With starting quarterback Gunnar Amos still recovering from a mild concussion, Coeur d’Alene turned to sophomore Austin Lee.
All Lee did was put up Amos-like numbers in his first varsity start as the third-ranked Vikings secured the 5A Inland Empire League championship and the lone state berth Thursday with a 31-14 win over the visiting Post Falls Trojans.
CdA (6-3) now sets its sights on a fourth straight trip to the state final. The Vikings won’t learn officially until tonight who they will play, but it appears it most likely will be Timberline (4-4) of Boise.
The Viks will stay home the first two rounds. If they win those games the state title game would be played in the Kibbie Dome.
Lee completed 14 of 23 passes for 228 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 78 yards and two more TDs.
He said he was nervous, but his play didn’t show it.
“I had some big shoes to fill,” Lee said. “But the team had great confidence in me. I felt comfortable. Coach said do your job. I just tried to do what I could to get us in position to move the chains.”
CdA coach Shawn Amos expected Lee’s production because it’s a function of the Viks’ spread offense.
“He’s a good player,” Amos said. “We’ll be glad to have Gunnar back, but he’s a good player. You look at the number of kids we have, they’re good football players. This isn’t a one-man show by any means.”
CdA struck quickly with Lee scoring from 32 yards out on his first run.
Lee added an 18-yard TD run in the second quarter as the Viks built a 24-6 halftime lead.
PF (5-5) had chances but stalled in CdA territory including coming up short four times from the Viks’ 1-yard line.
“We left a few out there,” PF coach Jeff Hinz said. “Our kids played hard and played with them. But we stalled deep in the red zone.”
Lake City 43, Lewiston 19: The Timberwolves (7-3) defeated the visiting Bengals (4-5).