Post Falls is a better football team than it was last week, but the Trojans are still searching for their first victory.
The Trojans watched a 14-point second-quarter lead evaporate in a hurry and visiting Graham-Kapowsin went on to claim a 31-21 victory Thursday, the second straight year the Eagles have won by 10 points at Post Falls.
Post Falls, drubbed 35-0 by Capital in its season opener last week, looked much improved, particularly early as Joey Pfennigs tossed two touchdown passes and Marc Conradi returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown.
G-K (1-0), from the Tacoma area, scored 17 points in the final 4:30 of the second quarter to take a 24-21 halftime lead.
“We played better football, but we have to play better football for four quarters, not two quarters or one and a half quarters,” Trojans coach Jeff Hinz said. “We flew around, played with a lot more emotion and got some things cleaned up but we still have a couple more things to clean up.”
At the top of that list is the defense getting off the field in advantageous situations. The Eagles had no luck on fourth-and-1s but they converted three times on fourth-and-long – one via penalty – on three second-quarter scoring drives, all finished by quarterback Trevor Asbjorsen and receiver Dylan Campbell connections. The first covered 6 yards, two plays after Asbjorsen fired a 36-yard pass to Scott King on fourth-and-11.
After a Trojans’ turnover, Campbell hauled in a 37-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-9. Finally, following a Post Falls penalty on fourth-and-8, Campbell sidestepped one defender to complete an 18-yard scoring play.
That evened the score at 21, but the Eagles weren’t finished. A dropped pass prevented Post Falls from earning a first down and G-K took over at its own 35. Teague James’ 54-yard run set up Nate Harden’s 28-yard field goal on the last play of the half.
“It was frustrating,” Hinz said of the Trojans’ fourth-down defense. “Fourth down we give up big plays and that’s what it comes down to, a couple of big plays.”
The Trojans had their share of big plays in the first half. Post Falls marched 80 yards on its first series, capped by Nate Gomer’s 6-yard touchdown catch in the right flat. Pfennigs hit Michael McKeown for gains of 20 and 13 yards, then threw a 29-yard scoring strike to Curtis Triplett.
“We converted better (than the season opener),” Hinz said. “We just got beat up front and didn’t run the football very well. We have to improve on that.”
The defenses took over in the second half. McKeown’s 23-yard punt return set up a Post Falls drive that stalled at the G-K 19. JD Sullivan’s 36-yard field-goal attempt had plenty of distance but hit the left upright with 5:19 remaining.
James, kept in check most of the game, dashed 66 yards to set up the Eagles’ clinching touchdown.
Asbjorsen passed for 258 yards, 214 in the first half. Campbell had 11 catches for 164 yards. Pfennigs passed for 163 yards and hooked up six times with McKeown for 91 yards.
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