The Coeur d’Alene High football team had a lot of pent-up energy Friday.
The Vikings, wanting to put back-to-back 3-6 seasons in the rearview mirror, came out firing on all cylinders and never let up as Coeur d’Alene hammered the Lakeland Hawks 57-7 in a season opener at Corbit Field.
“I guess what I liked was the amount of work they put in in the offseason,” CdA coach Shawn Amos said. “That’s the biggest thing – that they invested and it paid off for them.”
The Vikings didn’t blink often. They scored touchdowns on their first two possessions. They couldn’t convert on their third possession when Max Noll recovered a fumble at Lakeland’s 11-yard line.
CdA scored on its next three series, though, to build a 35-0 lead with 6:28 remaining before halftime.
Lakeland’s best series came next. The Hawks, starting at their 30, used 12 plays before junior quarterback Kyle English found tight end Hunter Arno on a play-action play. Arno made a nice catch, trapping it against his hip, before finally securing it for a 13-yard touchdown connection with 1:29 before halftime.
The Vikings needed just three plays to answer when junior running back Zach Keiser darted 30 yards untouched on a counter play to give CdA a 42-7 lead at intermission.
CdA piled up 362 yards total offense to Lakeland’s 66 in the first half.
The teams went scoreless for nearly a full quarter until the Viks scored on the last play of the third. Senior quarterback Ryan Dunton, in his first start under center, threw a nice pass to Cade Mendoza, who zipped untouched up the seam on a 44-yard TD reception.
The Viks added one more TD in the final quarter when backup running back Colin Comack sprinted 72 yards untouched.
CdA added a safety with 4:19 to go when the ball was snapped out of the end zone when Lakeland was attempting to punt.
“This is a new season hopefully,” Amos said. “We’ve got a lot to get better (at), but it was a good start. You’re always surprised, but they were pretty excited to get this season going.”
Dunton had a nice debut at QB. He completed 14 of 18 passes for 295 yards and three TDs. He completed passes to six different receivers.
“He’s got some receivers,” Amos said. “(He’s) a good athlete. It helps that there’s not one guy. He’s not having to carry the whole load.”
Keiser also scored three TDs, rushing for 128 yards on 16 attempts.
“We’ve been very happy with what they’ve done at the end of last season all the way through,” Amos said. “This is a 10-month process for us to get back where we think we belong. These guys took it seriously and we made some adjustments to attitudes. This team has good chemistry.”
Sandpoint 35, Lake City 7: Cody Hecker rushed for 182 yards and three touchdowns as the Bulldogs beat the Timberwolves at Lake City.
Ben Fisher added 110 rushing yards and a touchdown for Sandpoint, which did all of its scoring before halftime and held Lake City scoreless until Allen Carmichael’s 2-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.
Hecker scored on runs of 1, 18 and 64 yards as the Bulldogs did all their scoring in the first half.
Moscow 55, Kellogg 14: Jayson Washington scored four touchdowns and rushed for 199 yards as the Bears won at Kellogg.
Grangeville 28, St. Maries 20: David Stewart rushed for 208 yards and three touchdowns as the Bulldogs won at St. Maries.
Wes Green ran for 134 yards and two scores for the Lumberjacks.
North Star League
Lakeside 58, Clark Fork 28: Levi Dole ran for 238 yards and four touchdowns and Tyler McCully added 196 yards and four scores as the Knights won at Lakeside.
Kootenai 58, Wallace 26: No details were available.