It’s an exaggeration to say that it has been since the Ice Age that a Post Falls football team has had as much speed as it showed Friday.
But it’s close. The Trojans, who have had linemen faster than skill players in the last decade, used their quickness and athleticism to handle the visiting and mistake-prone Sandpoint Bulldogs 56-12 in a season opener.
It was Post Falls’ 11th win in the last 12 games against Sandpoint.
The teams battled evenly through the first quarter, but the Trojans’ strength up the middle and speed on the perimeter started to wrest control.
Post Falls used three touchdowns in the second quarter to take a comfortable 26-9 lead into halftime.
Things unraveled for the Bulldogs in the third quarter. Post Falls scored four TDs – coupled with a safety – to blow open the game.
The Trojans led 56-9 after three quarters, prompting a running clock in the final period.
“I thought we started off pretty good on offense and a little slow on both sides of the ball,” said senior running back Braden Vaughan, who had three TDs to go with 88 yards on eight carries. “And then we fixed what we needed to do … and kept getting better and better as the game went on.”
Post Falls’ defense was especially stout, led by senior linebackers Coleton Kazmierczak and Gage Ficklin.
Kazmierczak had two sacks and Ficklin leveled Sandpoint running back Dillan Mitton, who barely had time to catch a pass before he was flattened with a jaw-jarring tackle.
“We’ve got some hard hitters,” Vaughan said.
Post Falls starts 20 seniors and 22 different players. The Trojans’ maturity will be a key as the season progresses.
Second-year coach Blaine Bennett will see a lot to like when the Trojans break down video.
“We think one of our strengths is our skill positions,” Bennett said.
“We like our corners, we like our wide receivers, our safeties (and) our running backs. We do think we have some talent on the perimeter. So we’re trying to get them the ball offensively and we play a lot of man defensively because of it.”
Post Falls is looking forward to facing Mead on Friday at Eastern Washington University’s Roos Field.
Last year, Mead handled the Trojans 41-3.
“We need to watch some film and fix the errors that we obviously made and get better and obviously do better than we did last year against Mead. They’re a good team,” Vaughan said.
Sandpoint coach George Yarno plans to emphasize there’s much season ahead.
“We struggled offensively executing and (had) penalties, and they started heating us up blitzing and we were having trouble,” Yarno said.
“We’ve got some work to do. Hats off to Blaine (Bennett) and those kids at Post Falls. They’re well coached, they played hard and man they were flying around. That’s a good football team.”
The Bulldogs will learn much from their opener.
“Any of the mental errors you can fix,” Yarno said.
“The lack of effort is stuff you can’t fix. I felt like our effort was OK. It could be a little better. But we can fix the mistakes we made.”
Sandpoint travels to face University on Friday.
Kootenai 56, Lewis County 40: Gage Maitland scored four rushing touchdowns and caught three touchdown passes from quarterback Triston Usdrowski to help the Warriors (1-0) to victory over the visiting Eagles (0-1). Andrew Whipple scored an additional rushing touchdown for Kootenai.
Wallace 28, Clark Fork (MT) 22: Laydon Gallagher rushed for 141 yards and two touchdowns, Jaden Dimitroff added 135 yards rushing and two touchdowns and the Miners (1-0) won in Superior, Montana.
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