It wasn’t the start that Post Falls coach Blaine Bennett wanted.
But his Trojans more than made up for it with their finish.
Visiting Post Falls pulled away to a 35-21 win over the Lake City Timberwolves in a 5A Inland Empire League opener Friday.
The Trojans (6-1) have gradually improved in Bennett’s first season. They’re not doing anything flashy on offense, but they’re more than effective.
Junior running back Braden Vaughan carried much of the load, scoring four touchdowns. He finished with 114 yards on 23 attempts.
Vaughan’s final touchdown, a nifty 4-yard run behind nice blocking from the right side of his line, extended Post Falls’ lead to 35-13 with 7:39 to go.
On the ensuing kickoff, Thomas Redal returned to the Trojans’ 31-yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Matt Duchow hit Jason Pierard for the second of two TDs, a 24-yard connection. The two-point conversion pulled the Timberwolves (3-4) within the final margin.
The T-Wolves kicked away, hoping they’d get the ball back quickly. They never got the chance.
With Vaughan on the sideline with a minor tweak to an ankle, Post Falls put 6-foot-2, 200-pound tight end Quin Bennett – no relation to the coach – in the backfield, and he did the rest.
Bennett rushed 11 times, picking up 52 yards as the Trojans erased the final 6 minutes on the clock. The game ended with Post Falls at LC’s 1.
“He really does a great job,” the coach said of Bennett. “He plays tight end and some running back for us. No relation, but I’d claim him tonight. Braden tweaked his ankle and we were going to tape it up and Bennett’s our No. 2 running back. He did an excellent job. Obviously, it’s a nice 1-2 punch because Quin is a little heavier and more physical.”
The Trojans’ defense shut down LC’s offense after the T-Wolves led 13-7 after the first quarter.
Post Falls took the lead for good late in the first half.
Trojans quarterback Nate Buer hit Matthew Mills for a 33-yard gain to LC’s 38. The T-Wolves got a sack on third down, forcing a fourth-and-15. But Buer found Jayden Gering streaking up a seam and hit him for a 43-yard TD to put the Trojans ahead 14-13 with 30 seconds to go before halftime.
Vaughan put the Trojans ahead 22-13 with 5:07 to go in the when he scored from 3 yards out.
Then LC fumbled on its first play following the Trojans’ TD, giving Post Falls possession at the T-Wolves’ 12. On the first play Vaughan scored, extending the lead to 28-13.
“It all starts with the defense, it really does,” Blaine Bennett said. “Our defensive front and secondary played really well.”
Vaughan also praised the defense.
“They played awesome,” Vaughan said. “They had a rough time at the beginning getting some calls and their checks right but they figured it out.”
Now the Trojans finish league with back-to-back home games against Lewiston and Coeur d’Alene. Lewiston knocked off visiting CdA 55-51 in another league opener.
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