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Lake City holds off Lakeland in opener

by MARK NELKE
Sports Editor | August 29, 2020 1:30 AM

COEUR d'ALENE — Fourth down and 1 on your 29-yard line, game on the line ... what's your call?

If you're Lake City, you go for it. Of course.

After a timeout to talk it over, the Timberwolves handed the ball to Uriah Chavez, who bounced to the right, saw an opening and dashed down the sideline for a 71-yard touchdown with 2:46 left that all but clinched Lake City's 26-20 victory over the Lakeland Hawks in the high school football season opener for both teams Friday night at Lake City.

"I had confidence in our offense, to execute," Lake City coach Brian Fulp said of the play call. "On fourth and short, that favors the offense, statistically. We felt good about getting that done and putting that away."

Lakeland expected a sneak, or something else up the middle, leaving the outside wide open.

"I'd like to see the film on that," Lakeland coach Tim Kiefer said. "That was a pretty gutsy call by their offensive coordinator (Dante Menard). He had a couple pretty gutsy calls and I thought he did a great job calling the game tonight."

Both teams started out slow — to be expected since, until recently, the COVID-19 pandemic had curtailed most sporting activities since mid-March.

Chris Irvin passed for 296 yards and two touchdowns for Lake City, and ran for a third. He rolled right and threw back left to Matt Whitcomb for a 15-yard score early in the second quarter, then Porter Howard took a pass in the flat from Irvin and scurried 43 yards for a 20-6 lead after three quarters.

Chavez, thanks to his big run, finished with 107 rushing yards on 16 carries.

"It looked like a first game," Fulp said. "It looked like we hadn't had contact football since last October; we didn't get to have any camps. There's a lot of things to work on, but leaving the field with a 'W' is always good."

Lakeland turned the ball over three times, twice on interceptions by Josiah Weaver, one in the first half in the end zone and the second at the 6-yard line early in the fourth quarter.

After Chavez's score, Lakeland made it interesting when Devon Suko hit Ammon Munyer for 24 yards and Alden Waddington for 38, leading to Suko's 1-yard run with 1:36 left.

Lakeland popped up an onside kick toward its bench, and though the Hawk fans let out a roar during the fight for the ball, Whitcomb emerged with the ball to seal the game.

"I was certainly proud of our kids," Kiefer said. "They kept battling."

With nearby Washington pushing back its high school football season to the spring, and many college programs shut down until then as well, just getting on the field was a victory of sorts — win or lose.

"I feel so happy for all these kids," Fulp said. "These coaches, families, to be able to get out here and compete, and do it safely. We've been telling them, you've got to play every game like you think it's your last, because this year, it could be."

Lakeland, breaking in a couple new quarterbacks and a new running back, gashed Lake City on the ground, rushing for 222 yards. Sophomore John Cornish ran for 141 yards on 27 carries for the Hawks.

"They came to play; they played hard; they've got some dudes over there," Fulp said of Lakeland.

Ammon Munyer caught six passes for 68 yards and Waddington made a nice grab on an 8-yard TD catch from Suko that pulled the Hawks within 20-14 with 4:29 left.

"I thank Panhandle Health, our government officials, our school board, our administration, all those guys for allowing us to play," Kiefer said. "Every practice and every game is certainly a gift in this kind of a season, and we want to take full advantage of it."

Next Friday, Lakeland plays host to Timberlake, and Lake City is home vs. Lewiston in a nonleague game between 5A Inland Empire League foes.

Lakeland 0 6 0 14 — 20

Lake City 0 7 13 6 — 26

Second quarter

LC — Chris Irvin 1 run (Kyrus Condon kick), 9:39

LL — Devon Suko 4 run (run failed), 6:22

Third quarter

LC — Matt Whitcomb 15 pass from Irvin (Condon kick), 9:25

LC — Porter Howard 43 pass from Irvin (kick failed), 4:30

Fourth quarter

LL — Alden Waddington 8 pass from Suko (Cody Carvajal kick), 4:29

LC — Uriah Chavez 71 run (kick failed), 2:46

LL — Suko 1 run (Carvajal kick), 1:36

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — LL, Huber 6-10, Cornish 27-141, Siegford 1-6, Suko 6-20, Calder 6-55. LC, Chavez 16-107, Johnson 3-minus 9, Irvin 7-15, Howard 5-9.

PASSING — LL, Huber 10-24-2-116, Suko 4-7-0-74. LC, Irvin 19-27-0-296.

RECEIVING — LL, Munyer 6-68, Cornish 1-19, Calder 3-26, Waddington 4-77. LC, Rosenau 1-14, Johnson 4-86, Bowman 1-17, Whitcomb 6-89, Chavez 2-12, Howard 3-62, Stephens 2-7.

photo

MARK NELKE/Press

John Cornish of Lakeland battles for yardage as Kyrus Condon (31) and Zach Johnson (80) of Lake City defend.