POCATELLO – In a matchup of two of the best teams in Idaho, there was plenty revealed in Highland’s 24-21 comeback win over Coeur d’Alene Saturday night.
Vikings’ quarterback Gunnar Amos was 17 for 32 with 274 yards and three touchdowns. Highland quarterback Tommy Jewell was 20 for 35 for 182 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
But it was Thad Hansen’s 2-yard plunge into the endzone that capped off the Highland rally.
“I thought we showed a lot of character coming out in the second half,” said Highland coach Gino Mariani. “(The offense) stepped up and did a good job.”The Vikings enjoyed a hot start as they took the first possession and drove down to score on a 25-yard toss from Amos to Chase Blakley. Amos threw three first-half TDs.
“It was an epic battle and that was kind of what we were expecting with Highland,” said Coeur d’Alene coach Shawn Amos. “It’s awesome for us to kind of battle with these guys.”
With 15 seconds left in the half and on the Vikings’ 10-yard line, Jewell escaped the pocket and raced to the right before bulldozing his way to score, narrowing the Viking lead to 21-10.
After a punt on the Vikings first drive of the half, Jewell found Christian Aktinson for the 23-yard touchdown to make it 21-17.
With 4:20 remaining, Highland’s offense took the field at the Viking 44-yard line. Two Thad Hansen runs set the Rams up inside the Coeur d’Alene 12. Then on fourth-and-goal inside the Viking 2-yard line, Hansen took the handoff and was hit at the 1-yard line. But as he came down, he stretched the ball across the goal-line to score.
With no timeouts left and two minutes on the clock, a stop would’ve given the Vikings the win.
After three incompletions, Amos found Chase Blakeley for the 35-yard gain on fourth-and-15.
Amos continued to work the Vikings down the field, and with eight ticks left, Brennan Barber came out to kick the game-tying 46-yard field goal.
It flew wide left.