Jerry Louie-McGee swept around left end and for an instant it appeared Post Falls’ defense had hemmed him in near the sideline.
But the Lake City junior put his hand down on the ground to maintain his balance and scooted into the end zone for the winning score, lifting the visiting Timberwolves to a wild 36-30 victory Friday in the Inland Empire League opener for both teams.
Louie-McGee’s 13-yard run with 58.2 seconds left decided an entertaining contest in which each team scored four second-half touchdowns. Everyone seemed to stop for a second on the play when a penalty flag was tossed into a crowd of players.
“I guess so,” said Louie-McGee when asked if he was close to being down, “but I had my hand on the ground and I just kept moving my feet.”
Added LC coach Van Troxel: “They grabbed his jersey like a horse-collar (tackle) and spun him all the way around. The way he came around everyone kind of let up because they thought he was going down. He put his hand on the ground and kept going.”
This game had a little of everything – long touchdown runs, long touchdown passes, a kick return for a touchdown, huge momentum swings, two-point conversions, turnovers and numerous crucial penalties.
LC (3-2 overall) appeared to be on its way to a somewhat comfortable win when it took a 16-0 lead early in the third quarter and a 23-8 edge later in the period. Post Falls (2-3) had other ideas, and Marc Conradi’s 89-yard kick return for a touchdown launched a furious comeback.
The Trojans pulled even at 30 on Michael McKeown’s diving 17-yard touchdown reception and Seth McLeod’s run on the two-point conversion with 5:32 remaining.
“I’m proud of the kids for showing a lot of resiliency,” Post Falls coach Jeff Hinz said. “We were down two scores in the second half but we kept plugging and plugging and plugging. We just ran out of time at the end.
“Marc’s return was a phenomenal return and it gave us life and got us right back in it.”
After McKeown’s touchdown catch, Lake City responded by marching 77 yards for the winning touchdown and leaving the Trojans just 55 seconds on the clock. The Trojans were unable to pick up a first down. LC ran out the remaining seconds.