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Lake City, Cd'A set for rematch

Sports Editor | November 5, 2010 9:00 PM

For Lake City, the adjustment is pretty simple for tonight's rematch.

"There isn't anything magic; we just have to block and tackle better," Lake City coach Van Troxel said.

Lake City (6-3) plays at Coeur d'Alene (8-1), ranked No. 1 in 5A, tonight at 7 in the first round of the state 5A playoffs at Viking Stadium. Coeur d'Alene won 19-14 at home last week to capture the 5A Inland Empire League title and earn the right to host this week's rematch in the playoffs.

Last week Coeur d'Alene scored on two of its first three possessions, and threw an interception in the end zone on the other possession. But until the final drive, Lake City slowed down the Vikings after that, limiting them to just 54 rushing yards.

Coeur d'Alene won on the arm of Chad Chalich, who passed for 263 yards and all three touchdowns, including the game winner to Drew Turbin in the final minute of the game.

"We've got to take over the line of scrimmage," Coeur d'Alene coach Shawn Amos said. "It was pretty obvious they took over the line of scrimmage ... that's the first game (the other team) has done that."

The city rivals meet in the first round of the state playoffs for the fifth time in the last seven years, having split the previous four meetings. Coeur d'Alene won 38-14 last year at Lake City in the first round, after Lake City won 23-15 at home during league play.

"I think they (the Timberwolves) feel pretty good about themselves right now," Amos said after last week's game. "I think they feel better than we do. We feel like we got away with one maybe."

After the game, Troxel was taking no solace in nearly beating Coeur d'Alene on the road despite not having his starting quarterback.

"We still didn't win, so we've got to regroup and refocus," he said. "The bottom line is, they won and we didn't. We'll try to change it next week."

Weiser (6-3) at Timberlake (4-5): Timberlake is making its eighth straight trip to the state 3A playoffs, and play host to the third-ranked Wolverines on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Van Tuinstra Memorial Field in Spirit Lake.

The Tigers lost all five of their nonleague games and won all four of their Intermountain League games to emerge as the league's top seed.

"This is the toughest nonleague schedule we've ever had," Timberlake coach Roy Albertson said. "All the teams that we played were senior-laden teams, and we knew going into the season that it was not going to be easy. We've made changes as we've gone along."

Among the changes have been bringing up four sophomores from the junior varsity - three of which now start on defense. Albertson also recruited a placekicker early in the season, as the Tigers didn't have one.

Albertson said the Tigers have only five seniors who start and the lone returning starter from last year is a junior this year.

"We had to reload, and sometimes along the way you're going to play well and sometimes you're not going to play well," Albertson said. "But we have remained positive with our kids, and our kids have remained positive."

Third-ranked Weiser is a running team, led by tailback Tyrell Braun, fullback Spencer Chandler and quarterback Brock Bumgarner. The Wolverines have won six of their last seven, their only loss coming 35-7 vs. top-ranked Fruitland. Timberlake lost to Fruitland 71-16 in September in Kamiah.

"They might be the second-best team in the state right now," Albertson said of Weiser.

The two teams last met in the playoffs in 2007, with Timberlake winning 17-14 at home.

Timberlake has been led offensively by junior Christian Heth, who has rushed for 1,005 yards and 15 touchdowns.

"He's a hard runner in the tradition of the runners before us," Albertson said. "He's carried the load in many games for us."

Garden Valley (8-1) at Kootenai (5-4): The Warriors' defensive focus is simple in their first-round matchup in the state 1A Division II playoffs Saturday at 1 p.m. in Harrison Flats - Garden Valley senior Casey Hileman has rushed for 2,360 yards and 34 touchdowns this season.

"We've got our work cut out for us," Kootenai coach Doug Napierala said.

Kootenai, making its fifth straight state playoff appearance and sixth overall, has been hit hard by injuries. The Warriors have lost three two-way starters - Tight end/defensive end Hayden Kraack (broken arm), linebacker/fullback Greg Wallace (broken wrist) and offensive/defensive lineman Casey Bornitz (knee). However, they are getting one starter back in tight end Joel McDevitt (knee).

"We started out strong and then got injury bit," Napierala said. "We've lost some key kids to injuries, but the nice thing is the young kids have filled in. We're still playing good ball, but we don't have four years of experience on the field anymore."

Kootenai beat Garden Valley 54-26 two years ago at home in the state semifinals.

Junior Brandon Carman has shouldered much of the offensive load. Carman, who has also seen some action at tailback, has rushed for some 700 yards this season.

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