Coeur d’Alene moves on to state semifinals
Asked whether Coeur d’Alene’s offense or defense performed better Friday night, Vikings football coach Shawn Amos wisely chose both.
Third-ranked Coeur d’Alene dominated from start to finish, blanking the visiting Rocky Mountain Grizzlies 45-0 in a 5A state playoff mismatch.
“We’ve played some good football the last three weeks,” Amos said. “Very good football.”
Two-time defending state champion Coeur d’Alene (8-2) earned a rematch with second-ranked Highland next week in the semifinals in Pocatello. Highland, a 41-34 winner over Borah, thumped CdA 45-26 in September. Lake City, which defeated Eagle 24-10, will meet No. 1 Madison in the other semifinal.
All four Boise area teams lost Friday.
Coeur d’Alene’s big-play offense rolled behind junior quarterback Gunnar Amos’ four touchdown passes, two each to Jackson Carlson and Reece Mahaffy. CdA played without Cameron Dominguez (ankle) and London Croutch (ankle) and was essentially down to five healthy offensive linemen, but still controlled the line of scrimmage.
“We had good protection and when you’re able to sit in the pocket good things are going to happen,” Shawn Amos said. “Our line got the job done. Brittan Noll stepped in there and he did the same thing last week with almost zero reps.”
Coeur d’Alene marched 85 yards on five plays on its first series. Carlson slipped behind Rocky Mountain’s secondary to haul in a 45-yard touchdown pass from Amos, the coach’s son, and the Vikings led 7-0.
The Grizzlies, despite having little success in the running game, went for it on fourth-and-2 at their 35 and Dakota Weindel was stuffed for no gain. Coeur d’Alene needed only two plays to cover 35 yards, the last 19 on a well executed screen pass to Mahaffy, and the Vikings led 14-0 halfway through the first quarter.
“That’s exciting when you turn around and nobody’s there and you just run for daylight,” said Mahaffy, who finished with 94 yards rushing and 88 yards receiving.
Mahaffy, who also plays linebacker, was part of a swarming defense that held Rocky Mountain to 269 yards, 56 coming on a breakaway run in the closing seconds. Rocky Mountain starting quarterback Riley Bradshaw was sidelined after suffering a concussion on the first series.
“They were more physical than we expected, and they’re fast,” said coach Jason Warr, whose Grizzlies dropped their last four games to finish 6-4. “We knew we had to play to a certain level, but Coeur d’Alene just came out right off the bat and got after us.”