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Staff Reporter 

Medical Lake just can't finish in loss at Bonners Ferry

Cardinals fall as Badgers stage fourth-quarter rally in 28-16 win


Larry Petersen

Steven Velasquez eyes the field ahead during a run at Bonners Ferry last Friday night.

Medical Lake had the finish down just fine in their opening week.

Something happened, however, between their Week-1 win, 32-28 at home versus St. Maries and last Friday night’s 28-16 setback at Bonners Ferry.

The hometown Badgers (2-1) got the lead for good, 21-16, on the first of two Anthony Skeen touchdown runs with 11 minutes, 9 seconds to play after Medical Lake turned the ball over deep in its own territory. “They were resilient, they’re tough kids playing on their home field,” Medical Lake head coach Wes Hobbs said.

“Late in the game we’re ahead in the fourth quarter and fumble inside our 10-yard line,” Hobbs said. “We give then a 9-yard field, a 9-yard drive and that was it,”

Skeen then scored again with 1:33 remaining from 11 yards out to clinch it.

“We just couldn’t finish, we settled for a field goal instead of a touchdown,” Hobbs said. “We were inside the 20 (yard line) I don’t know how many times; we were just too soft.”

Medical Lake (1-1) took the lead with 7:06 to play in the first on a 17-yard Taylor Masteller field goal. A Bryan Youmans’ 40-yard run with 4:59 left in the opening quarter gave the Badgers a 7-3 lead after the first quarter.

TJ Johnson was on the receiving end of Cory Wagner’s first touchdown toss of the season, a huge 70-yard catch and run with just 55 seconds to play in the half and the Cards led 10-7 at the break.

Bonners Ferry regained the lead 14-10 with 7:43 remaining in the third quarter on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Connor Bennett to Josh Pluid. The Cards answered back with 2:10 left in the third on a 1-yard Wagner run as Medical Lake took a 16-14 lead into the final 12 minutes.

“We didn’t finish and we dropped a few balls here and there,” Hobbs said. “We just weren’t in sync,” a problem he thought might be related to the 125-mile road trip. “We played hard, that was a long road trip,” he said. “You gotta’ work through it.”

All the numbers and stuff were good but the only one that counts is the final score, Hobbs said. Most of those numbers indeed favored Medical Lake. There was nearly a 10 minute edge in time of possession and a 346-270 advantage in total yards. The Cards won the turnover battle 3-1.

Individually, Jackson Tappero led the Cardinals on the ground with 91 yards on 21 carries with Steven Velasquez adding another 62 on just four touches.

Sophomore signal caller Wagner was 9-26 with no interceptions and that long TD. Dylan Rushfeldt led Medical Lake receivers with six catches for 80 yards while Johnson finished with two catches and 75 yards.

Hobbs has seen steady improvement in his team through practices following their opening night 32-28 win over St. Maries. “I thought we were ready and we weren’t,” he said.

But they better be with 2-0 Newport visiting Holliday Field Friday at 7 p.m. The Grizzlies hammered Bonners Ferry 34-7 in their opener and beat rival Priest River 37-6 last Friday.

“Now it’s gut-check time and we’re going to find out what we’re made of,” Hobbs said. “They’re way improved, a big team and they’ve got a great running quarterback.”

The guy is Ryan Rapp who rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns and also threw for 91 yards and a score.

“He’s going to be tough to stop,” Hobbs said.

Paul Delaney can be reached at


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