The two punt returns for touchdowns, endless supply of big plays and enormous momentum swings weren’t quite enough to settle the Coeur d’Alene-Borah playoff game.
It required one more crazy play in a game overflowing with them.
Facing third-and-19, CdA quarterback Kale Edwards’ deep pass bounced off Garrett Hagel’s helmet and into the waiting arms of teammate Carter Friesz for 52 yards.
Three plays later, Edwards plowed into the end zone from 4 yards out with 36.7 seconds left, giving the Vikings a 37-34 comeback victory Friday night in the 5A State quarterfinals. Coeur d’Alene students rushed the field after the Lions’ last play ended with an incompletion well short of the goal line.
The second-ranked Vikings (9-0) visit No. 1 Rocky Mountain (10-0) in the semifinals next week.
“Stressful, high blood pressure, maybe a couple of words I can’t say,” responded Edwards, when asked to describe the contest.
Friesz was in the right place at the right time. Edwards’ pass hung in the air for quite a while, giving Friesz a chance to move near Hagel inside Borah’s 15-yard line.
“It just bounced off his helmet and it came down and I just grabbed it,” Friesz said. “Just perfect timing to be in the right spot.”
“Wow,” Vikings coach Shawn Amos said. “I’ve been in a lot of them, but that one was certainly crazy. Sometimes you get away with one. They have a lot of good football players, and they battled their butts off. Our kids did, too.”
The Vikings had to battle to dig out of a 14-6 halftime hole. The defense played a huge role, intercepting Borah quarterback Jake Standlee, who returned last week from a broken wrist, on three consecutive pass attempts.
Edwards’ short touchdown run and Shilo Morgan’s 17-yarder – carrying a defender on his back for the final 5 yards – put the Vikings up 24-14 late in the third.
Borah stormed back, sparked by Logan Miller’s 52-yard punt return for a touchdown. Austin Bolt took over at quarterback and broke 50- and 74-yard scoring runs, giving the Lions a 34-24 advantage with 7:08 left.
“It opens your eyes to how quick you can be done playing high school football,” Friesz said. “It’s good to see our team can go through some adversity.”
The Vikings marched methodically downfield before Edwards lobbed a 5-yard TD pass to Jake Brown. CdA made another defensive stop, thanks in part to a bad snap resulting in an 18-yard loss.
The Vikings took over at their 45 and completed their improbable comeback.
Edwards passed for 320 yards, finding Hagel eight times for 73 yards. Morgan added 99 yards rushing.
Bolt had 156 rushing yards to go with 130 receiving yards. Ellis Magnuson had a 66-yard punt return for a score and a 67-yard touchdown reception in the first half. Also Borah’s punter, he took off on a 65-yard run after fielding a low snap.
“Finding a way to win is huge,” Amos said. “They have big-play guys, they have some players, and they showed it. That was a hell of a game, and an ugly game.”
Mountain View defeated Post Falls 57-0 on Friday. No other details were reported.