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Week 2 preview: Coeur d’Alene kicks off campaign against Sandpoint

Coeur d’Alene quarterback Jack Prka will take aim at Sandpoint Friday when the Vikings open their 2020 season.  (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Coeur d’Alene quarterback Jack Prka will take aim at Sandpoint Friday when the Vikings open their 2020 season. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

Most Idaho schools began their season last week, but the state’s top-ranked 5A school kicks off Friday – and the 4A ranks added another competitor.

Coeur d’Alene lost the 5A title game last season to Rigby in a double-overtime thriller and looks to get off to a quick start against rebuilding Sandpoint.

Meanwhile, the Moscow school board reversed its decision to play intramurals this year and approved a plan to allow its fall sports to face outside competition. The motion for reinstatement of interscholastic competition was discussed at a board of trustees special meeting Tuesday and passed 4-1.

Sandpoint (0-1) at Coeur d’Alene (0-0): The Vikings lost all-state performer Colbey Nosworthy to graduation but return a host of all-league players, including Inland Empire newcomer of the year quarterback Jack Prka, last year’s leading rusher and all-league pick Gunner Giulio and all-state lineman Jackson Kohal.

The defense, which returns seven starters, will be led by IEL Defensive MVP and all-state linebacker/safety Luke McLaughlin.

Sandpoint has two senior returning defensive players of year: Linebacker Tag Benefield earned the honor as a sophomore and DB Elijah Larson won the award last year.

The Bulldogs lost a lot of talent off its state-qualifying team from last year and showed they have some work to do after a 35-14 loss to Post Falls in the season opener last week.

Lewiston (1-0) at Lake City (1-0): Both teams earned impressive Week 1 wins. The Timberwolves held off a challenge from 4A Lakeland at home, while Lewiston went on the road to knock off last year’s 4A champ Kuna, which moved up a level this year.

Lake City is paced by all-league quarterback Chris Irvin and stout running back Uriah Chavez, who’s listed at 5-foot-5, 190. Irvin passed for 296 yards and two touchdowns in the season opener, and Chavez had a 71-yard TD run.

Lewiston’s Kash Lang rushed for 164 yards with three touchdowns and completed 9 of 12 for 189 yards with a 34-yard touchdown pass against the Kavemen. Cruz Hepburn rushed for 89 yards with a touchdown and returned a kickoff 85 yards for another score.

Rigby (1-0) at Post Falls (1-0): The Trojans pulled away from Sandpoint last week as Nicolas McLeod ran for 101 yards and two touchdown in a lopsided season opener. Rigby, trying to defend its 5A State title, trounced much-smaller Box Elder (Montana) 51-0 in the Rocky Mountain Rumble at Madison HS in Rexburg.

Timberlake (0-1) at Lakeland (0-1): The Hawks showed great resolve against bigger Lake City last week, making it a one-score game late in the contest. Lakeland accumulated 222 yards on the ground, led by sophomore John Cornish, who gained 141 yards on 27 carries for the Hawks. The Tigers were shut out in the second half in a season-opening home loss to South Fremont.

Other games

Priest River (0-1) at Bonners Ferry (0-1), Mullan (2-0) at Wallace (0-1), Lewis County (1-0) at Lakeside (0-1).

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