MOSCOW, Idaho – The Rocky Mountain football team showed why it is in the conversation for an Idaho State 5A championship.
Lake City showed why it hopes to be a different – read better – team in a month.
The Grizzlies, behind yard-chewing running back Jake Roper and his four first-half touchdowns, cruised to a 35-0 halftime lead on its way to a 49-21 victory.
Roper romped for 135 yards on 14 carries in the first two quarters. He didn’t play in the second half.
Lake City actually forced the Grizzlies to punt after three plays after the game’s first possession.
And the T-Wolves were driving on their first series when they tried a 48-yard field goal that fell well short.
From that point, Rocky asserted control, and quickly.
“We’re young, inexperienced and we’ve got to learn from our mistakes and get better,” LC coach Van Troxel said. “There’s definitely some positive things on our side but there were a lot of negative things.”
The Grizzlies needed just six plays to score on Roper’s first TD run.
Then LC suffered a brain cramp when the ball was hiked over the punter’s head, and Rocky took over at the Timberwolves 2.
Boom, Roper scored and it was 14-0 – and the romp was on.
LC played much better in the second half, eventually outscoring the Grizzlies.
The T-Wolves’ mistakes will be glaring on video. But they had some good moments.
“Sometimes you have to go through those scenarios to get better,” Troxel said. “Our goal as a program isn’t how you start it’s how we finish. We knew going in that Rocky is one of the best teams in the state.”
Two key players for LC – running back Dakota Kielblock (lower back) and Scott Helsper (cramps) – didn’t finish the game. Troxel believes both will be fine.
Helsper, LC’s starting free safety, was a bright spot the final two quarters. He rushed for 60 yards on nine carries and scored two TDs.
“It’s about us growing,” Troxel said. “What I really talked to them about (at halftime) was character, what are we made of, what does it say on our chest. Are we going to have the character to wear this jersey or are we just going to roll over.”
So the second half pleased Troxel.
“It’s a moral victory, but right now we’ll take it,” he said.
Lewiston 49, Lakeland 7: The Bengals cruised at Rathdrum after leading the Hawks 49-0 at halftime.
Bonners Ferry 24, Priest River 18: The Badgers opened with a victory over the Trojans at home.
Wallace at Lapwai: Game was postponed because of smoky conditions. The teams hope to reschedule.
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