MOSCOW, Idaho – The quarterback without a scholarship made a statement Saturday.
Chad Chalich had Whitney of Rocklin, Calif., coming and going as the Coeur d’Alene senior quarterback owned the first half as the defending Idaho 5A state champion Vikings (4-0) romped past the Wildcats 55-6 at the Kibbie Dome.
CdA coach Shawn Amos said this week that he’d have a better measure of how good his Vikings are after facing Whitney (2-1), ranked 38th among California’s biggest schools. What he knows now is his Vikings, who won for a 13th straight time, may be better than a year ago.
Just in the first half alone, Chalich passed for 224 yards, completing 19 of 22 passes. He threw three touchdown passes to Jake Cheesman, Carlos Martinez and Deon Watson.
Chalich looked like the QB headed to a Pacific-12 Conference school. Whitney’s Jake Rodrigues, who has given an oral commitment to the University of Oregon, was rather pedestrian. He completed 11 of 17 for 156 yards and one TD.
No. 1-ranked CdA used its speed to run all over the turf. The Vikings led 24-0 at the end of the first quarter and extended the lead to 38-0 before Whitney scored.
Then the Vikings put an exclamation point on the first half. They moved to the Whitney 5-yard line with 3 seconds remaining. After a timeout, Chalich took off in motion and Martinez took a direct snap and scored, giving CdA a 45-6 lead at halftime.
Rio Linda 20, Lake City 19: Per his usual strategy, LC coach Van Troxel wasn’t going to play for a tie.
LC running back Levi Hewitt scored from 1 yard out with 1:17 remaining to pull the Timberwolves within the final margin. But LC’s attempt for the winning points on a two-point conversion was doomed from the snap when a Rio Linda lineman broke through and forced a bad pitch.
“I’m not going to play for a tie,” Troxel said. “They didn’t come 3,000 miles to play for a tie. They came to win or lose and whatever happens happens.”
Rio Linda drove to Moscow. It took about 15 hours.
“In most scenarios I wouldn’t have changed what we were going to do,” Troxel said.
“We usually do go for two in that situation.”
The Knights pulled within 13-12 with 10:56 to go when Rio Linda, which started the drive at its 11, scored on a 5-yard run by Lamar Bible.
LC quarterback Bobby Traverse fumbled at the T-Wolves’ 38, and Rio Linda was in business.
Nine plays later, the Knights took the lead on a 15-yard run by Bible. A two-point conversion put Rio Linda ahead 20-13 with 5:09 to go. LC answered, going 60 yards in eight plays with Hewitt finishing off the score.
“We’re a huge work in progress,” Troxel said. “I thought defensively they played really well, played really hard. Our problem was we kept putting them in a hole.”
After Rio Linda scored on the game’s first possession, it was all LC in the first half.
LC took the lead at 7-6 when Devin Burgess returned a punt 61 yards with 24 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Timberwolves put together their best offensive series on their last possession of the first half. They started at their 11, but a fumble on the first play pushed them back to the 5. But 12 plays later, quarterback Bobby Traverse hit Nick Baker on a 10-yard fade in the end zone. LC took a 13-6 lead after missing the point-after kick.
LC’s defense stopped the Knights on their final possession – despite extending the series with a roughing the punter penalty.