MULLAN — In a battle to determine who would be the brightest star in the North Star League, the Mullan/St. Regis Tigers made a statement.
Dismantling the Clark Fork Wampus Cats 52-22, the Tigers stamped their name at the top of the list of teams from North Idaho who will be looking to clinch a state playoff berth.
The game had a sloppy beginning as both teams traded turnovers, but after the nerves settled Mullan senior Skye Gallaway took the ball 90 yards to get Mullan on the scoreboard and the Tigers never looked back.
Mullan jumped all over Clark Fork, resulting in the 40-point, mercy rule running clock being initiated in the third quarter.
“The greatest part about the game was knowing our ceiling is still so high,” Mullan coach Stetson Spooner said. “We still have a lot to improve upon.”
Cousins Luke and Riley Trogden really left their fingerprints all over the game as Luke had two rushing scores and a kick return for a score, while Riley made a highlight reel grab of a deep pass for a score and then had himself a pick-six.
Mullan’s all-state duo of Gallaway and Farris remained the backbone of the team as Farris’ lockdown defensive performance kept the Wampus Cats at bay, while Gallaway repeatedly gouged their defense to set up scoring opportunities for his teammates.
“It was tough to find a groove due to so many players flying in and out, which is new to us,” Spooner joked. “Freshman quarterback Caleb Ball really took control and showed off his skill set tonight for us as well.”
Mullan (1-0) will be on the road next week as they take on Wallace at Sather Field at 6 p.m.
St. Maries 14, Kellogg 0
KELLOGG — The Wildcats were every bit as game as their opponents on Friday night, but the story of the game came down to three very simple things.
Energy, discipline, and offensive execution.
Headed into the fourth quarter, with both teams knotted up at 0, the Wildcats had multiple opportunities to score, but with many of the Wildcats playing on both sides of the ball, they lacked the energy late in the game that was needed to make plays.
Penalties were a huge part of the Wildcats opener, many of which were drive killers for them.
It seemed as though every time senior quarterback Brandon Miller would make a big play, the Wildcats would find themselves on the receiving end of a silly penalty, in fact, Kellogg lost more than 80 yards in penalties throughout the game.
While trying to stay true to the wishbone-style offense that the Wildcats have used to make it to back to back state playoff appearances, Kellogg faltered dramatically, but then they seemed to have no trouble picking up yardage when they would switch to a more traditional shotgun offense.
Despite all of these struggles, the Wildcat defense held solid, forcing multiple turnovers and constantly making sure that their offense had decent field position.
With less than five minutes remaining and the game still scoreless, the combination of fatigue, poor execution, and penalties finally gave way to a 22-yard bomb from Lumberjack quarterback Eli Gibson to Tristan Nelson who put St. Maries up 8-0.
Kellogg wouldn’t go away though as they drove down field using a mix of Miller’s running and some big catches by Tyler Oertli.
Inside the redzone, Miller took a hit as he released the ball which was intercepted by St. Maries.
Gibson would score again on a QB keeper that gave them their 14-0 win.
Troy 54, Wallace 0
WALLACE — No information was received for this game.
Wallace hosts Mullan next week at 6 p.m.
Cd’A Charter d. Wallace
WALLACE — Jaden House has nine kills, but the Wallace Miners opened their season with a 25-20, 20-25, 27-25, 25-11 loss to the CDA Charter Panthers in nonleague play Thursday night.
The Miners battled hard for the first three sets, but seemingly had the wind taken out of their sails after a crushing loss in the third set, one that coach Katie Bauer believes they could’ve won.
“The match was exciting and our girls played very well,” Bauer said. “We had a chance to win the third set at 24-23 and again at 25-24 and we couldn’t convert. I think that after losing that close set we couldn’t get our focus back.”
Bauer did find a silver lining in the loss, however — along with House’s stellar play, the Miners competed well against their bigger opponents.
“On the positive side, we were very aggressive and passed the ball well,” Bauer said. “Kali Davis had a great game for us defensively and as a server.”
Wallace (0-1) will host Kellogg on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Kirby Krulitz Court.
Lakeland d. Kellogg
KELLOGG — Lakeland’s Abbey Neff had 26 kills as the visiting Hawks swept the Wildcats 25-19, 25-12, 25-23 in nonleague play at Andrews Gymnasium.
The Wildcats appeared ready to play prior to their season opener against Lakeland, the only problem was that their opponent was ready too.
The Hawks had an answer for just about everything the Wildcat hit at them, and then in counter had two big time hitters of their own who (for lack of a better word) punished Kellogg.
“Lakeland is a tough team and they are equipped with great defensive coverage, a setter with great hands, and two powerhouse hitters at the pins,” Kellogg coach Steph Brunner said. “We lost, but played well.”
As far as a season opener goes, the Wildcats did themselves no favors in scheduling a bigger school, but Brunner liked what she saw from her team in the face of adversity.
Senior Sam Bryant went 10 for 10 from the service line and added 11 blocks and five kills.
Bryant had a lot of help from teammates Jaron Figueroa, Grace Nearing, and Chloe Wilbur who were all over the court making hustle plays and keeping the Wildcats in the game.
“Overall I was happy with how they never gave up on the ball and had some amazing hustle plays,” Brunner said. “I’m looking forward to this season.”
Kellogg (0-1) is on the road this week at Wallace at 7 p.m.
The Wildcats opened their season with two losses and a tie, falling 3-0 to Grangeville on Aug. 26, losing 12-0 against defending state champions Coeur d’Alene Charter on Aug. 28, and tying IML foe Priest River 0-0 on Aug. 29.
Kellogg is on the road this week at Timberlake on Thursday, at 5 p.m.
Kellogg Cross Country
POST FALLS — Wildcats Lacey Medina and Shaye Sullivan finished in second and fifth place respectively at the Post Falls junior varsity meet on Aug. 28.
The meet featured many of the younger teams from the bigger 4A and 5A schools in the area.