Post Falls football coach Jeff Hinz was right where he wanted to be.
Hinz missed the last two games for health reasons but he returned to the sideline Friday in a wheelchair to watch his Trojans rout visiting Lakeland 62-7 in the annual Battle of the Prairie.
“For the last two weeks of either being on my couch or on a hospital bed, it’s great to be outside and to be here, it really is,” said Hinz, who has been fighting cancer for nearly two years. “Hopefully, next week I can make a few more practices and be more in tune with the game plan.”
After a couple of early fumbles, the 5A Trojans (3-2) hit their stride against the 4A Hawks (0-5), whose roster is stocked with sophomores and juniors.
“I’m really happy with this group and how they’ve progressed from Week 1 to Week 2 to Week 3 and so on,” Hinz said.
Post Falls jumped in front 7-0 when junior quarterback Mark Haines tossed the first of his three touchdown passes, a 34-yarder to Preston Bourgard.
The Trojans doubled their lead when a Lakeland trick play went awry. The Hawks wanted to attempt a double-pass but they fumbled before they could get to the second throw. Gunnar Sciortino scooped up the loose ball and raced 30 yards for the score.
Haines, who had 169 yards passing, hit Parker Walton in stride on a 40-yard pass to extend Post Falls’ lead to 21-0.
Lakeland closed within 21-7 on Joshua Brandt’s 2-yard touchdown run, but Post Falls answered on a Haines-to-Cory Brown connection with 1:17 left. The Hawks, facing third-and long at their 23, could have run out the clock but instead called timeout. Their third-down pass fell incomplete and Post Falls took over at the 50 after a Lakeland punt.
Three plays later, Walton took a pitch and lofted a 27-yard touchdown pass to Bourgard, giving Post Falls a 35-7 halftime lead.
“We’re doing the best with what we have and the situation we’re in,” said Lakeland coach Tim Kiefer, whose team committed five turnovers. “A lot of the things that happened were a direct result of us trying to be aggressive.”
Post Falls finished with 426 yards while limiting the Hawks to 173. Zach Hillman had five catches for 53 yards, including receptions on three straight plays covering 36 yards to spark a scoring drive late in the second quarter. Bourgard added 71 yards on three catches.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.