COEUR d’ALENE – The Tumwater Thunderbirds rushed for 308 yards Friday night at Lake City High School, but they did anything but run away from the Timberwolves in a nonleague 35-21 win.
Trailing 21-0 early in the second quarter, Lake City junior quarterback Matt Duchow woke up the offense. Duchow, filling in for injured senior Collin Hunter, finished 18 of 22 for 221 yards and two touchdowns and added 71 yards and a TD on the ground, accounting for over 93 percent of his team’s offense Friday night.
“We had a tough time with their quarterback,” Tumwater coach Sid Otton said. “He scampered around and made us look like pretty bad tacklers.”
The contest had the makings of a blowout from the get-go as the T-Birds, ranked No. 1 in Washington’s Class 2A and winners of their first three games by an average of 38 points, forced a three-and-out and scored on their second play from scrimmage to make the score 7-0. The T-Birds (4-0) would score on two of their next eight plays to take a 21-0 lead – and the rout was on.
Or was it?
The Timberwolves (1-4) finally got rolling with an eight-play, 96-yard drive as Duchow began to find room in the T-Birds secondary. Jason Pierard capped the drive, hauling in an 18-yard touchdown with 7:47 left in the half. After a Tumwater punt, Duchow marched the T-Wolves down for another score, this time scampering in from 8 yards out late in the half to cut the deficit to 21-14.
“Being down 21 points, I’m so proud of our offense and defense with the character they showed and the way they competed,” Lake City coach Van Troxel said.
After trading punts to open the second half, Tumwater again took the air out of the ball. The touchdown drive was four plays, 57 yards, all on the ground – the T-Birds threw just six passes all night – to make it 28-14.
Trailing by double digits in the fourth quarter, Lake City found some life when Dakota Kielblock recovered a fumble – the only turnover of the game – and two plays later, Duchow found senior Austin McMaster for a 37-yard touchdown with 8:10 left.
But the T-Birds responded with a game-defining 9-play TD drive that melted 5 minutes off the clock and closed the deal.
Lake City travels to Sandpoint next Friday.
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