Coeur d’Alene is 5-0 and its strength of schedule is off the charts.
The third-ranked Vikings’ latest conquest was perhaps their sweetest, a decisive 42-20 victory Friday over No. 1 Highland at Viking Field in a rematch of the 2017 state championship game won by the Rams.
“I would have taken some bets maybe on that one,” CdA coach Shawn Amos said of finishing the nonconference unbeaten. “That’s pretty impressive, especially with a lot of new guys at the start of the season. We told our guys nobody is young anymore, you’ve all played. (Being) 5-0 is great, but it’s the next three games that determine how long you get to play.”
The way Friday’s showdown started off, it looked like the winner might be the first one to reach 50 points. Both teams scored a pair of touchdowns before the game was 10 minutes old. The Vikings added a third TD two plays into the second quarter.
Highland scored on its first play from scrimmage when Drake Hill hauled in a short pass, avoided a tackler and raced 80 yards for a touchdown. Two series later, the Rams (4-1) did it again as Andrew VanSickle caught a 5-yard pass, broke away from a defender and dashed the remaining 60 yards to put Highland up 14-7.
Coeur d’Alene’s offense had no problem keeping up. Quarterback Kale Edwards had a pair of rushing touchdowns and then found Colbey Nosworthy in the back of the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown reception to stretch CdA’s lead to 22-14.
The difference was the Vikings’ offense kept humming along – primarily behind the trio of Edwards, Nosworthy and running back Shilo Morgan – and their defense reeled in the Rams’ speedy playmakers.
“What we had to do is just (adjust to) how fast those suckers were,” Amos said. “I mean they were fast. We were taking bad angles to start the game.”
Coeur d’Alene led 29-20 at the half after an Edwards-to-Morgan touchdown connection. The Vikings’ defense pitched a shutout in the second half. Rams quarterback Kobe Tracy, who passed for 241 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, was limited to 84 yards in the second half.
Coeur d’Alene forced three turnovers, a fumble recovery by Nate Burch and interceptions by Edwards and Hunter Brett.
“They fixed their mistakes and got the ball back for us on offense,” Morgan said of the defense. “And we capitalized.”
Nosworthy had a huge night with 10 receptions for 154 yards. Most of his yardage came after the catch as he used his quickness to break away from defenders.
Edwards rushed for 115 yards and passed for 246. Morgan ran for 145 yards and added six catches for 60 yards and two touchdowns. The duo combined for 39 rushing attempts.
“They can’t really stop both of us,” Morgan said. “They have to worry about one and then you have the other one to worry about.”
The Vikings have a bye week before visiting Lewiston to open 5A Inland Empire League play.
“To pull (5-0) off, it’s really fun and it feels really good,” Morgan said. “We faced better teams, so we know what our weaknesses are and we can work on those to get ready for league and the playoffs.”
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