CHEWELAH – After Lakeside’s Mr. Everything, Tony Smith, went down with a knee injury on the fourth play of the game, the Eagles had 115 plays left to find a spark.
They needed almost all of them.
Four big plays, including a late two-point conversion when a kick would have tied, gave Lakeside a 14-13 win over Chewelah in the Great Northern League opener at M.B. Snyder Field.
Chewelah (2-2, 0-1 GNL) took a 13-6 lead into the fourth quarter, and in the decisive possession, Lakeside (3-1, 1-0) took over at its 18-yard-line with 10 minutes, 30 seconds remaining.
With little to show on offense besides a 66-yard catch-and-run receiving touchdown by Garrett Perkins in the second quarter, the Eagles appeared to have an extremely long field.
After a couple of nice pickups by junior quarterback Travis Corigliano and running back Ryan Burgess, the Eagles finally broke a big play with their misdirection option offense.
Ricky Labelle, who led Lakeside on the ground with 90 yards on 10 carries, slipped out the backside and went 41 yards before finally being hauled down at the Cougars’ 25.
On the next play, Corigliano hit Joel Noland on a quick slant, and Noland reversed field and outran a defender into the end zone to make it a one-point game.
Surprisingly, what to do next required little thought by Eagles head coach Brian Dunn.
“We went for two because I hate ties, and I figured we had the momentum,” Dunn said. “When we started driving, I told my offensive coordinator I needed a two-point play. I didn’t know if we’d get another opportunity the way our offense sputtered.”
Junior tight end Scott Richards got inside on a little slant, catching the pass from Corigliano for the lead and final margin.
Smith, Lakeside’s leading rusher, tackler, kicker, punter and a team captain, spent the remainder of the game on crutches.
Outside of the three big gains, Lakeside’s offense wasn’t particularly effective, so the defense took over. The Eagles forced three turnovers and took a couple of punches in the mouth from the Cougars’ big offensive line and Chewelah running back Clayton Becker, who ran 27 times for 119 yards and a score.
“It was a straight-up battle, and we came out on top,” said Lakeside linebacker Cody Cantu, who recovered a fumble and had an interception. “All up front they were bigger than us, but it was who wants it more and we gave it everything they had.”
It did take nearly the entire roster to fill in for Smith, as five different Eagles had at least three carries and only Corigliano was responsible for more than 100 yards of offense – 125 through the air and 21 on the ground.
“Every single guy stepped up,” Corigliano said. “My receivers made great plays, the running backs found holes and busted holes and the linemen made the holes, and that’s how you win games.”
In other GNL openers, No. 1 Pullman scored 42 first-half points en route to a 49-7 win over host Deer Park (1-3, 0-1). J.T. Levenseller hit Aaron Pflugrad for two first-quarter touchdown passes and Mike Thomas ran for two scores for the Greyhounds (4-0, 1-0). … John Roberts ran for 275 yards and three scores as Colville defeated Medical Lake 67-26 at Colville. Trevor Bateman threw for 185yards and two touchdowns for the Indians (2-1, 1-0), while Chris Hanson caught two touchdowns and ran for a third for the Cardinals (0-4, 0-1), who have lost nine straight games.
Bob Christerson ran for two touchdowns as No. 3 Reardan (3-0, 3-0) handed Springdale (0-4, 0-3) its 13th straight loss in a game at Reardan. The Indians abused the Chargers on the ground with six rushing touchdowns and added a Chance Ackerman 25-yard interception return in the third quarter. … Derek MacArthur ran for 226 yards and two scores and added a touchdown pass as Selkirk (3-0, 3-0) rallied for 24 points in the fourth quarter of a 24-21 win at Republic. Adam Hancock led the Tigers (1-2, 0-2) with 143 rushing yards and a touchdown. … Cory Christman ran for 80 yards and two touchdowns and added 98 receiving yards and a score as No. 5 Davenport defeated No. 6 Liberty (1-2, 1-2) 31-20 at Spangle. Kyle Nelson threw two TD passes for the Gorillas (3-0, 2-0). … Joel Sherwood scored from a yard out in the fourth quarter to lift Wilbur-Creston over Odessa (2-2, 1-2) 25-21 at Wilbur. Sherwood finished with 124 rushing yards and all four touchdowns for the Wildcats (2-2, 1-2).
Miles St. John ran for 222 yards and five touchdowns as second-ranked Columbia defeated host Curlew 54-28 in the league opener for both teams. After Dillon Strandberg threw a 40-yard TD pass to Berard Payne to pull Curlew (0-2, 0-1) within two points in the first quarter, Columbia (4-0, 1-0) reeled off 42 unanswered points, with four St. John touchdowns sandwiched between a pair of 1-yard plunges by Loren Kieffer. … Friday’s other Northeast B-8 opener between Cusick and Sprague-Harrington was postponed because of a flu outbreak. The teams will play Monday in Harrington at 3 p.m.
Matt Martin scored four touchdowns and intercepted five passes as No. 1 LaCrosse-Washtucna blanked St. John-Endicott (1-2, 0-1) 50-0 and earned its 39th straight victory in the league opener for both teams at LaCrosse. Martin had eight receptions for 213 yards and three TDs and added a 25-yard interception return in the first quarter, while Hans Guske ran for 135 yards and a TD for the Tigercats (4-0, 1-0). … Kyle Kelly threw for 363 yards and seven TDs, five in the second quarter, on 19-of-24 passing as No. 4 Colton-Pullman Christian defeated Prescott 64-14 at Colton. Joe Smetana had 10 receptions for 210 yards and five TDs for the Wildcats (4-0, 1-0) and added a sixth on a 15-yard run in the fourth quarter. Prescott (0-3, 0-1) turned over the ball eight times. … Tri-Cities Prep improved to 4-0 with a 28-26 win in its league opener over Jubilee Academy (2-2, 0-1).
Colfax quarterback Ben Aune‘s only completed pass of the game resulted in a 25-yard touchdown pass to Tony Starrett, the only scoring in the Bulldogs’ 6-0 win over DeSales, the No. 1 B-11 team in the state, at Walla Walla. Josh Campbell ran for 98 yards for the Bulldogs (2-1), who held the Irish (3-1) to 154 total yards. … Andrew Dresback threw 70- and 59-yard touchdown passes and ran for a 1-yard score in a 20-point second quarter as Freeman trounced host Priest River (1-3) 33-0. Michael Wittwer scored on a 15-yard run and a fumble return in the second half for the Scotties (2-1). … Derk Robinson ran for 103 yards and three scores on just four carries as Asotin defeated host Enterprise (Ore.) 54-8. Asotin (2-1) allowed one touchdown on a kick return and forced five turnovers. … Lind-Ritzville’s Tyler Bruegeman returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, sparking a 38-point first quarter as the Broncos (2-1) defeated an injury-depleted Tekoa-Oakesdale/Rosalia (0-3) team 60-13 at Ritzville. James Saetre ran for three of L-R’s six first-quarter touchdowns. … Taylor Horner threw a 45-yard pass to Michael Yusi to set up a Stephen Justus 2-yard touchdown run with 3:30 left as Okanogan defeated host Kettle Falls 15-12. Jacoby Bradeen scored on a 5-yard run and a 30-yard interception return as the Bulldogs (2-2) had a 12-0 halftime lead. … Riverside improved to 3-0 with a 13-0 win over host Newport (1-2).
“Cody Peone ran for 176 yards and three touchdowns, then added a reception and a kick return for scores as Inchelium (1-2) defeated the Mansfield JV 48-26 in B-8 action at Mansfield. … Saxon Wolf ran for 80 yards and two scores, including a game-winning 49-yard run, as Garfield-Palouse (1-1) defeated Touchet (0-3) 20-14 at Palouse. Jess Cole led the Vikings with 104 rushing yards. … Norbert Abrahamson was 22 of 34 for 325 yards and four touchdowns as Wellpinit defeated Almira/Coulee-Hartline 48-38 at Hartline. Abrahamson also scored on a 55-yard run and a 60-yard fumble return for the Redskins (1-3). Cody Feely and Britton Baker each scored twice for ACH (0-3).
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