IEL 5A champs await first state foe
LEWISTON – Three minutes, four plays, 21 points. That’s all it took for Lake City to turn a taut season football finale with Lewiston into a laugher.
A dizzying sequence in the third quarter and rousing line play helped catapult the Timberwolves to a 49-19 rout at Bengal Field on Friday night. LC claimed its 13th consecutive berth to the state playoffs and the 5A Inland Empire League title.
Lake City (3-6, 3-0) will host a first-round postseason game against the winner of Monday’s three-way Kansas tiebreaker between Lewiston, Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene at Lake City.
CdA, as No. 1 seed, gets a first-round bye while PF and Lewiston play at 6 p.m.
“To me, this is so satisfying for this group of seniors,” LC coach Van Troxel said. “… They never, as freshmen and sophomores, beat Coeur d’Alene, they never beat Post Falls, they never beat Lewiston. It’s the first time in their careers that they won two games in a row. They’ve just grown and grown and grown.”
Up 14-0 at the half, the Timberwolves started the third quarter with a 65-yard touchdown jaunt from Jacob Bowman. It was called back by holding, but LC was unfazed.
On the next play, quarterback Mark Smyly connected with Austin Kiefer for a 65-yard passing TD.
Then, on Lewiston’s first play of the half, quarterback Justin Podrabsky was intercepted by Brian Griswold. Two plays later, Bowman scored from 5 yards out.
Just like that, it was 28-0. But LC wasn’t done.
After forcing a turnover on downs, the Timberwolves capped the three-minute flourish with a 43-yard touchdown scamper from Bowman. With last year’s leading rusher Justin Bryant hobbled, the junior finished with 145 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries.
“That third quarter was like the longest third quarter in the history of football,” Lewiston coach Emmett Dougherty said.
The Bengals were plagued by poor pass protection, drops from receivers and an out-of-sync performance from University of Idaho-bound Podrabsky. He completed 19 of 32 passes for 144 yards.
In the second half, he was sacked five times.
“Can’t say enough about the way our defense (played) because that’s a pretty good offense,” Troxel said. “Justin probably got hit as much as he’d been hit in a long time.”
The Bengals (4-5, 1-2) sputtered from the start, failing to gain a first down until their first possession of the second quarter.
“It’s going to be a tough task but these guys have fought all year long and every time people think we’re dead, these guys fight back,” Dougherty said. “So I think we’ve got a great chance Monday to get another crack” at LC.
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