COEUR d' ALENE --Van Troxel’s wife has seen it many times before.
So her response to her husband after the game was understandable after the Lake City High football coach opted to go for two points with the game on the line Friday night against Post Falls.
“Well ... normal,” Karen Troxel said after Lake City made the 2-point conversion with 39.3 seconds left and went on to beat third-ranked Post Falls 22-21 in a thriller of a 5A Inland Empire League opener for both schools.
After Allen Carmichael scored from 2 yards out to pull Lake City (3-2) within 1 point, the Timberwolves called timeout and dusted off a 2-point conversion play they hadn’t used since 2004. Quarterback Mark Smyly faked a handoff to Carmichael, then followed the running back over the left side and plowed in for the go-ahead points.
“It didn’t take long to decide what we were going to do,” Van Troxel said. “In 34 years (of coaching), I’ve gone for two to win every time ... that decision was really a no-brainer.”
“We just wanted to win it, and if we couldn’t get it in there, then that was our problem,” said Smyly, who rushed for 129 yards on 19 carries, including a 39-yard scramble on the game-winning drive. “We were going for the win no matter what. I knew right away; Troxel’s not the type of guy that usually settles for a tie; he’s going to go for it.”
Post Falls (4-1), which had taken a 21-14 lead on Tyson Johnson’s 5-yard run and Matt Lickfold’s two-point conversion with 2:28 left, had one last chance. The Trojans worked the ball to midfield, but on the last play of the game Lickfold was smothered as he attempted to pass and Lake City’s Danny Brum recovered. Timberwolf fans swarmed the field as the Trojans trudged away, disappointed.
“Our kids just played their guts out,” Post Falls coach Jeff Hinz said. “They played hard; we responded well when we needed to ... in certain situations we did real well and responded, and in certain situations we didn’t.”
Post Falls took the second-half kickoff and drove 72 yards in 10 plays, capped by Lickfold’s 8-yard run around left end for a 13-7 lead. The PAT was low and blocked.
Lake City turned the ball over on its next two possessions but Post Falls was unable to capitalize, missing a field goal and throwing an interception to Beau Martz of Lake City with 9:44 left in the game.
Smyly hit Colton Carlson deep for 44 yards to the Post Falls 15. Four plays later, Smyly kept the ball around right end and scored from 5 yards out with 6:30 left. Ryan Clark’s kick made it 14-13.
But Post Falls answered. On third and 3, Jordan Pastras scooted around left end 28 yards on a reverse to the Lake City 39. Lickfold, a load for the T-Wolves to bring down all night, carried on four straight plays down to the Lake City 5, then Johnson dragged a couple tacklers into the end zone to give Post Falls the lead back.