Coeur d’Alene’s offense wasn’t in sync in the first half but the Vikings still piled up 19 first downs, 23 points and 294 total yards.
That unit heated up in the third quarter and the Vikings’ defense kept rival Lake City’s offense in check most of the night.
Coeur d’Alene, bouncing back from last week’s loss to Lewiston, thumped the visiting Timberwolves 53-27 Friday.
“We weren’t razor sharp,” Vikings coach Shawn Amos said. “The number of penalties is something we really have to fix. It’s a big win because we’re still in the hunt for a playoff berth, but we have to get better.
“That’s not as well as we can play.”
CdA (4-3, 1-1) and Post Falls (6-2, 1-1) will battle next Friday with the 5A Inland Empire League’s second berth to state likely at stake. Lewiston, a 45-13 winner over Post Falls, can claim the IEL title with a victory over Lake City (3-5, 0-2).
Coeur d’Alene broke it open in the third quarter. The Vikings went on scoring drives of 80, 74 and 71 yards – overcoming at least one penalty on each series – against a tiring LC defense to open up a 44-8 advantage.
“It was the message (at halftime), the penalties, and even though we marched down the field we still had penalties,” Amos said. “Hopefully we can keep playing (in the postseason), but we have to learn those could cost you games.”
CdA was flagged 16 times for 143 yards.
Lake City had early success in the passing game but its running ground rarely found room against the Vikings’ front seven. The Timberwolves had just 16 yards rushing through three quarters.
LC put up three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, capitalizing on pair of Vikings fumbles.
“Our defense played very well,” Amos said. “Offensively we moved the ball but we really killed ourselves with penalties.”
Vikings quarterback Cole Yankoff ran for 78 yards and three touchdowns. He overcame a slow start to finish with 223 passing yards. Joe Vang rushed for 118 yards and Caleb Beggerly added 109 yards on just 10 attempts.
Coeur d’Alene got on the scoreboard when the snap from center soared over Lake City quarterback Matt Duchow’s head. The senior picked the ball up in the end zone but was tackled immediately for a safety.
LC kicked from its own 20 and Beggerly’s 30-yard return set up the Viks at the Timberwolves’ 37. Kyler Prendergast took a screen pass – CdA called a high number of those throughout the game – 14 yards for the touchdown and a 9-0 lead.
CdA misfired on another fourth down, but its defense kept forcing Lake City to punt. Beggerly raced 42 yards on fourth-and-2 as the Vikings marched 70 yards, capped by Yankoff’s 3-yard keeper. Yankoff’s run on the two-point conversion bumped CdA’s lead to 17-0 in the second quarter.
After another LC punt, the Vikings moved 75 yards, scoring on another Yankoff keeper to extend their lead to 23-0.
The Timberwolves got on the board with 20 seconds left when Duchow zipped a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jason Pierard. They picked up the two-point conversion on Duchow’s run to trail 23-8 at half.
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