The Coeur d’Alene football team will try to do something Friday that’s never been done in the 5A ranks – become the first school to capture three straight state championships.
That was certainly the goal when the season started – even if more than half of the Vikings’ starters were going to be juniors and first-year varsity players.
The Vikings suffered some serious growing pains midway through the season. Those came in a 71-20 beatdown by Washington’s No. 1-ranked 4A team, Skyline of Sammamish, snapping CdA’s 24-game winning streak, and it was followed by an even more embarrassing – at least based on effort and execution – loss to Highland the following week.
They got their chance to rectify things against Highland in the semifinals Friday in impressive fashion, topping the Rams 45-38. And now, entering the 12th week of the season and nearly 3 ½ months since preseason practices began, the juniors are playing like veterans.
For a second straight week, CdA (9-2) travels to Pocatello, where it will face No. 1-ranked Madison (11-0) of Rexburg on Friday. Kickoff is at 5 PST. The game can be watched on live on Idahosports.com.
“The team has grown a lot in terms of effort,” junior quarterback Gunnar Amos, head coach Shawn Amos’ son, said. “After those two losses, you can see it’s been a complete turnaround in how we’ve been practicing and playing.”
The coach agrees.
“We’re playing as well as we have all season the last four to five weeks,” he said.
Gunnar Amos has thrown for 2,648 yards and 24 touchdowns. He’s also rushed for 709 yards and 12 TDs.
Amos wants to win his own state title.
“It’s something I’ve been dreaming about my whole life,” he said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do with Dad. It’s coming to reality. Hopefully we can finish it off Friday.”
The Bobcats are led by 6-foot-5 quarterback Logan Anderson. Madison wants to throw early and often. The Bobcats line up with four receivers and many times send five wide. And they’re not short receivers either.
“They’re 6-4, 6-6, 6-1, 6-1 and 6-7,” Shawn Amos said.
Anderson also possesses sprinter speed. If he breaks containment he’s not shy about scrambling. He’s thrown for 3,304 yards and 32 TDs.
“We have to keep him in the pocket because he’s too dangerous if he gets out and runs,” Shawn Amos said.
The Viks’ leading tackler, senior safety Brennen Kane, knows CdA will be in trouble if he’s having to chase down Anderson often.
“They have a high-powered offense and we can’t let him scramble around too much,” Kane said.
He likes the Viks’ chances.
“If we prepare like we have been and come out and play like we did last Friday, we’ll get things done,” Kane said.