EAGLE, Idaho – Fresh off an unlikely run to qualify for the playoffs, Lake City’s young team experienced just how cruel football in November can be.
Playing in a light snowfall all night long, the Timberwolves suffered a 58-7 season-ending loss at the hands of the third-ranked Eagle Mustangs in the first round of the Idaho State 5A playoffs at Jeker Field.
“(Eagle is) a better team than we are,” Lake City coach Van Troxel said after the game. “It doesn’t bother me to admit that.”
While Lake City (5-5) likely drew one of the two best teams in the state for the first round, the disappointment was still evident after winning Monday’s Kansas tiebreaker to earn a playoff berth for the 15th straight season.
“Most of the teams that reach the playoffs are senior-laden,” Troxel said. “We aren’t – and that showed. They have better talent and they’re very physical.”
After Lake City held Eagle (9-1) to a field goal on its first possession, Eagle star senior quarterback Tanner Mangum went to work.
He found Austin Diffey open, streaking down the middle of the field for a 48-yard touchdown pass with 2:22 left in the first quarter. Jason Lane bulled his way into the end zone with 14 seconds left in the first to give Eagle a 17-0 lead.
Then Mangum struck again, this time hitting D.J. Dean on a 25-yard scoring strike with 9:24 left in the second quarter to put Eagle ahead 24-0.
After a 30-yard interception return and a 1-yard TD run set up by a blocked punt pushed the Mustangs ahead 38-0, Mangum notched his third TD pass. He hit Lane again on a seven-yard pass with 31 seconds left in the half to build a 45-0 halftime lead.
Lake City’s lone highlight of the night came on defense.
With the Timberwolves trailing 52-0 in the third quarter, Dominic Oliver scooped up an errant snap and rumbled 6 yards into the end zone to avoid the shutout with 6:41 left in the third quarter.
Lake City finished with 151 yards of total offense and turned the ball over five times.