Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

Medical Lake falls to Chewelah 14-6; face Lakeside in finale


October 26, 2017

It’s been the better part of two seasons since Medical Lake came as close at they did to victory. That came in the 2016 season-opener, a 29-24 loss at Kellogg.

The Cardinals got close to letting head coach Mo Owen notch his first win with the team, but just not close enough in a 14-6 Northeast A League loss at Chewelah, Oct. 20.

In the battle of the NEA’s two winless teams, Chewelah (1-5 NEA, 2-5 overall) got second quarter touchdowns 6 minutes, 41 second apart, the last one with just five seconds remaining in the half to lead 14-0.

The Cougars held that two-touchdown margin until the final 5:56 when Grant Vercoe latched onto a pass from Carter Pivonca for 54 yards and a score to allow the Cards to get close.

“We threw a pass right down the seam,” Owen said. “I didn’t think it would work because it was toward the end of the game and figured they would be in prevent coverage.”

It was the kind of breakout offensive game Medical Lake (0-7, 0-8) has been inching towards in recent weeks. The Cardinals put up their best numbers of the season with 232 total yards and 224 of it from the arm of Pivonca.

“Their defense dictated a lot of it,” Owen said of Chewelah. “They left a lot of open areas based on alignment.” Plus his team was admittedly unable to run the ball.

Chewelah, however, did depend on their running game, which racked up 231 yards on 40 carries, plus a nearly 10-minute advantage in time of possession.

“We had a hard time stopping them,” Owen said. “They only scored twice but they controlled the ball on many sustained drives.”

Owen singled out the efforts of Uriah Taylor, saying “He is always in position, he continuously does his job every day without complaint.”

“We were close,” Owen said. “We could have won but didn’t make enough plays.”

Medical Lake will try again at home on Friday night at Holliday Field against Lakeside (3-3, 4-3) with kickoff at 7 p.m. in their final game of the season. The game will be Homecoming .

Paul Delaney can be reached at


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