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Lake City at Coeur d’Alene: Round Two

Crosstown rivals meet again Friday, this time in the first round of playoffs

The outcome wasn’t surprising in the Coeur d’Alene/Lake City football game last week. What was eye opening was the fact that the Timberwolves had the lead late in the fourth quarter and almost pulled off the upset.

A week later the teams meet in a State 5A playoff opener and the top-ranked Vikings (8-1) are again favored. But the Timberwolves (6-3), who qualified for the state playoffs for a 14th straight year, believe they can knock off their crosstown rival when the teams meet Friday at CdA. Kickoff is at 7.

“We played really well last week, but they’re a very good football team,” LC coach Van Troxel said. “I still think, like I said at the start of the season, that three of the best five teams in the state are right here.”

Troxel has no doubts his team can win, especially after watching the T-Wolves come so close last week before CdA rallied for a 19-14 decision.

“It was a great football game. I’m sure they weren’t happy with some things and we were happy with some things either,” Troxel said. “What’s scary is they have the capabilities of making it a one-sided game. They’re as talented as you get.”

CdA coach Shawn Amos has mutual respect for LC.

“They’re a good football team,” Amos said. “Up front they won the battle. For us to still win the game and not win the battle up front was something we’re pleased about. We let them grind at us a little bit.”

Both teams have worked on adjustments for this week. LC has played the last three weeks without senior quarterback Mark Smyly (separated shoulder). There’s a chance he’ll play Friday, but not at QB.

Junior Bobby Traverse took over at QB. While he’s not as athletic or quick as Smyly, he’s done a great job in terms of leadership, Troxel said.

“I like how our team has rallied around Bobby,” Troxel said.

It’s been a season-long series of adjustments for LC. They lost their top RB in their season opener and others have been hurt, too, including workhorse RB Allen Carmichael. He had 193 yards on 42 carries last week and will likely have to carry the load Friday.

“That’s the thing that makes the engine go,” Troxel said. “When he’s running everything goes well. He’s what drives us. We don’t have other choices.”

Troxel also has been pleased with his defense in general and secondary in particular. Beau Martz, Dylan Eastin, Jordan Porto, Robbie Quinn, Colten Carlson and Kaleb Mitchell make up the secondary. Martz has a team-high six interceptions.

“That’s as talented a group as we’ve had,” Troxel said.

For LC to have a chance, it must contain CdA RB Zach Keiser like it did last week. Keiser was held to 40 yards. And the T-Wolves can’t let junior QB Chad Chalich go off like he has in many games this season.

Amos expects a much better effort across the board.

“I’m sure LC will be fired up and ready to go also,” Amos said. “We had as good a Monday practice as we’ve had all year and we were out in the pouring rain. The kids are very focused on this next game.”