Coeur d’Alene secured another Inland Empire League 5A football title, thanks to a flood of big plays by senior receiver/defensive back Colbey Nosworthy and his Vikings teammates.
The Vikings dominated the final three quarters with 55 unanswered points to rout the visiting Post Falls Trojans 55-14 Friday. Coeur d’Alene has won three straight IEL championships and eight in the last 10 years.
“You hate to start a game like that,” Vikings coach Shawn Amos said of an early 14-0 deficit. “They punched us in the mouth to start. What a great job by our kids responding, because that’s a pretty good team we just played.”
The second-ranked Vikings (7-2, 3-0 IEL) earned a week off before they open the state playoffs at home in two weeks. Post Falls (6-3, 2-1) advances as the IEL’s second seed and will open Friday at home.
Post Falls was sharp early with a pair of long, ground-oriented touchdown drives to take a 14-0 lead after one quarter. Nosworthy flipped the momentum with a couple of highlight-reel plays.
First, he took a screen pass and raced down the right sideline for an 80-yard touchdown. The Vikings’ defense registered a stop and Nosworthy retreated to pull in a punt at the 4-yard line. He broke clear from initial traffic and took it down the right sideline again for another touchdown.
Post Falls’ 14-0 lead was trimmed to 14-12 in roughly 2 minutes.
“I was going to let it roll into the end zone, but I knew they thought that’s what was going to happen,” said Nosworthy, who is drawing interest from several Big Sky programs. “I was like, ‘Maybe I can make something out of nothing.’ ”
Nosworthy was back at it when he made a one-handed interception near the sideline, setting up the Vikings at the Trojans’ 13. Quarterback Jack Prka picked up 3 yards on fourth-and-1 and followed that up with a 1-yard scoring run.
Prka, who passed for 274 yards after a slow start, found Nosworthy on the two-point conversion and the Vikings led 20-12.
The Trojans’ early offensive success dried up and the Vikings kept tapping into the big-play well. CdA capped a 27-point second quarter by staying aggressive late in the half after taking possession at their 12-yard line with just 1:09 left.
Trent Elstad went for 38 yards on a screen pass and Prka scooted 29 yards on a scramble to move the ball deep into Trojans territory. The junior quarterback lofted a 17-yard TD strike to Brennan Crawford, giving CdA a 27-14 lead at half.
“He’s smart enough to know he has weapons,” Amos said of Prka. “He doesn’t have to win games by himself. He gets the ball out to those playmakers.”
CdA didn’t slow down in the second half. Gunner Guilio raced 70 yards into the end zone on the first play of the third quarter. Jake Brown scored on a 23-yard pass play and Guilio added a 22-yard TD reception, extending the Vikings’ lead to 47-14 .
“We thought we had a nice game plan,” Trojans coach Blaine Bennett said. “In all three phases, we played well in the first quarter. Certainly you have to play four quarters.”
Eli Gondo rushed for 87 yards and two touchdowns, but the Trojans’ passing game stalled after the opening quarter. Tommy Hauser added 57 yards rushing and 45 yards on four receptions.
Lake City 52, Lewiston 28: The Timberwolves (4-5, 1-2) beat the visiting Bengals (3-6, 0-3) in the other IEL 5A finale.
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