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Football: A sweet night for Lake City

Lake City running back Elliot Cox (5) stiff-arms Triton defender Justin Erdmann during the first quarter of Friday's Hiawatha Valley League Gold game in Lake City. Cox finished with 205 total yards and four touchdowns in the Tigers' 42-33 win.1 / 2
Joe Brown/Republican Eagle Lake City quarterback Ben Schramski (left) drops back for a pass as Triton's Alex Head (17) defends during Friday's Hiawatha Valley League Gold game at Lake City.2 / 2

LAKE CITY - When good things happen on the field, the Lake City football coaches give out tasty rewards to its players.

"On Mondays, we give out candy bars for good plays," said Lake City head coach Trevor Narum.

After the Tigers' 42-33 Hiawatha Valley League Gold victory over Triton Friday, the Lake City head coaches may have to buy their candy in bulk.

"There might be a few," Narum admitted. "Or we could take some away, too. There were some bad plays, too."

Leading 42-21 with 7 minutes, 45 seconds left in the game, the Tigers looked as though they would cruise to a victory. But a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by the Cobras' Justin Erdmann, and a 2-yard rushing score by Erdmann put Triton down just nine with 3:57 remaining.

"I lost like five years of my life tonight," Narum said of the fourth quarter. "I'm glad it's over."

With 1:16 left and the Cobras at midfield, Lake City senior Josh Atkinson sniffed out a screen pass, sealing the Tigers' victory with an interception.

"We just like to practice it," Atkinson said of defending the screen pass. "We were watching them and when (the offensive line) feels and releases, you know they're running a screen, so you have to find a back."

Narum added, "Josh is a very good screen player. A pick on a screen has been coming for years for him. He finally got it."

With 730 total yards and 75 points between the two teams, things looked down for Lake City after Triton converted a long 4th down play in its opening drive that led to a 3-yard score by Erdmann.

But the Tigers responded with a touchdown drive of their own, sealed by a 1-yard scoring run by Mitch Kuchinka. The senior back rushed for 46 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the first half.

With the game tied at 14 at halftime, Lake City junior Elliot Cox took over the game.

In the Tigers' second drive of the second half, Cox broke loose on an off-tackle run for a 69-yard touchdown.

"Our line blocked very well for me and set up a cutback," Cox said. "I just cut it back and used my speed."

Cox found the end zone four times in the second half with three rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown on a 29-yard strike from quarterback Ben Schramski.

"That was the first time I ever played (on the outside)," Cox said of the passing touchdown. "They sent me out there and sent me on a go."

Cox finished with 205 total yards (143 rushing, 62 receiving).

"It was a lot of fun," Cox said. "I got to give a lot of credit to my line, and all the other backs. They were setting it up well."

Lake City (2-0 HVL Gold, 2-1) heads to Kenyon-Wanamingo next Friday.