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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Idaho state: Coeur d’Alene shuts down Rocky Mountain 24-8 in rematch, advances to semifinal against Eagle

By Liam Bradford For The Spokesman-Review

Back in August, Coeur d’Alene was silenced in its home opener by Rocky Mountain in a 16-0 loss. After regaining its grip on the 2023 season, the Vikings finished the regular season with a record of 7-2 and a first-round bye in the Idaho 5A state playoffs.

The Vikings (8-2) reversed the script and achieved vengeance on their home field Friday with a 24-8 state quarterfinal win over the visiting Grizzlies (7-4). The win advanced Coeur d’Alene in to a semifinal against unbeaten Eagle (10-0, 6-0), a 17-14 winner over Rigby.

After being unable to score in the first game against the Grizzlies, Coeur d’Alene’s offense refused to be kept out of the end zone.

Vikings running back Owen Harris had a career day after recently stepping into the starting role due to a season-ending injury to Carson Speelman. Harris rushed for more than 100 yards and scored the game’s first touchdown on the Vikings’ opening drive.

“Harris stepped up and did a great job for us. He’s a warrior. He’s a tough football player,” Vikings head coach Shawn Amos said. “The team wanted to play Rocky and has been looking forward to getting a chance to beat them.”

In the second quarter, quarterback Caden Symons extended a drive with an 18-yard scramble on third and 11. Symons then connected on a 2-yard touchdown pass to Joseph Hagel. The Vikings capped off the first half scoring with a 35-yard field goal from Jayson Cady as the clock expired.

Coeur d’Alene’s Kolbe Coey returned the second-half kickoff past midfield, but the drive ended with a blocked field goal that kept Rocky Mountain’s hopes alive.

Symons found several open receivers on the next drive, which was topped off by a 30-yard TD pass Jamison Kizziar.

The Vikings’ offensive line played a significant factor in winning the revenge game.

“It always comes down to the big boys up front,” Amos said. “It was key that we were able to run the ball, and we did.”

The story of this game, though, was the Vikings’ stifling defense, headed by Washington State commit Camden DeGraw and Eastern Washington commit Shea Robertson. It kept Rocky Mountain’s vaunted offense stagnant for much of the game. The game ended with Kizziar hauling in an interception as time expired.

Rocky Mountain scored a touchdown and converted the two-point conversion in the fourth quarter, but their last-stitch comeback effort was simply too little, too late.

Though the Grizzlies’ defense did what they could to keep it a close game, Coeur d’Alene’s offensive performance in the first half was enough to seal the lid on a highly-anticipated postseason showdown.

Amos says he anticipates a strong running game against Eagle next week and knows that it will be a tough battle to upset the unbeaten powerhouse on the road.