Sep. 2—Week 1 is in the books, and we saw some pretty impressive performances right out of the gate. It must make at least some of the local coaches happy that all those hours during the summer weightlifting and August two-a-days paid off.
But are high school football coaches ever truly happy? There's always something to fix, something to clean up, something to make better — even incrementally.
Anyway, here are our weekly five thoughts (plus one) about the football performances across the Greater Spokane League, Eastern Washington and North Idaho.
Who we thought they were
Mt. Spokane quarterback TJ Haberman and receiver Bode Gardner combined for nine touchdown passes last season. The dynamic duo is almost halfway to that mark after Week 1, as the two hooked up for four touchdowns in the Wildcats' 47-20 win at University.
Gardner finished with eight catches for 225 yards and hauled in scoring passes of 21, 80, 17 and 61 yards. Haberman completed 16 of 25 passes for 383 yards, and Matteo Saccomanno added three TD rushes.
Gardner, a member of Mt. Spokane's two-time state champion 4x400 relay team, is a burner on the outside, but he and Haberman spent much of the offseason working on underneath stuff to make the Wildcats' offense that much more dangerous.
But there's no substitute for speed.
More of the same
Stop me if you've heard this one. Gonzaga Prep likes to run the football. The Bullpups graduate players and restock, running the same multiple-option system coach Dave McKenna's team has for the past 16 years.
On Friday, new featured back Nate Moinette ran for 103 yards and a touchdown to pace a Bullpups offense that recorded 336 yards on the ground during a 34-6 win on the road against Cheney.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Over its first two years, Ridgeline's young program has had some memorable moments — but none like Friday, when it came from behind to top school district rival Central Valley 21-14.
The Falcons limited CV to one touchdown as the Bears' defense accounted for a pair of safeties .
There were plenty of heroes for Ridgeline, but senior Kole LeGrant had touchdown runs of 30 and 6 yards in the second half that allowed the Falcons to soar. Ridgeline not only finally has a senior class, but most of them are three-year starters.
Keep an eye on
Rogers won its first game in three years last season, then went on to win three more. The Pirates got off to a strong start Saturday against an undermanned Medical Lake squad with a 35-0 win that was called just before halftime. Rogers players and staff think they have a playoff team this year and in QB/DB Aaron Kinsey one of the most dangerous players in the state.
Shadle Park built a 31-0 halftime lead before cruising 38-32 win over Timberlake. New starting QB Kaden Hooper threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns in the win. The Highlanders are one of the better-coached teams every year and seem to plug-and-play players who are prepared for the job.
Lakeside lost a two-time Northeast A League MVP to graduation in Kole Hunsaker, but the Eagles didn't miss a beat in beating fellow State 1A contender Lynden Christian 14-8 at home. The teams were ranked No. 3 (LC) and 4 (Lakeside) in one preseason poll.
Versatile athlete Calvin Mikkelsen takes over as Lakeside's QB and running back Hiro Patterson totaled 120 yards from scrimmage . The defense was the star, though, picking off the Lyncs four times and allowing one score.
Gem State update
Behind 223 yards and three TDs from Kage Weil, Lakeland improved to 3-0 with a 42-21 win over Pullman. The Hawks were one of the surprise teams in the 4A State ranks last season before bowing out in the first round of state. They already look like they are ready to take another step.