MERIDIAN, Idaho – Forty-one points will win a lot of high school football games, but they weren’t enough for Lake City on Friday night.
The Timberwolves did plenty of scoring but had no answer for Rocky Mountain’s zone-read offense, falling 63-41 in the season opener for both teams at Brighton Stadium.
Senior quarterback Riley Bradshaw threw for 329 yards and six touchdowns while adding 118 yards on the ground to lead the Grizzlies, who scored at least 14 points in every quarter.
“We did some good things, but we didn’t block or tackle well enough to win the ballgame,” Lake City coach Van Troxel said. “You always want to win, but sometimes the lessons you learn are more valuable. I think we’ll learn a lot from this game.”
Senior quarterback Tucker Louie-McGee threw for 193 yards and three TDs for Lake City. He also rushed for a score, and bruising tailback Gavan Rosteck added two TD runs for the Timberwolves.
The fireworks started early as Rocky Mountain scored first on a 67-yard pass from Bradshaw to tight end Jake Knight on the third play from scrimmage. The Grizzlies faked a screen pass to the flat and Bradshaw hit Knight up the seam – in stride and uncovered – for an easy touchdown.
Lake City responded with a long return on the ensuing kickoff, setting up a 1-yard TD plunge by Rosteck. But the Grizzlies came right back, with Bradshaw hitting senior tailback Jason Crimmins with a 5-yard pass for a 15-6 lead.
The Timberwolves dominated much of the second quarter, getting touchdown runs from Rosteck (5 yards) and Tucker Louie-McGee (13 yards) along with a 2-yard TD pass from Louie-McGee to Jared Turner. But Rocky hit another big play – a nifty 65-yard catch-and-run by receiver Kekoa Nawahine on a jailbreak screen – and then recaptured momentum on the final play of the half.
With no timeouts and the clock running out, the Grizzlies just got the snap off from the 1, with Crimmins plunging in for a 35-27 halftime lead.
“That was a big play,” Troxel said. “And then to start the second half, we got down to the 1 and went backwards and didn’t get points. You can’t do that against a good team and expect to win.”
The teams continued to trade haymakers throughout the third quarter, but Rocky Mountain pulled away late, thanks largely to an interception, a blocked field goal and four sacks in the second half.
“Our offense got on a roll, but we didn’t sustain it,” said senior receiver Nathan Newby, who had a team-best seven catches for 72 yards and a TD. “But if we can keep up our energy and our mechanics better, we can be one of the best teams in the state.”