Friday Night (High)lights: Gonzaga Prep's ground game rolls; Rogers, Shadle Park on collision course

Sep. 23—It's tough to cover a top-10 college football game and write a weekly high school football column in the space of 6 1/2 hours on an otherwise spectacular fall afternoon. But when you're good they call you crackerjack.

Self-congratulations aside, here are our weekly five thoughts (plus one) about the football performances across the Greater Spokane League and Eastern Washington.

Ground hogs

Gonzaga Prep (3-1, 3-0) played its third league game, and for the third straight game its rushing offense pounded out more than 200 yards on the ground, going for 239 of 46 carries in a 31-7 win over Mead at home.

Leading the charge was wingback Jonah Keller, who had 19 carries for 104 yards. Quarterback Bodie Stafford had 45 yards on eight carries and added 78 yards in the air with a TD pass on 13 attempts — which in some years would be a season's worth for coach Dave McKenna's squad.

Wildcat attack

Mt. Spokane (4-0, 4-0) roughed up Ferris for 20 points in the first quarter en route to a 51-14 win at Union Stadium. The Wildcats again took advantage of speedster Bode Gardner, who had a 25-yard touchdown catch and a 54-yard punt return for a score.

But they got good production elsewhere , with Matteo Saccomanno totaling two TDs — one rushing, one receiving — and Talon Main with five catches for 75 yards and a score.

Pirate power

Rogers is having a renaissance, led by quarterback/defensive back/kick returner Aaron Kinsey. The senior and unquestioned leader of the Pirates accounted for four more scores this week — three rushing and one passing — bringing his season total to 15 — in a 40-20 win over Pullman.

It's the first time since 1968 the Pirates have started a season 4-0. Just as important, it keeps the momentum rolling as they head into a showdown against Shadle Park at the new stadium Friday night.

Back on track

Shadle Park had a tough time on offense in its Week 3 loss to West Valley but had no trouble moving the ball in a 62-27 win over North Central as Nic Tilton rushed for 155 yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries.

The Highlanders are accustomed to earning a playoff spot since moving down to 2A a few years ago, but with a league loss to their record already, it makes Friday's game with Rogers critical to their postseason potential.

Flying high

The Eagles of West Valley are on a roll, winning their third straight after a season-opening loss to Freeman. Austin Clark had rushing touchdowns of 8, 19, 5 and 54 yards to lead the Eagles over contender Clarkston 42-13.

"We had a really good week of practice and did the best we could to get everyone ready, and I think they were really excited to come out and play," WV coach Craig Whitney said.

More than a game

Riverside beat Medical Lake 40-8, but what happened in the stands was bigger than what happened on the field. Fans, families and friends affected by the wildfires that spread through the region a few weeks ago came together to support each other and raise money for those in need.

"I don't see it increasing competition. It might be more opposite, it might be more of us coming together, being with each other more," Trinity Shull, a Medical Lake cheerleader, said.

That's the spirit.