HS football: Highland burned for 500 yards in 42-20 loss at Coeur d’Alene
COEUR d’ALENE — It wasn’t a revenge game. Far from it.
For one thing, most of these Coeur d’Alene kids didn’t play in last year’s loss to Highland in the 5A state championship game.
And, as Vikings coach Shawn Amos said, most kids can’t remember what happened last week, much less last November.
But what it was, was a nice adjustment by Coeur d’Alene after a couple of early slip-ups on defense.
After settling down on defense, the Vikings, ranked third in 5A, churned out 500 yards on offense and ran over top-ranked Highland 42-20 on Friday night at Viking Field.
“The three things we want our kids to control is, play with effort, play with discipline and respond to adversity — and we got it right away,” Amos said. “Our kids played a really good football game, against a really good football team. That’s a quality win.”
Kale Edwards passed for 244 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed for 115 yards and three scores for Coeur d’Alene (5-0). Shilo Morgan ran for 141 yards, and caught a pair of TD passes. Together, they had all 256 of the Vikings’ rushing yardage.
Highland (4-1), which held Coeur d’Alene to one touchdown and 305 yards of offense in last year’s title game, had a hard time wrapping up Edwards and Morgan — or pretty much any of the Viking backs and receivers, for that matter.
The loss snaps Highland’s 13-game winning streak that dated back to Sept. 1 of last season. Coeur d’Alene’s 42 points Friday night are the most the Rams have given up since a 45-38 home loss to Lewiston to open the 2016 season.
“I was a little disappointed in our effort,” Highland coach Gino Mariani said. “We got down after missing some tackles, and got down after the turnovers, and we didn’t pop back like we should have. It’s a lesson learned, and we’ll get better from it.”
Highland scored on the first play from scrimmage after Drake Hill caught a quick pass from Kobe Tracy, broke a tackle and was off to the races for an 80-yard touchdown.
After Edwards tied it with a 13-yard TD run, Andrew VanSickle caught a short pass in the right flat from Tracy on Highland’s third drive of the game, juked a defender and sped off for a 65-yard touchdown and a 14-7 lead.
But after that, Highland managed just one score in its final nine drives. The Rams punted four times, missed a field goal, turned it over on downs once, and had two passes intercepted — one by Edwards, one by Hunter Brett.
“No, just doing their job,” Amos said. “They have a lot of good athletes on that team that can make you miss, and are tough to tackle, and sometimes that happens — you just hope it’s not on the first play of the game.”
Tracy passed for 166 yards in the first quarter, 324 for the game, and was under pressure from Nate Burch and Ryan Linehan as the game wore on.
“It was more the mistakes we were making,” Mariani said. “They’ve got some athletes up front — 82 (Burch) and 85 (Linehan), they get off the ball so fast, and they’re so strong and athletic, they put pressure on you fast, so you have to make quick decisions.”
Meanwhile, Coeur d’Alene scored on its first two drives of the second half to pull away. On fourth and 1 from the Rams’ 11, Edwards ran right behind his three blocking backs, got the first down, kept churning and powered into the end zone.
After stopping Highland on downs, Coeur d’Alene marched 70 yards in eight plays, with Morgan taking a screen pass from Edwards and scoring untouched from 10 yards out.
Colbey Nosworthy caught 10 passes for 129 yards for Coeur d’Alene, including a 12-yard TD from Edwards in the second quarter.
Viking kicker Gabe Nazemi ran for a 2-point conversion on a busted play. A low snap caused holder Carter Friesz to scoop the ball up and run around in the backfield. He threw to Trent Elstad, who was nearly tackled at the 5-yard line. As he was going down, he lateraled to Nazemi, who ran it in for two points.
“We’ve been pretty blessed,” Amos said. “We just have a lot of kids that can play, and we don’t lean on just one player. We’re able to spread the ball around, we have a lot of playmakers.”
Coeur d’Alene is idle next week, then opens 5A Inland Empire League play Oct. 5 at Lewiston. Highland opens 5A District 5-6 play Friday at Thunder Ridge.
COEUR D’ALENE 42, HIGHLAND 20
Highland 14 6 0 0 — 20
Coeur d’Alene 15 14 13 0 — 42
High — Drake Hill 80 pass from Kobe Tracy (Logan Armstrong kick), 11:48
Cd’A — Kale Edwards 13 run (Gabe Nazemi kick), 5:41
High — Andrew VanSickle 65 pass from Tracy (Armstrong kick), 4:17
Cd’A — Edwards 1 run (Nazemi run), 2:39
Cd’A — Colbey Nosworthy 12 pass from Edwards (Nazemi kick), 11:54
High — Landon Demuzio 18 pass from Tracy (run failed), 2:13
Cd’A — Morgan 19 pass from Edwards (Nazemi kick), :18
Cd’A — Edwards 11 run (kick blocked), 8:02
Cd’A — Morgan 10 pass from Edwards (Nazemi kick), :48
RUSHING — High, Demuzio 11-72, Tracy 3-(-1), VanSickle 2-16, Garcia 3-6, Jones 3-7. Cd’A, Morgan 20-141, Edwards 21-115.
PASSING — High, Tracy 20-35-2-324. Cd’A, Edwards 20-29-0-244.
RECEIVING — Hill 5-114, VanSickle 3-80, Demuzio 7-92, Richards 3-23, Orr 1-6, Garcia 1-9. Cd’A, C. Nosworthy 10-129, Morgan 6-59, Friesz 3-26, Kay 1-30.