Blaine Bennett gathered his Post Falls Trojans at midfield on the red turf of Roos Field in Cheney and summed the game up in a nutshell.
“This is the only time we’re going to give up 40 points and you’re going to see a smile on my face,” he said.
Post Falls picked up its second win in as many weeks, holding off Mead 54-40 in a nonleague offensive battle.
“Last year we turned the ball over something like seven times and they beat us 41-3,” Bennett said. “This year we played a good, clean football game and we put up a combined 94 points.”
Post Falls set the tone for the game in the first half, when the only thing that stopped an offensive drive was, well, intermission.
Aside from a brief possession to end the second period, the Trojans had four possessions and scored four touchdowns. Post Falls had drives of 76, 59, 48 and 66 yards.
Senior quarterback Nate Buer missed on six of his first eight pass attempts then completed 12 of his next 15 in the first half, throwing three touchdown passes.
With tall, basketball-playing outside receivers in 6-foot-4 Allen Balleew and 6-7 Jake Pfennigs, Post Falls made life difficult along the sideline, and 6-1, 208-pound battering ram Quin Bennett combined with the quick Braden Vaughn out of the backfield, Post Falls continually moved the chains.
“We got them in some third-and-long situations, but they just kept making plays,” Mead coach Benji Sonnichsen said. “We have to find some ways to make some defensive stops and we’re going to have to make some adjustments.”
Mead moved the ball well, but the Panthers’ first possession was stopped when quarterback Ryan Chan’s pass was picked off in a scrum along the sideline. Another Mead drive stalled and the Panthers turned the ball over on downs.
Post Falls led 26-13 at the break.
Mead got its first defensive stop on Post Falls’ opening drive of the second half.
Chan burrowed in from the 1 and the Panthers trailed 26-19.
But the Post Falls juggernaut rolled on. Five plays after receiving the kick, the Trojans pushed the lead to 33-19.
Kannon Katzer kept the pressure on, pinballing his way to the end zone for a 6-yard score. With a two-point conversion after a poor snap, Mead cut the deficit to 33-27.
But that was close as it would get.
Post Falls kept scoring and led 53-33 with 3 minutes left.
Bennett gave credit to his seniors.
“We start 20 out of 24 seniors and we have great senior leadership,” he said. “What’s more, most of these kids are mutlisport athletes. They handle situations so well because they’ve been in them in all kinds of sports. That makes a big difference.”
“This was a good high school football game,” Sonnichsen said. “We have our work cut out for us. Next week we play Coeur d’Alene. Those two teams are definitely going to get us ready.”
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