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Saturday, September 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports

Idaho football: Lakeland’s 28-0 second-quarter lead not enough as Rigby races back for 29-28 win in 4A playoffs

By Ryan Bronson Correspondent

RATHDRUM, Idaho – In a game the Lakeland Hawks won’t soon forget, the Rigby Trojans are fortunate that their quarterback, Hayden Livingston, has a short memory.

Livingston, who overcame two first-half interceptions, threw for three touchdowns and ran for another with 2:09 remaining as the Trojans erased a 28-point deficit for a 29-28 state 4A quarterfinal victory over the Lakeland Hawks on Saturday afternoon at Corbit Field.

Trailing 28-27, Rigby second-year coach Randy Waite decided to go for the 2-point conversion, and Livingston found Braden Perrenoud in the back of the end zone. Solo Taylor’s interception with 1:24 left sealed the come-from-behind victory for the Trojans (6-4), who face Bishop Kelly next week with a trip to the state title game on the line.

“In the locker room at halftime, we all knew we had confidence in each other,” Livingston said. “We knew it was going to be a ballgame … we didn’t know we were going to win, but we knew it was going to be a ballgame.”

Lakeland opened its campaign with 10 consecutive rushing plays, utilizing the wildcat formation and going 57 yards to take a 7-0 lead on Tuekota Tate-Vandever’s 2-yard jaunt.

The Trojans were able to drive inside the Hawk 10 on its next two possessions, but Lakeland’s defense stiffened, forcing a turnover on downs on each drive.

Lakeland’s offense was also getting the job done in the first half. Quarterback Tyrel Derrick threw two second-quarter touchdowns – the first a 71-yard bomb to a very wide-open Dylan Piva and the second a sparkling 30-yard strike to Jason Rose.

And when senior linebacker Chris Washburn stepped in front of a Livingston pass and rumbled 62 yards to make it 28-0 with 2:29 left in the half, the rout was on.

Or was it?

“I call it the three-second rule,” said Livingston, who finished 25-for-39 for 281 yards. “You just acknowledge what you did wrong and then shake it off and go play football. That’s what you gotta do and I thank my teammates, who didn’t quit on me.”

The Trojans racked up 186 first-half yards but couldn’t muster any points until Livingston hit Perrenoud on fourth-and-goal from the 1 with 6 seconds remaining in the half, slicing the Hawks’ lead to 28-7. At the time, it seemed harmless.

The Trojans’ passing game began to heat up in the second half as Livingston hooked up with Tyrel Phillips from 33 yards out to make it 28-14.

After a long missed field goal by the Hawks, Rigby drove 80 yards on 14 plays, culminating with a Livingston 4-yard back-shoulder throw to Connor Francia – 28-21 with 8:07 left. The Hawks punted on their next possession, setting up Livingston for the game’s defining drive, which covered 79 yards in just two minutes.

“There’s just example after example after example in that game where it could have gone a different way,” Lakeland coach Tim Kiefer said. “Just a little tiny thing and it could have changed the outcome of the game.”

Lakeland finished with 260 yards of offense, but just 97 yards in the second half. Fruitland 42, Timberlake 28: Jerred Seamons threw for 304 yards and five touchdowns and the Grizzlies erased a 20-point first-quarter deficit and beat the Tigers (8-2) in the quarterfinals of the 3A State tournament at Spirit Lake.

Orofino 23, St. Maries 6: The Lumberjacks (6-4) were eliminated from the 2A State tournament with a loss to the host Maniacs.

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