City champion with two victories over the crosstown rival. At the least, co-league champion. And 8-1 going into the state playoffs.
The Lake City Timberwolves, who seemingly accomplished new milestones each week, added to the list Thursday with a sluggish 34-20 victory over Coeur d’Alene in an Inland Empire League finale at LC.
On paper, the game should have been one-sided. But LC coach Van Troxel was the first to point out afterward that the outcome of intracity games can never be predicted.
“I’ve been in these things for 17 years and you never know what’s going to happen,” Troxel said. “It wasn’t pretty. (Coeur d’Alene) comes out and plays its best game all year and we didn’t. You have to give them credit. But the bottom line is when it was all over with, we’re city champs.”
LC opened the season with a 40-13 win over CdA - the Timberwolves first over their rival.
The T-Wolves, who moved atop the State A-1 Division II rankings this week for the first time in school history, will most likely travel to Sandpoint for a playoff game next week, if Sandpoint gets an expected win at Post Falls tonight.
If Post Falls upsets Sandpoint then LC (3-1 in league) would entertain Post Falls next week.
CdA ends the season 1-8, 0-4. But the Vikings finished on a positive note regardless of the loss.
Viks first-year coach Shawn Amos certainly was smiling afterward.
“I love these guys man,” said Amos, whose team’s lone win came over Spokane’s newest Greater Spokane League school, Mt. Spokane (28-14), in the second week of the season.
“We overcame a lot of odds and they played their hearts out,” Amos added. “It’s a great group of kids. This is a damn good football team we played against and it was a good football game. These guys are a state-level team. We need to spend our off-season like they have and get stronger and faster. We need to learn from them.”
LC scored on its first two possessions, and it appeared it would be a long night for the Vikings.
Particularly after the way the T-Wolves scored their first touchdown. LC faced a fourth-and-goal from the 22-yard line, when quarterback Chad Troxel took a snap in a shotgun formation, rolled left a few steps before hitting wide receiver Richard Novotny all alone in the back of the end zone.
With 9 seconds left in the first quarter, Troxel scampered 10 yards on an option keeper to put LC ahead 14-0.
CdA didn’t quit, scoring two TDs in the second quarter as the teams went to intermission with LC ahead 14-12.
The Viks scored on big plays. On a fourth-and-14 from the LC 37, quarterback Nate Ferguson lobbed a short swing pass to running back Pat Goodwin, and the speedster cut back and zipped 37 yards for a TD.
Ferguson found Goodwin on a quick slant from the slot for a 42-yard TD with 18 seconds remaining before halftime.
LC used a 45-yard interception return from Mike Duff and a 6-yard keeper by Troxel to build a 26-12 lead with 4:17 left in the third quarter.
CdA answered immediately when Goodwin scooped up the ensuing kickoff on the slippery field and scooted 83 yards for a score. That pulled CdA within 26-20.
LC answered with one of its best drives. Running back Scott Bushnell capped the series with a 2-yard dive to put the T-Wolves ahead 34-20 5 seconds into the final quarter.
The teams combined for 25 penalties for 234 yards. LC was called for the most infractions (16 for 175).
Troxel led all rushers with 128 yards on 13 carries.
Lake City 34, Coeur d’Alene 20
Coeur d’Alene 0 12 8 0 - 20
Lake City 14 0 12 8 - 34
L-Novotny 22 pass from Troxel (run failed) L-Troxel 10 run (Bushnell run) C-Goodwin 37 pass from Ferguson (kick failed) C-Goodwin 42 pass from Ferguson (run failed) L-Duff 45 interception return (kick failed) L-Troxel 6 run (kick failed) C-Goodwin 83 kickoff return (Moe pass from Ferguson) L-Bushnell 2 run (Orsua pass from Troxel)
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 Photos (1 color)