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Vikings have had to show grit in 4th quarter

Sports Editor | November 12, 2010 8:00 PM

If Saturday's state 5A semifinal football game between Coeur d'Alene High and Capital of Boise evolves into a tight one in the fourth quarter at Bronco Stadium in Boise, the Vikings can turn to their experience gained in other close games this season.

At least five of Coeur d'Alene's games have hung in the balance in the final quarter.

"I think there's no doubt our schedule has prepared us for pretty much everything; our kids won't be taken by surprise by anything," Coeur d'Alene coach Shawn Amos said.

Capital, on the other hand, has won all 10 of its games by an average of 32.1 points. Its closest game was a 39-20 victory over Borah of Boise.

"Last year, we hadn't really (been in a close game) either," said Eagles coach Todd Simis, whose team lost to Eagle in the state title game. "If this goes deep into the game, it'll definitely be interesting to see how we react."

Top-ranked Coeur d'Alene (9-1) and second-ranked Capital (10-0) play Saturday at 11 a.m. PST at BSU. The game will be webcast on

If Coeur d'Alene wins, the Vikings will play for the state title next week at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, against


the winner of the other semifinal pitting Rocky Mountain (9-1) of Meridian at Centennial (8-2) tonight. The Vikings will be able to watch that game, after arriving in Boise and practicing.

While Coeur d'Alene likes to run the spread offense and throw the ball around, Capital prefers to be more of an option team. Eagles running back Corey Bell has rushed for 858 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also plays strong safety, and has verbally committed to Boise State, which is interested in him on defense.

Running back Jordan Storrs has run for 11 TDs. Quarterback Riley Magner has rushed for 572 and eight touchdowns, and passed for 1,233 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Manger missed most of last season following two surgeries to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

"They've been a dominant team; they're a good football team with a lot of weapons. They're very aggressive and have a fast defense," Amos said. "I feel really good about our defense, they've pretty much answered every challenge. We have faith in our ability to play the run and the pass equallly well."

Both teams, coaches agree, feature quick defenses that like to fly to the ball. Capital has played all but one game this season on artificial turf, and Coeur d'Alene's only game on turf was at Skyview of Vancouver, Wash. Both coaches say the turf favors neither team.

Coeur d'Alene junior quarterback Chad Chalich has passed for 2,534 yards and 30 touchdowns in his first season as starter. His top receivers are Drew Turbin (51 receptions, 651 yards, 4 TDs), Jake Matheson (46 receptions, 819 yards, 7 TDs), Deon Watson (31 catches, 428 yards, 3 TDs) and Matt Lambert (30 receptions, 466 yards, 9 TDs).

"We haven't really seen a team that has the ability to throw the ball all over the field like they can," said Simis, in his seventh season as Capital coach. "We've played spread teams, and teams that tried to throw, but not to the success that they (the Vikings) do."

Simis, who played quarterback at Gooding High, Idaho State and Willamette (Salem, Ore.), said he was impressed with Chalich, who has also rushed for 418 yards and five touchdowns.

"He jumped out at me right away," Simis said. "The first tape I watched was against Vallivue, and I was impressed with his accuracy and his mobility. He's a playmaker."

Lest anyone think all the Vikings do is pass, Zach Keiser has rushed for 963 yards and 16 TDs for Coeur d'Alene.

Both teams have beaten Vallivue and Lake City. Coeur d'Alene won at Vallivue 37-20, and Capital beat Vallivue 40-0 last week at BSU in the first round of the state playoffs.

Coeur d'Alene beat Lake City 19-14 to win the 5A Inland Empire League title two weeks ago, and won again 45-13 last week in the first round of the state playoffs. Capital beat Lake City 32-7 on Sept. 10 at Bronco Stadium.

"We thought we could beat Capital," Lake City coach Van Troxel said. "I think they (the Vikings) have got a shot to get to where they want to go, but they're going to have to play like they did (last week) from here on out."