Give Post Falls credit.
Visiting Albi Stadium in Spokane for a game against first-year Mt. Spokane, the Trojans gave themselves every opportunity to lose a game they shouldn’t.
“We talked about that all week,” Post Falls defensive end Eli Thornley said. “We didn’t want to be the first team to lose to these guys. I think we knew we weren’t going to.”
The Trojans scored twice in the final 5 minutes to defeat the Wildcats 27-16.
Post Falls took its first lead, 14-10, early in the second half but then a backwards pass hit the ground and Josh Wilson of Mt. Spokane took it 58 yards to put the Wildcats back up 16-14 with 38 seconds left in the third quarter.
Two possessions later, the Trojans drove 98 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. The drive, which started at the 2 thanks to a big Mt. Spokane punt, started slow as a holding penalty left the Trojans with a third-and-20 from the 13. But quarterback Ben Sharon found Cameron Christiansen behind the defense at the Post Falls’ 40 and he raced to the 18. On the next play Sharon hit Chad Quesnell in the right corner of the end zone.
“Third-and-20 from the 13 and we let someone get behind us,” Mt.
Spokane coach Mike McLaughlin lamented.
“Those are growing pains.”
Matt Smith then buried the Wildcats with two sacks and Elijah Cranford returned a short punt to the Mt. Spokane 20.
Adam Fehling, the quarterback-turned-running back because of injuries, gained a yard then stepped behind center and hit Christiansen for the touchdown that iced the game.
“We had to play as a family,” said two-way lineman David Stafford, who was returning to action after missing last week’s game. “We had to stick our heads together and make no mental mistakes. It felt great to be back. I think I had the best game of my career tonight.”
Fehling rushed for 201 yards on 30 carries, including breaking two tackles on a 28-yard run in the third quarter that put the Trojans up 14-10.
He also caught two passes for 34 yards and completed two for 27 yards.
“What surprised me,” Thornley said, “was that we didn’t come out as good as we should at the beginning. I think coming out at the half, even though they got that long one, we knew we were going to win.”
Mt. Spokane had a field goal blocked on the opening possession of the game but the Trojans fumbled the ball away at the Wildcats’ 9. On the next play, Wilson went up the middle on a trap, split the secondary and raced 91 yards to score.
The Trojans fumbled again on the Wildcats 25 and with the help of two 15-yard penalties, Mt. Spokane got to the Post Falls 17. A big penalty sent the Wildcats back but Chris Snyder nailed a line-drive 49-yard field goal for a surprising 10-0 lead.
Sharon hit Christiansen with a 19-yard score midway through the second quarter to get Post Falls on the board. On their next possession, however, the Trojans turned the ball over on downs at the Mt. Spokane 10. The Trojans also fumbled the ball away on the opening possession of the second half.
Post Falls 27, Mt. Spokane 16
Post Falls 0 7 7 13 27
Mt. Spokane 7 3 6 0 16
Mt. Spokane - Wilson 91 run (Snyder kick) Mt. Spokane - Snyder 49 field goal Post Falls - Christiansen 19 pass from Sharon (Leary kick) Post Falls - Fehling 28 run (Leary kick) Mt. Spokane - Wilson 58 fumble return (kick failed) Post Falls - Quesnell 16 pass from Sharon (kick failed) Post Falls - Christiansen 19 pass from Fehling (Leary kick).