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Colson Yankoff helps Coeur d’Alene outlast Post Falls to capture league title

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 23, 2017

Sometimes it all comes down to one game.

Both at 2-0 in the 5A Inland Empire League, Post Falls entered undefeated overall in eight tries; Coeur d’Alene 6-2 but battle-tested from contests in California and coastal Washington.

The stakes: the league title, the North No. 1 seed to the state playoffs, and – most importantly – a bye past the first round of the state playoffs and a berth in the quarterfinals.

The only problem: It was pretty much one sided.

Colson Yankoff showed why he’s bound for Division I football, Caleb Beggerly ran for four touchdowns and host Coeur d’Alene posted an easy 59-29 win over rival Post Falls on Friday in Coeur d’Alene.

Yankoff ran for two touchdowns and passed for another two. And every time CDA coach Shawn Amos needed a couple of yards for a first down, he had Yankoff call his own number.

“He’s pretty special,” Coeur d’Alene coach Shawn Amos said. “We just have a lot of weapons to be able to spread out and it makes us tough to defend.”

If it’s a luxury for a high school coach to have a bona fide D-I athlete at his disposal, Yankoff wasn’t taking the bait.

“I don’t know about a luxury,” Yankoff replied. “I’m just going to run the play that’s called and do the best I can to run it well.”

The Vikings took advantage of two turnovers and a deflected punt and led 23-0 after the first play of the second quarter.

From there, Post Falls hit a few big plays, including an 85-yard kickoff return by Ryan Taylor to set up a short touchdown.

But Yankoff engineered a quick-strike drive just before half for another score and the Vikings led 38-14 at intermission.

“It took us a little bit to get things figured out,” Yankoff said, “But we knew what we came here to do and we just stuck with our plan and it worked out.”

Beggerly added, “We knew both teams were going to start out really amped for the game, just going at each other. But we have the better team in the long run and I think it showed.”

Beggerly scored on runs of 38, 1 and 50 yards in the second half as Coeur d’Alene seemed to pick up steam as the game wore on.

“I thought we played very well,” Amos said. “This is the time of year you have to be playing very well and we have to carry that over here. We get the advantage of hosting if we keep winning.”

Yes, that all important bye week heading into the state quarterfinals.

“The bye is going to help us out to let guys recover a little bit,” Yankoff said. “And obviously, it feels good to be league champs.”

“It’s huge,” Amos said of the bye. “Post Falls is going to make some noise. Whatever team has to come up here and play them at home is going to have a tough game.”

Post Falls senior receiver Jake Pfennigs conceded that finishing the season with a perfect record would have been nice, but the Trojans will bounce back.

“It wasn’t what we wanted but we have playoffs next week so we have to focus and be ready for that,” he said. “First time in a long time (to host) so it’ll be good to play at home. We’ll be ready for it.”

On Post Falls’ second possession of the game, Ross Chadderdon sacked Nate Buer, the ball popped out and CDA recovered. The Vikings marched down the field and picked up first-and-goal from the 1. After Shilo Morgan was stopped on a dive on first down, Yankoff carried off tackle for 2 yards and the touchdown. Beggerly went off-tackle for the 2-point conversion and an early 8-0 lead.

The Trojans went backward on their second possession due to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and Buer’s long-distance attempt was picked off by Beggerly.

It didn’t take long for CDA to work its way into PF territory, and Yankoff hit Cole Ramseyer for a 25-yard touchdown pass and the Vikings led 15-0 with 2:58 left in the first.

A deflected punt set the Vikings up at the PF 49. Yankoff kept it up the middle, split the defense and took it 42 yards to 7. Three plays later Beggerly took it off-tackle and into the end zone and CDA tackled on the 2-point conversion to led 23-0 on the first play of the second quarter.

Buer hit Pfennigs for 53 yards for first-and-goal from the 6. Two plays later PF ran clear-out routes and Buer trotted easily into the end zone to get PF on the board, 23-7.

CDA answered. Yankoff picked up a first down with his legs, and then hit Ramseyer for 21 yards to take it down to the PF 14. On the next play, Yankoff escaped pressure and threw short to Ramseyer, who did the rest by barreling into the end zone for a14-yard TD pass. The extra point was blocked and CDA led 29-7 with 5:54 to go in the half.

Buer found Williams along the left sideline on a 36-yard reception, and then tried to find Pfennigs in the end zone, but CDA’s Noah Throm made a leaping backhanded interception to thwart the drive.

CDA took over at its 20 and chewed up the yardage. Yankoff connected with Ramseyer for 25 yards out to the 40 and with Kyler Prendergast down to the Trojans’ 8. The drive stalled though and the Vikings settled for a Seth Harrison 23-yard field goal and 32-7 lead.

Post Falls’ Ryan Taylor took a reverse on the ensuing kickoff 85 yards to the CDA 15. Two plays later Braden Vaughn plowed in from the 5 and Post Falls made it 32-14.

Again, CDA came right back. Yankoff ran 27 yards, hit Ramseyer down to the 3, then carried in off-tackle and CDA went up 38-14 with 25 seconds left in the half.

On the first play of the third quarter, Yankoff threw to Ramseyer for short yardage, but Post Falls’ tackle prompted a fumble and the Trojans took over on the CDA 37. On third-and-10 from the CDA 14, Buer connected with Junior Williams at the back of the end zone, but he was ruled out of bounds. The Trojans went for it on fourth down and Buer made a good throw to a wide-open Taylor, but on the cold night it slipped through his hands incomplete.

Later in the stanza CDA forced a punt and the fair catch put them at midfield. Yankoff hit Kaden Hagel for 12 yards, then Beggerly busted one up the middle for a 38-yard score.

“We rotate a bunch of guys so we’re fresh usually the whole game and we just grind through it,” Beggerly said.

On the second play of the fourth quarter, Buer let the 6-foot-7 Pfennigs outjump a defender in the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 45-22.

Beggerly took the ensuing kickoff down to the Post Falls 42. The Vikings drove to the 1, then Beggerly pounded it in and the extra point made it 52-22 with 7:41 left.

After CDA forced a punt, Beggerly busted another one right up the middle for a 50-yard touchdown run and 59-22 lead.

Vaughn gave the Trojans some respect late. He broke off runs of 42 and 18 yards in succession for a touchdown and CDA led 59-29 with 5:39 left.

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