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4 Washington high school football games you should not have missed from Week 8 (10/20/2023)

Gonzaga Prep clinches at least a share of the 4A/3A Greater Spokane League championship with a 21-10 victory over host Mount Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. - Who knows how long Dave McKenna will be leading the charge of Gonzaga Prep football.

One is for sure - the excellence of Bullpups football is never compromised.

In a rare situation of being an unranked underdog, Gonzaga Power powered through Mount Spokane for a 21-10 victory Friday night at Union Stadium.

* WEEK 8 WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCOREBOARD

With the victory, Gonzaga Prep clinched at least a share of its third 4A Greater Spokane League title in the past four seasons.

"We set high expectations and standards," McKenna said.

Nate Moinette was the Bullpups workhorse, rushing for 143 yards on 31 carries as the Bullpups finally found their offensive groove in the second half.

"We all got it together," Moinette said.

After the Wildcats grabbed a 7-6 lead with two minutes to go in the first half, the Bullpups rode a big kickoff return to immediately get in scoring position.

They covered the 38 yards in 10 plays, capped by Isaiah Dokken's 1-yard touchdown catch from Bodie Stafford with 7.7 seconds remaining to give Gonzaga Prep a 13-7 lead.

On their first possession of the second half, the Bullpups extended their lead to 21-7 on Carson Flynn's short touchdown run, and that was enough to hold off Mount Spokane.

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MOUNT TAHOMA ENDS 41-YEAR DROUGHT

One of the state's longest droughts of winning a league title is finally over.

Mount Tahoma clinched at least a share of the 3A PCL title with a 54-0 win over Silas.

The last time the Thunderbirds won a league title was 1982 - nearly 41 years ago.

"It was huge for our team, our school and our community," second-year Mount Tahoma coach Keith Terry said. "It was our goal, but we had to go do it. And to do it in the fashion we did it tonight, it means a lot."

The Thunderbirds jumped out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead. Brison Bailey had a 3-yard touchdown run, and quarterback Tre Walker rushed for a score, and also passed for a touchdown.

Terry sensed the excitement for his team building throughout the week - especially around game time Friday.

"I saw the momentum pick up," Terry said. "As we got closer and closer to teh game, especially today, you could tell how much the team wanted it."

If Mount Tahoma beats Lakes next week, it will win the 3A PCL outright.

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CLARKSTON CLINCHES PLAYOFF BERTH

All week, the fate of the past two seasons kept coming up at Clarkston practice.

Players were worried about being stuck in another tiebreaker situation to reach the Class 2A playoffs.

Not anymore.

Led by senior quarterback Carter Steinwand's five total touchdowns, the Bantams beat Shadle Park, 41-23, to clinch a Week 10 bye and earn an automatic berth into the WIAA tournament.

Steinwand passed for 168 yard and four touchdowns, including a 'Hail Mary' 38-yard score to Nathan Somers as time expired in the first half to give Clarkston a 19-10 lead.

He rushed for 101 yards on 13 attempts, and closed the door on the Hilanders with his 13-yard touchdown run with 5:09 to go.

"One thing that has made our offense evolve a little bit is his ability to run," Clarkston coach Brycen Bye said. "We always had him as a passing quarterback, but now he is a dual-threat guy."

After the big play to close the first half, Clarkston forced a quick turnover - and cashed in on Steinwand's 33-yard touchdown pass to Ryken Craber for a 25-10 lead at the 7:37 mark of the third quarter.

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BISHOP BLANCHET SURVIVES MARATHON

At the end of the five-overtime thriller - Bishop Blanchet survived a 54-53 game over Ballard - Bears coach Dominic Salle took a glance at the surrounding home crowd.

Once excited for senior night, many of the spectators were standing at 11 p.m., upper torsos draped over the fence and worn out.

Imagine how the players from both teams felt.

To put an ending to this four-hour marathon, after Ballard scored a touchdown in the fifth overtime to cut it to 54-53, the Beavers decided to go for the two-point conversion - and the win.

But Bishop Blanchet defensive lineman Sebastian Alcazar crashed through for a sack to stop the bid, and give the Bears a win.

"It was exciting and stressful at the same time, but it was a lot of fun," Salle said. "Both teams played with great effort and played really yard. It was going to be a matter of time when one team made one extra play -and that was us."

Both teams scored in every overtime period, but the biggest twist came in the fourth extra session.

Bishop Blanchet scored first, but dropped the snap on the PAT kick - and missed out on the extra point.

After Ballard answered with a touchdown, it was called for a penalty -and its game-winning PAT kick fell short.

With the win, the Bears are in a three-way tie for fourth in the 3A Metro League with Seattle Prep and Rainier Beach. Seven teams go to the playoffs.

(Correspondent Lane Mathews contributed to this reporter)

2023 Washington high school football: Gonzaga Prep at Mount Spokane
2023 Washington high school football: Gonzaga Prep at Mount Spokane
2023 Washington high school football: Gonzaga Prep at Mount Spokane
2023 Washington high school football: Gonzaga Prep at Mount Spokane
2023 Washington high school football: Gonzaga Prep at Mount Spokane