NAMPA, Idaho – The Coeur d’Alene football team’s winning streak is still intact. Barely.
Junior quarterback Gunnar Amos accounted for 339 total yards and three touchdowns and junior tailback Marques Mort scored the winning TD with 1:34 to play as the Vikings escaped with a 40-36 victory over Skyview in a wildly entertaining season opener Friday at Hawks Stadium, extending their winning streak to 22 games.
“I’ve been dreaming of this for a long time,” said Amos, who threw for 282 yards and ran for 57 more in his first varsity start. “I wanted to come out and show people I can play, and it was a blast. I’ve never played in a game like this.”
The two-time defending State 5A champions got off to a quick start against the 4A Hawks. Amos tossed two first-quarter TDs to junior Addison Johnson, who caught nearly identical passes up the seam and scored from 30 and 35 yards out, respectively.
Skyview turned the tide in the second quarter behind junior tailback Jaxon Pryor. The Hawks got on the board when Pryor scampered 51 yards on a screen pass and then punched it in from 3 yards out. Pryor struck again on a 20-yard burst minutes later, and a short TD toss from quarterback Anthony Marin to tight end Walker Ray gave the Hawks a 21-14 halftime lead.
The Vikings bounced back in the third quarter, reclaiming a 28-21 lead on scoring runs by Mort and Amos. Skyview’s offense sputtered as Pryor, Ray and Marin had to leave the game with injuries.
“I was really impressed by Skyview,” CdA coach Shawn Amos said. “They lost some of their best players, and they still kept coming. I give Skyview a ton of credit. It was just a battle out there.”
Backup Holton Hyde – only a sophomore – nearly rallied the Hawks to an improbable upset. His 11-yard TD pass and subsequent 2-point conversion to Lane Robbins gave the Hawks a 29-28 lead early in the fourth.
CdA responded with a perfectly executed gadget play as Amos threw a lateral to receiver Reece Mahaffy, who launched a 40-yard bomb to Jackson Carlson in the end zone.
“Reece was champing at the bit to run that play,” Gunnar Amos said. “It was a great call and a great play, definitely a momentum changer.”
But momentum quickly swung back to the Skyview sideline when Robbins took a screen pass and raced 85 yards to pay dirt, giving the Hawks a 36-34 lead. Moments later, Kyle Cothern intercepted Amos near midfield, and the CdA winning streak looked very much in jeopardy.
But the CdA defense rose to the challenge, sacking Hyde for a 15-yard loss and forcing the Hawks to punt from deep in their own end. The Vikings blocked the kick and took over at the 10 with 3:04 to play, and Mort plowed in 90 seconds later for the decisive score.
Johnson finished with 122 yards on seven receptions for CdA, while Robbins caught 11 passes for 190 yards.