COEUR d’ALENE — In the Bulldogs’ quest to develop a culture of winning, consider Friday night’s 42-14 loss to Lake City a valuable learning experience on the work that still needs to be done.
The Bulldogs (1-5) were playing without the services of three starters, who were suspended two games for violating team rules, and were beaten in all three phases of the game against a solid 5A Lake City (4-1-1) team.
In a familiar refrain, the Bulldogs once again played well for stretches, matching the Timberwolves point for point in the first and fourth quarters. But Lake City scored 35 unanswered points in the second and third quarters, blowing the game open.
“I’ve never seen as many screwy things happen to a team as it does to us. Our guys just seem to get in situations that they’re not familiar with,” said Bulldogs head coach Satini Puailoa. “In the second half they competed well, the second quarter just got away from us.”
For the third straight game, receiver Chase Rodriguez came up big for the Bulldogs, hauling in a pair of 40-plus yard dimes from quarterback Nick Prindiville, including a scoring strike that tied the game at 7-7 in the first quarter. The Bulldogs had trouble moving the ball on the ground and generating any first downs, unable to keep the quick strike Timberwolves’ offense off the field.
“We just didn’t match up very well with Lake City,” said Puailoa. “They controlled the line of scrimmage and made it difficult for us to get anything going offensively.”
Lake City capitalized on some Bulldog errors and good field position to score 21 second quarter points to take a 28-7 half time lead. They scored two more touchdowns early in the third quarter before the Bulldogs settled down and made some stops defensively.
Tyler Harris, Justin Puryear, Pete Slippy and Tyler Egbers each made some plays for the Bulldogs’ defense, which didn’t allow a point in the fourth quarter.
Prindiville scored on an option run from five yards out for the Bulldogs’ final touchdown to cap the scoring in the third quarter. Despite the one-sided score, Puailoa liked how his team never stopped competing, a good sign with three winnable games remaining on the schedule.
“I like the team’s effort, they don’t have any quit and that has to be our trademark,” he said. “We just have to keep plugging away. The last three games the competition levels out for us.”
The only two games that really matter in the grand scheme of things are still to come, starting next Friday with a homecoming 4A North league opener against Moscow.
Sandpoint 7 0 7 0 — 14
Lake City 7 21 14 0 — 42
LC — Jerry Louie-McGee 35 run (Andrew Hocking kick)
Spt — Chase Rodriguez 41 pass from Nick Prindiville (Quinn Pearlstein kick)
LC — Gavin Rosteck 8 run (Hocking kick)
LC — J. Louie-McGee 8 run (Hocking kick)
LC — Blaine Johnson 47 pass from Bruce Shipley (Hocking kick)
LC — Tucker Louie-McGee 45 fumble return (Hocking kick)
LC — Brandon Johnson 1 run (Hocking kick)
Spt — Prindiville 6 run (Pearlstein kick)