Coeur d’Alene has its sights set high this season. As in, returning to the state title game – and winning – after falling to Rigby in the final last season.
But first, the Vikings have a league championship to pursue.
On Friday, the Vikings and Post Falls both did what they had to do to go 2-0 in league. The pair will meet next week for the Inland Empire League 5A championship – and bye in the first round of the state playoffs.
Jack Prka threw five touchdown passes and ran for two more as host Coeur d’Alene scored early and often and downed crosstown rival Lake City 64-34.
Josiah Shields ran for a 57-yard touchdown on a fake punt and visiting Post Falls held off Lewiston 43-28 to set up next week’s showdown.
CdA coach Shawn Amos liked what he saw as the Vikings ran up a 24-0 lead early in the second quarter.
“We looked real good early … and we started the second half really well, which is always good,” he said.
Amos thought maybe his squad lost a bit of focus, though.
“They’re high school kids and it’s hard to keep them focused, you know, when we’re ahead,” he said. “We’ve got to play like we’re always in a tight ballgame, so that’s something that we as coaches have to address.”
Despite scoring nine touchdowns, not everything went the Vikings way. They were called for at least seven false starts, three personal fouls and a couple of pass interference calls – many in a disjointed second half.
“You know, we still have things we need to fix,” Amos said. “All those penalties are gonna come back to haunt us if we don’t get them fixed.
“We’re too good of a football team to look like that and have all those penalties.”
“It’s exciting,” said senior lineman Jackson Kohal of the win. “Good things are happening. Today, wasn’t our best day, but we got the league championship next week so we gotta prepare for that.”
“I think we have a very talented group,” Prka said. “But our eyes are on the state championship and winning that, so we’ve just got to keep doing our thing and keep getting better.”
Lake City won the toss but deferred to the second half, putting CdA’s multifaceted offense on the field right away. Prka went to work and hooked up with Cameren Cope on an 8-yard touchdown pass not 3 minutes into the game.
After a three-and-out, CdA(6-0, 2-0) scored two plays later as Prka hit Ethan Garitone on a swing pass and he went the distance from 49 yards out. The Vikings took advantage of another three-and-out later in the quarter and Prka scored from the 1 on the first play of the second quarter for a 24-0 lead.
Garitone caught two of Prka’s TD passes and has become a go-to receiver this season.
“Last year, I didn’t get into any games,” the senior said, “so this season I came in and I just worked my butt off and I’m having a blast.”
Lake City fumbled twice in its end of the field early in the third quarter and CdA scored three touchdowns in the span of 4 minutes to go up 50-13.
The Timberwolves hit for a couple of big plays, with Chris Irvin connecting with Zach Johnson on a pair of 60-yard touchdown passes, and tight end Matthew Whitcomb adding 20- and 9-yard TD receptions.
But Lake City (2-6, 0-2) just couldn’t slow down the CdA offense.
Now the Vikings will look forward to defending their league title at Post Falls next week. CdA topped the Trojans 48-7 in a nonleague game on Oct. 2.
“Trust me, we’re all looking forward to that. We can’t wait to play them again,” Garitone said.
“It’s like a first-round playoff, so it’s huge,” Amos said. “Post Falls, they have a couple receivers that can really hurt you and a quarterback that can throw it up there, so we have to we have to learn from (tonight) and mainly learn to play more disciplined football.”
Sandpoint 31, Moscow 21: Trailing 6-0 at halftime, Cody Newhart had touchdown receptions of 75 and 92 yards and the Bulldogs (2-4, 1-0 IEL) defeated the visiting Bears (3-1, 1-1).
Parker Pettit threw for 309 total yards for Sandpoint and Newhart finished with eight catches 267 receiving yards.
Timberlake 28, Bonners Ferry 10: Luke Fortin ran for 183 yards and two touchdowns and the Tigers (3-3, 2-0 Intermountain League) defeated the visiting Badgers (3-3, 1-2) in Spirit Lake.
Kellogg 45, Priest River 14 : The visiting Wildcats (2-3, 1-1) beat the Spartans (0-6, 0-2). Details were unavailable.
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