District 8 gets just two bids to the state football tournament this year. That means that only the top two teams in the Greater Spokane League will get a chance to face off against a Mid-Columbia Conference foe in a “Week 10” crossover game to advance to state.
In the late game at Albi Stadium on Thursday, Ferris tried to stake its claim to one of those spots.
Brent Jones rushed for 119 yards, Nate Schlosser added two touchdown runs and the Saxons blanked Gonzaga Prep 34-0 to draw even with the Bullpups in the GSL 4A standings with two games to play.
“You know, I’m OK with just the champion being in,” Ferris coach Tom Yearout said. “I mean, we knew going in that it’s two (berths), so you got to take care of business if it’s two.”
Central Valley (5-1, 2-0) faces Mead (5-1, 1-1) in the late game at Albi on Friday in another battle at the top of the standings.
It was a statement win for Ferris (6-1, 2-1), which has Lewis and Clark (2-4, 0-2) and Mead remaining. G-Prep (5-1, 2-1) has a showdown with Central Valley next week and plays LC to conclude the regular season.
“I think you have some really good 4A teams and it’s gonna be interesting,” Yearout said. “We’ll have our hands full with the Tigers and the Panthers.
“We’ve been waiting to beat a good team. We knew we were going to be challenged tonight, but I hope it is (a statement). I hope it is.”
“It was a statement,” Ferris quarterback Jack Clavel said. “I have no doubt in my mind and all of us have no doubt in our mind. We all wanted to win more than they did, as simple as that.”
G-Prep came in averaging 29.8 points and was held to 145 yards rushing. Ferris’ defense has allowed just six points in the last three weeks combined.
“I mean, their offense is so hard to stop and we did a great job executing what we needed to do,” Schlosser said.
Schlosser carried 11 times for 80 yards and Jovan Ruffin had 29 yards on eight carries with a touchdown. Ferris piled up 260 yards on the ground.
“We have some ability, if our front plays like they’re capable of playing and gives us a little bit of time, we can make plays outside and in the run game,” Yearout said.
“We had a great practice, so we were really prepared,” Clavel said. “We came together and our new motto is: ‘We not me.’ So when we stay together, we can do anything we want.”
Clavel finished 11 of 17 for 162 yards with two touchdown passes.
The teams traded punts in the first quarter, with Ferris getting the better of field position. Clavel hemmed G-Prep in at its 5 and after a three-and-out, the Bullpups punted out to their 45 just before the end of the quarter.
Clavel hit Jovan Ruffin for a 12-yard gain, then Jones carried 13 yards to the 10. Three plays later, Schlosser pounded it in from the 1 and Ferris led 7-0 early in the second.
Ferris’ Zach Fleming picked off Ryan McKenna in Saxons territory and took it back to the G-Prep 43. Faced with fourth-and-1 at the 34, Clavel’s hard count drew the Bullpups offside for a first down.
A 16-yard completion to John Williamson took it to the 14. On third down, Schlosser scored from 6 yards out for a 14-0 lead with 5:08 left in the half.
Ferris forced another punt and took over at its 30. Schlosser converted a third-and-19 with a 22-yard draw, and Clavel hooked up with Casey Hocking on a 33-yard completion to the G-Prep 13.
Two plays later, Clavel hit Tarynce Antolin on a slant for a 10-yard TD pass.
G-Prep took its first possession of the second half down to the Ferris 13. On third down, Jake Davis broke through the line for a sack and loss of 10 yards. A fourth-down pass attempt was knocked down for another turnover on downs.
Ferris reeled off chunks of yardage on each play of its next possession, including a 21-yard pass from Clavel to Fleming to put it at the G-Prep 13.
On the next play, Ruffin broke several tackles up the middle and dragged a defender with him into the end zone to put the Saxons up 28-0 with 6 seconds left in the third quarter.
G-Prep moved into Ferris territory, but a sack pushed the Bullpups back. On third down, Antolin stepped in front of a receiver for a pick and he took it back into G-Prep territory.
After a holding penalty, Jones busted outside for a 49-yard gain to the 11. On fourth-and-7 at the 8, Clavel hit Hocking on a down-and-out for a 34-0 lead with 6:46 to go.
Mt. Spokane 71, Rogers 0: Jeter Schuerman went 8 of 11 for 152 yards with four touchdown passes and the Wildcats (5-2, 1-0) beat the Pirates (1-6, 0-1) in the early game at Albi. Alex Shipman rushed five times for 108 yards with a TD while GSL leading rusher Kannon Katzer carried five times for 42 yards with two rushing touchdowns and a TD catch. Tommy Madill had touchdown catches of 56 and 21 yards for the Wildcats.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.