The Lake City football team was winless in two tries against the Post Falls Trojans in the regular season.
When it mattered most, though, the Timberwolves topped Post Falls twice on Monday night in the 5A Inland Empire League double-elimination tiebreaker at Coeur d’Alene High School.
Lake City (5-4) advances to the state playoffs for a 15th straight year. The T-Wolves travel to Eagle (8-1) on Friday. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. PDT.
Lewiston (5-4) forced the tiebreaker when it upset visiting Post Falls (6-3) 37-21 last Friday in a regular-season finale. That left the three teams tied at 1-2.
LC senior defensive end/tight end Danny Brum caught a screen pass from quarterback Bruce Shipley and found himself wide open against broken coverage. He dashed 17 yards into the end zone for the lone score in the second LC-PF matchup to secure the playoff berth.
“We were rooting for Lewiston and Lewiston came out on top,” Brum said of last Friday’s game. “Hey, man, they gave us a second shot.”
LC held Post Falls on downs in the deciding tiebreaker. Then on the T-Wolves’ second play, Brum scored on a play that went for an 85-yard touchdown in a 62-21 loss to Coeur d’Alene last Thursday.
“We’re still kicking boys, we’re still kicking,” LC coach Van Troxel said. “We were surprised that we were playing tonight. We thought Post Falls … they were one of the better teams we played. It means a whole lot.
“They’ve had to endure me the whole season and I’m not the nicest guy in the whole world when we have high expectations. There have been a lot of rear ends chewed. We’ve put them through a lot of paces, but that’s why we do it so when you get to this point they’re used to some adversity.”
Post Falls and LC squared off in the first tiebreaker that needed three rounds before LC prevailed 20-14.
The Trojans hurt themselves when quarterback Taylor Valente and running back Tyson Johnson, who was coming in motion behind Valente, collided in the backfield, resulting in a 5-yard loss. That set up third-and-goal from the 15. But a pass fell incomplete.
Post Falls opted to attempt a field goal, but Timmy Mueller’s kick from 32 yards was pushed to the right and missed.
On LC’s first play, Kaleb Mitchell gained 9 yards to the 1-yard line. On the next play, Shipley scored.
That moved LC against Lewiston, which got a bye into the next tiebreaker based on point differential in the three league games.
LC was on offense first at the 25 and needed just four plays before running back Chris Williams scored on a 4-yard run.
The T-Wolves’ defense held against the Bengals. On fourth-and-3, Lewiston running back Lucky Gaskill fell a yard short of a first down.
In the third tiebreaker, Post Falls eliminated Lewiston 7-0.
Neither team scored in the round that started at the 25. PF went on offense first in the next round that began at the 10, and the Trojans scored on a 4-yard pass from Joey Pfennings to Valente.
PF defensive back Johnny Haskew secured the win when he intercepted a pass that was bobbled in the end zone by Gaskill.
“I hate these things,” Lewiston coach Emmett Dougherty said. “I hate traveling up here for these things. We’re going to have to work to never get in this situation again.”
PF was seeking its first 5A state playoff berth and first since 2004.
“We didn’t take care of business (at Lewiston),” PF coach Jeff Hinz said. “We put ourselves in this position and you never know how these things are going to go. We didn’t get it done in Lewiston. It’s our fault.”