They call it Maverick: Lake City defensive backs are taught to jump a route whenever they see the quarterback’s eyes.
That’s what Timberwolves junior Scott Helsper did, intercepting Coeur d’Alene quarterback Austin Lee on the first possession in overtime.
Then after Lake City got within an inch of the goal line on fourth down, the Timberwolves brought out reliable field goal kicker Casey Bourque.
A false start and a delay moved Lake City back, but Bourque sent through his second game-winner of the season, this time from 27 yards, as the visiting Timberwolves upset defending state champion Coeur d’Alene 45-42 in an Inland Empire League 5A football game Friday night.
“We’re always taught to look at the ball and I was just in the right place at the right time,” Helsper, who stepped in front of CdA receiver Brian Skinner. “I saw his (Lee’s) eyes and he locked in and I locked in, too.”
LC (7-1 overall, 2-0 in league) all but locked up a playoff berth. The T-Wolves can clinch the league title outright when they travel to Lewiston (1-7, 0-2) next Friday.
Coeur d’Alene (6-2, 1-1) travels to Post Falls (4-4, 1-1) next Friday. Although the Viks most likely have a playoff berth, they can clinch one with a win. Post Falls can earn a berth with a victory.
More importantly for LC, it can capture a first-round bye into the quarterfinals with a win next week. The CdA/PF winner will be on the road in the expanded, 12-team playoffs.
“We knew we were closer,” LC coach Van Troxel said. “But we also knew they were a very good football team. It was a great win for our program. We needed this.”
LC rode the back of speedy special teams ace Jerry Louie-McGee.
Louie-McGee returned two kickoffs 85 and 92 yards for touchdowns and a punt 60 for another.
Twice LC had two-touchdown leads at 28-14 and 42-28. Both times the Viks rallied.
Louie-McGee’s final TD return – the longest – coupled with a 12-yard rushing touchdown from Kirk McKenzie allowed LC to take a 42-28 lead with 4:57 remaining in the third quarter.
McKenzie’s TD was set up on a 2-yard punt by the Viks that gave the T-Wolves the ball at CdA’s 12-yard line.
CdA, which pulled even twice but never led, scored two TDs in the final 3:12 of the third quarter to knot the score at 42-all going into the final period.
After all the offense and electricity the teams combined for in the first three quarters, they were scoreless in the final 12 minutes.
“We couldn’t control No. 10 (Louie-McGee) very well,” CdA coach Shawn Amos said. “It was a heckuva battle and they earned it. It’s what we expected.”
Amos bemoaned the 15 penalties and mental mistakes his team made despite putting up 675 yards total offense.
“Our kids played hard and didn’t give up,” Amos said. “We play a little undisciplined, which unfortunately has been a problem for us throughout the year. Playing good teams like that you’ve got to be disciplined. We put ourselves in bad spots with penalties (and) mental mistakes. It’s something if we want to continue playing through November we’ve got to fix.”
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