It wasn’t the type of game St. Maries and Kellogg football teams are accustomed to playing against one another.
In his nine seasons as head coach, Craig Tefft can count on one hand the times his team has gone into the final frame tied at zero.
But the result was familiar for the Lumberjacks Aug. 30, who punched in a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to win their seventh consecutive game over the Wildcats.
St. Maries will put a separate win streak to the test Friday as it hosts Medical Lake, a team it has beaten in three consecutive matchups.
“They are a wild card,” Coach Tefft said. “It’s their season opener, so what we’re going to see from them is kind of up in the air. We do the best we can to prepare for that, and then adjust on the fly.”
The Lumberjack defense gave its offense plenty of time to work through early-season jitters at Kellogg.
The Wildcats were held to 133 total yards of offense as the two teams went into the fourth quarter scoreless.
Junior quarterback Eli Gibson found Tristan Nelson on a 22-yard passing touchdown to open scoring.
“We knew that whoever scored first, that would be extremely important,” Coach Tefft said. “So getting that out of the way was huge.”
Eli broke loose for a 23-yard rushing score to cap the game at 14-0 in favor of the Lumberjacks.
“He did a good job of reading what the defense was giving him all night,” Coach Tefft said. “As a team the kids played great. Our pass coverage was great, the defense played outstanding. They never showed any signs of worry, even in the last quarter. I don’t think they ever believed for a second that they were going to lose that football game.”
Eli finished with 179 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. Coleman Ross rushed nine times for 70 yards, Cade Truscott carried six times for 28 yards and Sam Martin rushed once for a nine-yard gain.
Tristan Nelson was the only St. Maries receiver to catch a pass, recording two catches for 33 yards and one touchdown.
Kyle Sibert led the defense in tackles with nine, Cade had eight, Tristan four and Brayden Brusseau three.
Kickoff Friday is slated for 7 p.m. at St. Maries High School.