protecting and the receivers came down with some good catches.”
Mead jumped out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead after short touchdown runs by Caleb Shawen and Nick Terrill, but the high-octane Trojans swiftly cut the lead in half on two occasions.
Post Falls quarterback Derek Pearse connected with James Lee to make it a 14-7 game in the second quarter and with speedy Thomas Hauser on a 80-yard strike to make it 21-14.
Blair answered with touchdown passes to Blacker and Wiersma to put the Trojans away.
Fifth-year Mead coach Benji Sonnichsen said he knew Post Falls had the team speed capable of making a comeback, especially with the productive quarterback-receiver combination of Pearse (276 passing yards, three touchdowns) and Hauser (133 receiving yards, touchdown).
“A 14-point lead doesn’t feel like much against Post Falls. They present some problems,” Sonnichsen said. “We pride ourselves on going fast and we’re not even close to them.”
Eli Gondo had 103 yards on 22 carries for Post Falls, which has lost four of its last five games against Mead.