It wasn’t his team’s blowout victory to start the season that has most impressed Coeur d’Alene coach Shawn Amos about his Vikings. Rather, it’s been how his team has finished the last two games that have the coach and his players gaining confidence three games into the season.
CdA’s last two wins have come in the fourth quarter, the latest giving the Vikings (3-0) a 17-10 victory over the host Sandpoint Bulldogs on Friday in front of a packed house at Memorial Field.
“We will need to get better, I am sure,” said Amos, whose Vikings beat Moses Lake 22-13 last week. “(It’s) not the 3-0 start, but the two teams we just beat are good football teams. That shows a lot and two fourth-quarter wins – these guys are finishers. You can’t coach that stuff.”
After taking a 3-0 lead into halftime, CdA managed to respond quickly to both of Sandpoint’s second-half scoring drives. The Bulldogs (3-1) drove 64 yards on six plays to start the third quarter and took a brief 7-3 lead on a 20-yard scoring run by Ben Fisher.
But the Vikings countered with a nine-play, 80-yard drive that ended with Colin Comack catching an 8-yard TD pass a little more than 3 minutes after Sandpoint’s score.
The drive was setup by a 50-yard catch and run by junior running back Zach Keiser.
“When they got that big play that kinda hurt us,” said Sandpoint head coach Mike Mitchell, whose team managed 213 yards on the ground but just 40 through the air. “We came out in the second half and really moved the ball on two drives really well and got into the end zone (once). Momentum is what this game is all about, and we lost it. It almost looked like we had a few flat spots, when things went bad we didn’t respond like you have to.”
The Bulldogs tied the game at 10 with 4:30 remaining on a 39-yard field goal by Daniel Anderson, but for the second straight week the fourth quarter proved to be the Vikings’ time to rise to the occasion. Helped by a Sandpoint unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the kickoff, CdA marched down the field in six plays with quarterback Ryan Dunton leaping over the Bulldog defense from 1 yard out for a 17-10 lead with 1:30 left.
Jake Matheson intercepted a Daniel Charvoz pass to secure the victory for the fifth-ranked Vikings.
“It is a great streak so far,” said Keiser, who rushed for a game-high 102 yards on 19 carries and added three catches for 64 yards. “The last couple years we have been pretty crappy, so having three wins we already have as many as we had last year. It gives us more confidence going into the next game.”
Amos likes the confidence his team is building, but he is quick to point out the Vikings have another tough opponent next week.
“We can be pretty confident but we have to travel to Centennial next week,” he said. “They are No. 2 in the state so we can’t get too comfortable because they are a very good team.”
Eagle 35, Post Falls 21: Too many mistakes and too much Taylor Kelly spelled doom for the visiting Trojans (2-1).
After playing to a 7-7 tie through the first period, Post Falls watched 2008 State 5A runner-up Eagle (2-1) score three second-quarter touchdowns.
“First-half mistakes just killed us,” Trojans coach Jeff Hinz said. “We didn’t have a drive in the first half without a penalty. You worry about the dreaded first-half mistakes in the first game of the season. That happened in our third game of the year.”
Kelly, Eagle’s quarterback, was the Mustangs’ most effective offensive weapon.
“We didn’t play well and they played better than us, and that’s about it,” Hinz said.
Timberlake 20, Lakeland 10: John Morris rushed for three TDs to lead the visiting Tigers (2-1) past the Hawks (1-3) in the in-district rivalry game.
Morris had TD runs of 16, 25 and 1 as he finished with 147 yards on 21 carries.
Lakeland’s lone TD – a 5-yard run from Kyle Cooper – was set up when the Tigers fumbled at their 5.
“I thought they played hard and we played hard,” Timberlake coach Roy Albertson said. “We just had less turnovers.”
Lewiston 19, Pullman 14: A Hail Mary TD pass as time expired lifted the visiting Bengals (2-1) past the Greyhounds (0-3).
Quarterback Justin Podrabsky threw a 49-yard pass to backup QB Beau Kerns with no time on the clock.
Podrabsky completed 13 of 34 for 141 yards. Pullman rushed for 221 yards on 53 carries.
Clarkston 35, Moscow 21: The visiting Bantams (1-2) handed the Bears (3-1) their first loss in the non-league game.
No details were available.