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Coeur d’Alene scores late touchdown to defeat Hermiston

Ryan Bronson Correspondent

The Coeur d’Alene Vikings were tested down the stretch for the second straight week. This time, they passed the test.

Quarterback Austin Lee’s 2-yard run with less than a minute remaining gave the Vikings a 31-27 win over Hermiston in a seesaw football game Friday night at Viking Field.

Coeur d’Alene was trying to rebound from a 13-10 loss last week to Highland in which the Vikings were stopped just short of a game-winning touchdown in the final seconds.

On homecoming Friday, the Viks seemed determined not to repeat that feat, handing the Bulldogs from Oregon their first loss of the season.

“These kids are used to winning,” Coeur d’Alene football coach Shawn Amos said. “Good teams find a way to win when it matters. That’s what we did tonight.”

Coeur d’Alene took a 21-14 lead into the fourth quarter, and Brennan Barber’s 32-yard field goal three plays into the quarter seemingly put the Vikings in the driver’s seat. But the Bulldogs were game.

Hermiston running back Samuel Colbray’s third rushing touchdown cut the Viks’ lead to 24-20, and, after a blocked punt, Bulldogs quarterback Chase Knutz found Carson Morter in the back of the end zone for a 27-24 lead with 5:43 remaining.

With just over 4 minutes left, the Bulldogs forced Coeur d’Alene into a fourth-and-3, where Amos decided to put the game in the hands of his defense. The Viks punted, and two plays later, recovered a Colbray fumble on the Bulldogs 31. Lee punched in the game-winner five plays later.

Hermiston (4-1) had one final shot, but Knutz’s long, last-gasp attempt was intercepted by Myles Mahaffy.

The Bulldogs were held to 216 yards from scrimmage.

“(Our defense has) played two really good football games,” Amos said. “Our defense is good. Against Highland they were tough, too.”

Lee was 17 for 33 for 214 yards, including a 55-yard strike to Brian Skinner in the first quarter.

Drew Berger had a 43-yard rushing touchdown in the first half for the Viks, and he opened the second-half scoring with a 39-yard interception return for a touchdown.

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