The top-ranked Coeur d’Alene Vikings were tested for the first time in six games, trailed for the first time in seven games – and still won by 28 points.
The Vikings broke from a tie score early in the second quarter with 28 unanswered points and rolled to a 63-35 5A Inland Empire League football victory over visiting Post Falls on Friday.
Coeur d’Alene (8-0, 2-0 IEL) cracked the 50-point barrier for the sixth straight game. The Vikings had pretty much secured victories in their previous five games by halftime, leading by 25, 39, 54, 41 and 42 points. Fourth-ranked Post Falls (6-2, 1-1) kept it interesting most of the way, scoring on its first play from scrimmage and again on a trick play – halfback Tyson Johnson tossing a 14-yard pass to Auston May – to even the score at 14.
The Vikings took control with six straight touchdown drives, three in rapid-fire succession in the second quarter to take a comfortable lead at half.
“That was a very emotional, physical game,” said CdA coach Shawn Amos, whose team can clinch the IEL title and the right to host in the first round of the state playoffs with a win over rival Lake City on Friday. “We haven’t been in a slugfest for a while. Post Falls came out to play and they were very physical and they weren’t going to back down. It was good for our kids.”
Carlos Martinez took a screen pass from quarterback Chad Chalich and raced 20 yards for a touchdown, giving CdA a 21-14 lead. Reece Mahaffy’s 3-yard TD run and Chalich’s 3-yard run capped an 81-yard march that put the Vikings on top 35-14 lead at half.
“The best thing is our kids haven’t been in that situation, being down,” Amos said, “and their response was outstanding. No panic.”
Martinez’s 12-yard scoring run boosted the Vikings lead to 42-14 midway through the third quarter. The Trojans used two fake punts en route to touchdown drives, sandwiched around another Chalich scoring run, to close within 49-28 early in the fourth quarter.
The points and penalties – the teams combined for 31 infractions totaling over 310 yards – kept coming. Chalich finished with 454 yards passing and four touchdowns. He also ran for three scores. Receivers Deon Watson and Bubba Duran surpassed 100 yards and Joe Roletto added 91 yards.
Martinez rushed for 136 yards and added 63 yards receiving.
“It’s tough to keep up with their speed. We did everything we could,” Post Falls coach Jeff Hinz said. “We played hard, really hard, for four quarters. (CdA’s offense) stretches your defense and they do a good job getting their athletes the ball in space. That’s the goal of their offense.”
The Trojans, who can clinch a state playoff berth with a win at Lewiston on Friday, had 234 yards passing but couldn’t generate much on the ground, other than Johnson’s 28-yard run on a fake punt and back-up quarterback Taylor Valente’s 43-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter. Valente had 107 yards passing, including a 57-yard scoring connection with Marcus Colbert that trimmed CdA’s lead to 21 with 4:47 left.
CdA quickly answered with Chalich’s TD pass to Joe Roletto.