All the hits Paul Mencke took were by choice, such as burrowing into the end zone for two touchdowns.
That’s why it was easy for the Lewis and Clark quarterback to pinpoint the key to the Tigers’ 40-20 romp past Gonzaga Prep Friday night at Albi Stadium.
“That was the line’s best game, by far,” said Mencke, who also threw for three touchdowns. “Those guys are the players of the game. No sacks and there was hardly any pressure on me.”
Prep lost for the first time and left Central Valley, the Bullpups’ next opponent, as the only undefeated team in the Greater Spokane League.
The other game of the Albi doubleheader, which drew 4,669 fans, saw Mead, sparked by Adam Morris’ four touchdowns, stop North Central 28-0. In a non-league game at Richland, Ferris lost 50-27.
LC’s offensive line allowed Tigers running backs to rush for 239 yards, including 139 by Dealy Etter, and Mencke to pass for 191 yards.
“Our offensive line has really improved,” LC coach John Hook said. “We’ve worked hard trying to give them things they’re capable of doing.”
Etter also had a 55-yard touchdown run with a short snap on a fake punt. He burst up the middle untouched as snapper Nate Smith, right guard Pete Gerl and upback Ryan Nail opened a gaping hole.
On the other side, the Tigers forced five turnovers and helped hold Prep to 110 yards rushing on 33 attempts, though the Bullpups did pass for 168 yards.
The biggest turnover was a fumble Etter recovered on the LC 1-yard-line early in the third quarter, when the Bullpups were trailing by 12.
“Terrible. What a mess,” Prep coach Don Anderson said. “Talk about a giveaway. Just when you think we’re getting back into it … unbelievable…. The air went out of the balloon. Give them credit, we just accelerated it.”
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