You would think playing a district title football game in a snowstorm would lead to a lot of handoffs, ball control and defense.
While there were the requisite problems with kicking the ball, neither Coeur d’Alene nor Post Falls had much trouble throwing it around or hanging on to it Friday night in the snow.
And the Vikings showed their dominance again against their Inland Empire 5A competition.
Jack Prka threw four touchdown passes, added one rushing TD, and visiting Coeur d’Alene topped Post Falls 30-14 to earn the Idaho 5A District 1-2 title.
Coeur d’Alene (7-0, 3-0) earns a bye next week in the first round of the state playoffs.
Post Falls (5-3, 2-1) will host a first-round matchup against the West Region (Boise-area) sixth-place finisher next week.
The other 5A game, Lake City (2-6, 0-2) at Lewiston (3-5, 0-2), was postponed due to the bad weather. With both teams still in pursuit of an at-large berth to state, the game was rescheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m.
CdA held Post Falls without an offensive touchdown until the final 2 minutes, 32 seconds. The Vikings beat Post Falls 48-7 in a nonleague matchup earlier this season.
“Step 1 down, on to Step 2,” Prka said of the district championship. “Keep our heads down, we got some good competition down in Boise. It’ll be fun.”
“I thought we overcame the elements. It was a pretty good football game,” Coeur d’Alene coach Shawn Amos said. “It’s nice to have the first-round bye.”
Prka, who threw 14 touchdown passes and ran for four in his three league games this season, joked about having next week off.
“I like to play as much football as possible,” he said. “But, you know, just take what they give us, I guess.”
Considering the heavy footing and constant snow, neither team had too much trouble handling the ball.
“Our kids, we played pretty dang clean considering the elements,” Amos said. “Not a lot of turnovers. We took care of the football … the only thing we struggled with was kicking the ball.”
Prka said he hasn’t played in such heavy snow.
“I’ve never been a part of something like that,” he said. “A lot of fun. We knew the game was gonna be hard, but we found a way. Our running backs had an amazing game.”
Post Falls got on the scoreboard first. The teams traded three early possessions while adjusting to the heavy snow and steady winds. On CdA’s third possession, Eli Jolly dropped back to punt, but the snap was in the snow and his late attempt to kick was blocked. Post Falls’ Chase Berg scooped it up out of the nearly half-foot of snow and chugged into the end zone for an early Trojans lead. That’s as good as it got for Post Falls.
The Vikings scored the next two times they had the ball. Prka connected with Alex Karns on a 9-yard score and Trent Elstad took a swing pass down the sideline for a 48-yard touchdown reception.
Ethan Garitone’s 8-yard slant for a TD came with 9 seconds left in the half and gave CdA an 18-7 lead.
“We were kind of dinking and dunking a little while,” Prka said of adjusting to the conditions. “Our wide receivers stepped up and made some great catches.”
Prka added a short TD run in the third quarter and found 6-foot-5 Cameren Cope on a fade from 22 yards out in the fourth.
Late in the fourth, Post Falls quarterback Jaxon Anderson hit Christian Curlee on a 68-yard pass to the 2-yard line, then connected with Kaden Cripps to cap the scoring.
Sandpoint 6, Lakeland 0: Gerrit Cox returned a punt 61 yards for a score with 6 seconds left in the first half and the visiting Bulldogs (3-4, 2-1) held off the Hawks (3-4, 0-2) to earn the District 1-2 4A title and advance to the state tournament. A last-second Lakeland pass into the end zone fell incomplete
Moscow (3-1, 1-1) was off and is still eligible for an at-large bid to state.
Timberlake 46, Priest River 0: Luke Fortin ran for 74 yards and two touchdowns and also scored on a 33-yard fumble recovery as the visiting Tigers (4-3, 3-0) defeated the Spartans (0-6, 0-3) to clinch the District 1 3A title and a berth to state and a bye into the quarterfinals.
Kellogg 32, Bonners Ferry 14: The Wildcats (3-3, 2-1) beat the visiting Badgers (3-4, 1-2). Details were unavailable.
Orofino (1-1, 0-1) at St. Maries (1-1, 0-0): The Central Idaho League game was postponed due to winter weather and rescheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m.
Lakeside 31, Wallace 0: The visiting Knights (5-2, 2-0) beat the Miners (2-5, 0-2) in a Scenic Idaho 1AD1 league game. Details were unavailable.
Mullan (5-1, 0-0) at Kootenai (0-3, 0-0): The North Star 1AD2 league game was postponed by weather. Details of when the game would be rescheduled were unavailable.
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