The Coeur d’Alene Vikings used a ball-control offense and an opportunistic defense Friday night in a 56-28 win over the Lewiston Bengals at Viking Field.
Senior quarterback Austin Lee was 19-for-25 for 214 yards and a two TDs through the air and added three rushing touchdowns to the lead the Vikings to their sixth straight victory.
Coeur d’Alene (6-1, 1-0 in 5A Inland Empire League), ranked No. 2 in 5A, kept Lewiston’s high-powered offense somewhat in check, forcing three first-half turnovers and making timely stops in the second half.
Lewiston (6-1, 0-1 IEL), led by quarterback Colton Richardson, came into the game averaging 50 points per contest, and for a while, it looked like Richardson was going to have his way all night. The junior threw for 323 yards in the first half, but never could find his rhythm in the second half.
With 7:57 left in the first half and the score 14-all, the lights went out at Viking Field, causing a 20-plus minute delay. Once the lights came back on, the Vikings lit up the scoreboard, scoring on their next two possessions. Austin Lee found Brody Lundblad for a 20-yard TD and, after a Michael Serwat interception, Joseph Vang capped a seven-play drive with a 3-yard score.
Keeping Richardson and the Bengals passing attack at bay, Coeur d’Alene opened the second half with a 10-play, 82-yard drive that culminated with a 1-yard plunge by Lee. The Bengals again cut the lead to seven when Richardson found Kempton Sharp on a 38-yarder. Sharp finished with eight catches for 183 yards.
The Viking offense just wouldn’t be denied, however. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Coeur d’Alene capped a 15-play, 86-yard drive when Lee rumbled in from 21 yards out. The senior finished with 93 of the Vikings’ 322 rushing yards.
“We did a much better job taking care of the ball,” Coeur d’Alene coach Shawn Amos said. “We didn’t really feel comfortable until the last few minutes of the game.”
The Bengals, whose last win at Viking Field was 16 years ago, haven’t won a league game since 2011 and are 0-10 in league play under Shawn Nilsson, who is in his fourth year at the helm. The Viks are now 13-1 in their last 14 games against Lewiston and haven’t lost to the Bengals since 2008 (33-27 at Lewiston).
Coeur d’Alene will travel to face crosstown rival Lake City next Friday. Lewiston plays host to Post Falls.
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