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Colson Yankoff guides Coeur d’Alene to 5A State football title game

By Pete Harriman For The Spokesman-Review

MOSCOW, Idaho – Colson Yankoff threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another to lead Coeur d’Alene to a 39-13 win over Mountain View of Meridian in the semifinals of the Idaho 5A State playoffs in the Kibbie Dome on Friday.

“He’s special,” Vikings coach Shawn Amos said. “But the reason we’re such a great team is we’ve got a lot of young players who are playing good football. They’re unselfish and they’re willing to accept their role.”

With the Vikings enjoying a comfortable but not decisive 19-6 lead at halftime, CdA dashed any hopes the Mavericks entertained of a comeback with three quick third-quarter scores.

Yankoff led the Vikings to the Mavericks’ 33-yard line in eight plays. On second down, he faked a handoff to Caleb Beggerly and kept up the middle for 23 yards to the 5-yard line.

On the next play, Yankoff gave the ball to Beggerly, who beat two defenders to the edge and scored.

Yankoff scored again with 3:22 left in the third quarter on a 5-yard draw.

Immediately after, as Mountain View was trying to work its way from its 17-yard line, Ross Chadderdon intercepted Mavericks quarterback Noah Bryant and returned the pick for a score.

“That pick six by Chadderdon put us in a really good spot. It was a huge play,” Amos said.

Mountain View offset one of those scores when Bryant hooked up with K.J. Lynch on a long pass up the middle for a 58-yard TD. Following the kick, the Mavericks cut the Vikings’ lead to 39-13.

Even though CdA dominated, the Mavericks threatened first. On their second series, Caden Hansen reached the corner and broke an 80-yard run to the end zone that was called back by a holding penalty.

“We had the momentum early, but some things happened that were out of our hands,” Mavericks coach Judd Benedick said. “When you get a chance to get momentum early on a team like Coeur d’Alene, you have to make those breaks for yourself. You can’t let those opportunities go against a team that good.”

Having survived the Mavericks’ scare, the Vikings got on the board when Yankoff found Kyler Pendergrast with a 23-yard TD pass. Yankoff kept for the two-point conversion.

The Mavericks answered when Bryant capped an 80-yard, nine-play drive with a 22-yard burst up the middle. His two-point conversion attempt on a run failed, and Mountain View found itself in a hole for good.

“We knew it was going to be a back-and-forth game,” Amos said. “They’re a very good football team. I told our kids, ‘Don’t panic. But don’t relax.’”

CdA increased its lead to 11-6 as Harrison kicked a 26-yard field goal near the end of the first quarter.

The Vikings added to their lead in the second quarter on a safety when a fourth-down snap at the 19-yard line sailed over the punter’s head and out of the end zone.

CdA scored once more in the half as Shilo Morgon gathered in a short pass from Yankoff, eluded Cade Ray’s tackle and raced 22 yards to the end zone.

Yankoff’s conversion pass was intercepted by Cade McInerney. That set the halftime score at 19-6.

Mountain View mounted one more drive in the second half. On an 11-yard run and three straight passes to Lynch, Bryant engineered a drive from his 25 to the Vikings’ 36. But on second down Bryant raced to the Vikings’ 17-yard line, but Will Ashley tackled him and recovered the fumble.

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