The Post Falls football team kept its faint state playoff hopes alive with a 13-7 win over Coeur d’Alene in a 5A Inland Empire League game Thursday.
Now Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene will root for Lake City to capture the league championship tonight at Lewiston. An LC win would put Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene and Lewiston in a three-way tie for second, necessitating a Kansas tiebreaker Monday to decide the second playoff berth. Lewiston can secure the league title and render a tiebreaker moot with a win. LC is in the playoffs win or lose.
“We’re still alive,” Post Falls coach Jeff Hinz bellowed after his Trojans (6-3 overall, 1-2 league) stymied Coeur d’Alene (6-3, 1-2). “Our kids played great defense.”
The Trojans dominated all but one play. But that one play – a 66-yard TD pass from CdA quarterback Ryan Dunton to receiver Steven Casley – gave the Vikings hope with 2:06 remaining.
PF tight end Jeremy Cragin recovered the ensuing onside attempt, and the Trojans ran out the clock.
“We didn’t play well enough in the first half to win that football game,” CdA coach Shawn Amos said. “Post Falls did a nice job. This time of the year you’ve got to play better football.”
It started as if the Vikings were going to jump on the Trojans fast when CdA recovered a fumble at the PF 26-yard line.
But CdA couldn’t convert, turning the ball over on downs when Dunton was sacked by Tony Layson for a 10-yard loss on fourth-and-6 at the 22.
That seemed to epitomize how the game would go for CdA, which wouldn’t be able to take advantage of opportunities or good field position.
Post Falls, playing without starting running backs Marcus Colbert (high ankle sprain) and Jordan Pastras (lacerated kidney), had to keep things simple. Junior quarterback Matt Lickfold essentially became the Trojans’ tailback, running 27 times for 76 yards.
In the first half, Lickfold accounted for all of PF’s 140 yards – split evenly between passing and running.
The Trojans got on the scoreboard when Scott Benner kicked a 36-yard field goal at the 5:42 mark of the first quarter.
PF extended the lead to 10-0 late in the second quarter when Lickfold hit a wide-open Zach Carter for a 30-yard TD.
Needing to swing momentum, CdA had the opening kick of the third quarter, but the Vikings went three-and-out.
The Trojans continued to control momentum on their first second-half possession, marching to the Vikings’ 23 where Benner got his second field goal, this time from 41 yards out. In fact, the holder moved up about a yard just before he took the snap. It was a good move since the ball barely slipped over the crossbar.
That lead held until CdA’s first play on its final possession when Dunton hit Casley on a quick post over the middle that he managed to take outside to the sideline as he outran the Trojans’ secondary.
“Our kids rallied and played well in the second half,” Amos said. “That’s two tough ones in a row. We’re rooting for Lake City. It’s always strange, but we’ve still got to do it.”
Trojans Jared Kennedy and Josa Chavez had key interceptions. Chavez’s pick came at the goal line.
“That was a game-saving interception by him,” Hinz said. “Matt (Lickfold) did a fantastic job running the ball (with) ball security.”