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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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T-Wolves shock Vikings

The Lake City football team knocked off Coeur d'Alene 23-15 Friday.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.

By Greg Lee

Staff writer

Out of league, the Lake City football team is 0-6.

In games that count the most, though, the Timberwolves are now 2-0.

Lake City pulled off an upset Friday, knocking off fourth-ranked Coeur d’Alene 23-15 in a 5A Inland Empire League game on a rain-soaked field before an estimated crowd of 2,000 at LC.

The victory means the Timberwolves can clinch the conference championship and top playoff berth with a win at Lewiston (4-4, 1-1) next Friday. The win also gave some life to Post Falls (5-3, 0-2), which visits Coeur d’Alene (6-2, 1-1) Thursday.

LC has committed turnovers, struggled tackling and missed a lot of blocks in non-league play. But get the T-Wolves in league and they’ve become different animals.

“It’s mental focus and getting them to understand that you have to be mentally focused every time you go out on the field,” LC coach Van Troxel said of the difference between the non-league losses and the league victories. “Now we’re getting the message across because that’s what it is.”

The only turnover LC committed was an interception by CdA free safety Cade Mendoza in the end zone when the T-Wolves were driving late in the first half.

CdA took a 7-6 lead into halftime. The Viks took the lead when receiver Deon Watson caught a 5-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Dunton with 7:11 left in the second quarter.

Like in its 20-0 win over Post Falls earlier this month, LC found itself in the middle of the game in the second half.

The T-Wolves regained the lead when they wiped 5 minutes and 35 seconds off the clock on the first possession of the third quarter. Quarterback Mark Smyly hit receiver Austin Kiefer on a play-action short post for a 12-yard TD to make the score 12-7.

Moments later, LC scored again when cornerback T.J. Philp intercepted a pass and sprinted 20 yards for the TD. Smyly converted a two-point conversion to extend the lead to 20-7 with 5:38 left in the third.

After forcing CdA to punt on its next possession, LC marched again. The T-Wolves moved to the Viks’ 7-yard line and on fourth down decided to attempt a field. Ryan Clark chipped it through from 24 yards out as LC led 23-7 with 7:42 to go.

Now having to play catch up in a hurry, CdA went to the air. It appeared the T-Wolves had the Viks stopped on fourth-and-29 from the LC 30. But Dunton lofted a high pass to the corner and receiver Jake Matheson outjumped defensive back Austin Kiefer for a TD. A two-point conversion allowed CdA to pull within the final margin.

LC chewed up valuable time on its next possession. The T-Wolves moved to CdA’s 5 and elected not to attempt a field goal on fourth-and-three. Smyly came up a yard short of a first down. The Viks took over at their 3.

They could only move as far as LC’s 48 before time expired.

“Give credit to Lake City,” CdA coach Shawn Amos said. “They found a win to win.”

Smyly threw for a TD and ran for a score as he finished with 73 yards rushing on 22 carries and 61 passing.

“We came out ready to play and capitalized on good plays,” Smyly said. “Coming into this game we just wanted to block better and tackle better (and) cut down on those turnovers.”

Amos said his team made too many mistakes.

“Too many things to list,” Amos said. “They outplayed us – in the front primarily – in a place we thought we had strength. Our kids battled but you’ve got to play good football.”

4A Inland Empire

Sandpoint 33, Moscow 0: The Bulldogs (6-2, 1-0) handled the Bears (5-2, 1-1) at Moscow.

The Bulldogs can clinch the lone 4A state playoff berth Friday when they play host to Lakeland.

Non-league

Post Falls 54, Lakeland 19: The Trojans bounced back from a difficult loss in a dominating way at home.

The Trojans (5-3) built a 33-6 lead by halftime as the Hawks (2-7) didn’t have an answer.



Greg Lee
Greg Lee joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a prep reporter covering Eastern Washington and North Idaho schools.

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