Coeur d’Alene football coach Shawn Amos was looking for a better start Friday than the week before.
Amos got that and more as his visiting second-ranked Vikings started fast and ended strong in a 41-14 win over Post Falls in a 5A Inland Empire League game before an estimated crowd of 2,000.
The win sets up a showdown next Friday between city rivals when Lake City (6-2, 2-0) visits CdA (7-1, 2-0) for the league championship and playoff seeding. The teams will turn around and play again in a state playoff opener the following week.
Lake City defeated visiting Sandpoint (3-5, 1-0) 26-7.
The Viks started slow last week in a league opener at Lewiston. After a mistake-laced first half, CdA led just 9-3 at halftime before pouring it on for a 44-3 win.
“Post Falls is a good football team so to win like that, that shows a lot for us,” Amos said. “We’re playing well when we need to.”
CdA senior running back Zach Keiser shouldered a big load, gaining 202 yards on 18 carries and scoring three touchdowns.
“We came out of the chutes really well and our (offensive) line just played great,” Keiser said. “Defensively, we stopped them and held them four or five times on fourth down. It was a great game all around.”
The fast start Amos ordered up occurred on the Viks’ first offensive play when junior quarterback Chad Chalich hit senior wide receiver Matt Lambert on a 71-yard touchdown pass.
The Viks converted again on their second possession. They needed just five plays before Keiser sprinted 33 yards for the score.
CdA’s defense took over thereafter, throwing a first-half shutout.
The Viks took a 17-0 lead into intermission. Parker Wilson connected on a 35-yard field goal that barely got over the bar with 1:34 left in the second quarter.
Post Falls (6-2, 0-2) tried to get untracked on the opening kickoff of the second half. The Trojans attempted an onside kick that they recovered. But an official blew an inadvertent whistle, prompting a re-kick.
CdA made that hurt by driving 80 yards in five plays, capped by a 29-yard TD scamper by Keiser. A two-point conversion extended the Viks’ lead to 25-0.
That’s when Post Falls came alive. The Trojans needed 10 plays before quarterback Matt Lickfold scored from 5 yards out.
The Trojans’ defense held CdA on four downs immediately thereafter, and the Trojans scored moments later when Lickfold hit Tyson Johnson on a 15-yard pass. That pulled Post Falls within 25-14.
Post Falls’ offense would dry up, and CdA added two more TDs and a safety in the final quarter.
“We’ve been in all sorts of games and I think that has really helped us,” Amos said. “There isn’t a situation that we haven’t been in. The whole season we’ve grown.”
PF ends its season at home vs. Lewiston Friday.
Moscow 35, Lakeland 14: Jake Helbling ran for two touchdowns and kicked five extra points for a 17-point night as the Bear (6-2, 1-0) won their IEL 4A opener over the visiting Hawks (2-7. 0-2).
Justin Parkins ran for three touchdowns for the Bears in a 155-yard night and Helbling accumulated 102 yards on the ground.
Lakeland, with Eric Cooper throwing for 240 yards and two TDs, kept pace through the first half. Hunter Arno caught seven balls for 104 yards.