No one can accuse Post Falls’ Josh Mort of being overly outspoken. No bragging, no taunting, no emotional outbursts.
Instead, Mort prefers to lead by quiet example, punishing his opponents with bursts up the middle, off tackle, around end. …
So when the 5-foot-9 senior carried the ball off left tackle for a 9-yard gain with 9 minutes to go in the second quarter of Friday’s 28-14 Inland Empire League football victory over the Coeur d’Alene Vikings on Friday night, it went entirely unnoticed.
Just another day at the office.
But it was significant. It gave Mort 4,006 rushing yards in a three-year varsity career as he continues to break his own record.
Most impressive, though, is that Mort did most of his damage in just two years, becoming a full-time starter midway through his sophomore year.
When Mort checked out of the game with 4:40 to go, he had 187 yards on 30 carries (giving him 4,095) and three touchdowns.
Reason to boast maybe just a little? Nah.
In typical Mort fashion, he downplayed the issue, saying he wasn’t even aware of the mark. Instead, he passed around credit.
“Our offensive line really stepped it up tonight,” Mort said. “They had a poor performance against Lake City last week and we were after them all week in practice.”
The win kept the Trojans (7-1 overall, 2-1 IEL) in the thick of the playoff hunt while CdA saw its postseason hopes all but fade away, falling to 3-5, 0-3.
Mort and his Trojans teammates did most of their damage in the first half against the injury-depleted Vikings.
On Post Falls’ first drive, CdA appeared to stop the Trojans at the Viking 39, but a quick snap to Mort on a fake punt gained 21 yards and gave Post Falls a first down at the 18.
Four plays later, Mort went off right tackle for 3 yards and a 7-0 Post Falls lead.
A thick fog rolled over Trojan Field to start the second quarter and with it came the Trojans’ offense.
The first score of the quarter came after a 75-yard drive, ending with a 9-yard Mort run.
Post Falls added a score just over a minute later after holding CdA on downs.
After Mort carried the ball three times for 29 yards, quarterback Adam Fehling faked a handoff and sprinted around right end for 17 yards, a touchdown, and a 21-0 halftime lead.
Cd’A struggled most of the first half, gaining 71 yards.
Post Falls coach Jerry Lee thought his defense set the tone early.
“I thought we played a great defensive game,” Lee said. “We really contained (Vik quarterback Nick) Rook well until the end.”
Post Falls continued to control the ball to start the second half, chewing up 8:03 on its first drive and scoring on a 6-yard run by Mort to put the game away.
But the Viks fought back.
Rook, shut down by heavy defensive pressure the first three quarters, led the Viks to two fourth-quarter scores.
Down 28-0, Cd’A orchestrated an impressive drive following a kickoff return by senior Ty Kovatch to the Vik 49. Rook ended the drive with a 19-yard scoring strike to senior Ryan Dretke. Rook ran in the 2-point conversion to close the gap to 28-8.
The Viks added another score on a 20-yard pass play from Rook to Max Peebles with 1:28 remaining, but it was a case of too little, too late as the Trojans ran out the clock.
Post Falls 28, Coeur d’Alene 14
Coeur d’Alene 0 0 0 14 -14
Post Falls 7 14 7 0 -28
P-Mort 3 run (Atwell kick) P-Mort 9 run (Atlwell kick) P-Fehling 7 run (Atwell kick) P-Mort 6 run (Atwell kick) C-Dretke 19 pass from Rook (Rook run) C-Peebles 20 pass from Rook (pass failed)