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Central Valley overcomes rough three quarters and pulls away from Mead

Maybe Friday the 13th had something to do with the ugliness on the field in the first three quarters.

Whatever supernatural forces in play that prompted a mistake, turnover and penalty-filled contest for 36 minutes vanished in the fourth quarter – at least for one team.

Hunter Chodorowski rushed for 181 yards with a 53-yard touchdown and Central Valley finally found its offensive traction in the final stanza and ran away from Mead 33-17 at Albi Stadium.

The Bears (5-1) move to 3-0 in the Greater Spokane League 4A, with wins over both the Panthers and Gonzaga Prep.

“We’re in a good spot right now in the GSL and already finished with two really good ball teams,” CV quarterback Grant Hannan said. “But we still have two good teams in (Lewis and Clark) and (University), so we’ve got to finish strong and head to the playoff with a little momentum.”

Hannan went 17 of 26 for 157 yards with a touchdown pass.

The first half was particularly messy as the teams combined for four punts, three fumbles, two turnovers on downs and an interception. Obviously, neither team found any offensive rhythm.

And when they did, it more often than not ended in futility.

“We were not playing like ourselves in the first half,” Hannan said. “I, particularly, had a bad game, but it really just shows how mentally tough we are to come back like that. We really rallied together and we came back and got a good win against a really good team.”

“Talk about some adversity we overcame in this game,” CV coach Ryan Butner said. “Absolutely nothing went right in that first half. We told our guys, ‘Stay the course,’ in the locker room and, ‘Trust each other,’ and it took a little while in that second half even to get things going.”

For three quarters Mead had the better of it – but not by a lot.

Mead had a nine-play, 64-yard second-quarter drive – aided by a roughing the passer penalty – end in Eli Eldridge’s 34-yard field goal, and the Panthers led 3-0 at intermission. This, coming from two teams who combined to average 80.3 points entering play.

“Both offenses are usually high-scoring offenses and for it to be 3-0 at the end of the half is pretty strange,” Hannan said. “I think we were resilient and trusted ourselves in our teammates and coaches and our game plan.”

On its first possession of the second half and faced with second-and-22 from CV’s 43 after an offensive pass interference call, Ryan Chan went to Lucas Bacon on a short slant play and the receiver burst past his defender down to the 5.

On the next play, Chan tossed to Michael Workman on an inside route for a 5-yard touchdown pass and a 10-0 lead.

It was all CV after that.

Mead got pinned deep in its territory and was forced to punt from its 3. The snap sailed over the head of punter for a safety to make it 10-2 with 1:01 left in the third.

CV took advantage of good kickoff return and a roughing the passer penalty to get into the red zone but had to settle for Landon Rehkow’s 34-yard field goal to trim its deficit to 10-5.

The teams traded punts and Chan tried to get Mead going again, but a turn-in route bounced through the receiver’s hands and Jacob Lewis picked it off and took it to the Mead 13.

On the next play, Hannan hit Micah Mason on a fade for a 13-yard touchdown for CV’s first lead of the game. Some sleight of hand on the two-point conversion allowed Hannan to walk in untouched and CV led 13-10 with 7:35 left.

On the next possession, Chan tried to pass outside on second-and-4 at the Mead 26, but lineman Correy Quinn – who also plays tight end – tipped the pass, hauled it down and rumbled to the Mead 2 with the interception. On the next play, Hannan took it off tackle for a touchdown. After a penalty, the long extra point was wide and CV led 19-10.

“Before the play, I felt like something was going to happen on that drive,” Quinn said. “We needed a stop at the time and I saw it come my way. I just put my hands up and I saw the ball and it landed in my hands and I took off.

“I was a little upset I couldn’t get it into the end zone, but it was good where it ended up.”

Mead stemmed the tide a bit with a seven-play, 82-yard touchdown drive – including a roughing the passer penalty – which culminated in Chan’s 14-yard TD toss to Bacon on a skinny post.

But CV answered with a two-play, 81 yard drive. Chodorowski busted through the line for 49 yards, then Ryan Harper did likewise for 32 yards for a score which made it 26-17.

Another turnover gave CV the ball at its 49 and two plays later Chodorowski broke another one, going 53 yards for a touchdown and a 33-17 lead.

After a touchback on the kickoff, Lewis grabbed his second interception of the game. The Bears coughed it back up, but Bekk Martin picked off Chan at the CV 18 late in the fourth to seal it.

Chan finished 23 of 39 for 256 and two touchdowns but suffered five interceptions. He also rushed for 110 yards on 15 carries. Bacon caught nine passes for 124 yards while Joe Heitman added eight catches for 78 yards.

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