It would be hard to imagine a more emotional, bittersweet 43-point football victory.
The Coeur d’Alene Vikings rolled to a 52-9 5A state playoff win over visiting Timberline on Friday but lost starting quarterback Gunnar Amos to a serious leg injury in the second quarter.
Amos was taken off the field by ambulance with what’s believed to be a broken right leg. He told his dad, Vikings head coach Shawn Amos, that he “heard it snap.”
Shawn Amos is undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma last month. Gunnar Amos missed CdA’s regular-season finale last week against Post Falls with a concussion.
“Thrilled and heartbroken,” a choked-up Shawn Amos said. “I’m really proud of these guys how they responded. Sometimes life doesn’t go your way. These guys played the way Gunnar would want them to play. They came out in the second half and left no doubt.”
Coeur d’Alene (7-3) will remain at home to face Capital on Friday in the semifinals.
Amos had 162 yards passing and 55 yards rushing prior to the injury. Backup quarterback Austin Lee tossed four touchdown passes for the Vikings, who dominated from start to finish.
Zach Charme’s 45-yard field goal and Tyus Zimmerman’s 33-yard touchdown run kept Timberline (4-6) within 24-9 late in the half. Ty Holgate had runs of 38 and 9 yards and Lee capped an 89-yard scoring drive by hitting Chase Blakley in stride in the back of the end zone, giving CdA a 31-9 halftime lead.
Amos said he tried to “go into coaching mode” after the injury.
“These kids were going to battle for Gunnar, I couldn’t tap out,” the coach said. “We talk all the time about how to deal with adversity. This year I’ve had to deal with adversity.”
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Blakley finished with three eight receptions for 121 yards and three TDs. He hauled in a well-thrown 26-yard strike from Lee to extend CdA’s lead to 38-9 early in the third quarter.
“It was definitely all for Gunnar and Coach Amos,” Blakley said. “It was pretty sad (Gunnar’s injury) but we rallied together and won this game for him.”
Lee added touchdown passes to Holgate and Addison Johnson later in the third quarter.
The Vikings had 371 total yards in the first half.
The CdA defense limited the Wolves to just 61 total yards and seven first downs, three via penalty. It also forced three turnovers.
“Those guys pinned their ears back,” Shawn Amos said. “That’s what makes you smile and a lot of comments of ‘this was for Gunnar.’ They played lights-out football.”