ELLIOTT: Making the play when that time comes

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It kind of goes without saying that at this point in the season, whether it’s volleyball or football, teams have a pretty good idea of what their strengths and weaknesses might be.

For some, it’s a fast defense, or a fast offense.

Now heavy into league play, those impact players and positions are coming into sight.

WHEN IT comes to the Coeur d’Alene High football team, fresh off a 55-18 win over the Lewiston Bengals to open 5A Inland Empire League play last Friday at Viking Field, it was almost a complete effort.

“Our defense has been flying around and playing good football,” Coeur d’Alene coach Shawn Amos said. “We had some mental mistakes and blown coverages as well, so we just need to play cleaner.”

This Friday, the team’s lone road trip in league play will involve traveling some 2 miles across U.S. 95 to play at city rival Lake City.

“They’re game two, and it’s just as important as this one,” Amos said. “We’ve got to worry about ourselves and getting better. It doesn’t really matter who it is, we’ve just got to win and move on to the next one.”

Senior linebacker Ross Chadderdon had a strip sack for a fumble recovery early in last Friday’s win.

“We’re definitely keeping our heads forward,” Chadderdon said. “We’re not getting ahead of ourselves and need to continue to prepare for next week.”

Chadderdon’s job on special teams was made a little easier after kicker Seth Harrison had five kickoffs for touchbacks against Lewiston.

“It definitely helps us when the other team gets the ball at the 20-yard line,” said Chadderdon of Harrison’s effort last Friday. “He did a great job and it makes it a lot tougher on the other team when they’ve got to go further down the field to score.”

SINCE STARTING Northwest Athletic Conference play, the North Idaho College volleyball team has won nine straight headed into tonight’s East Region match at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake.

“We’re getting better each day, but we’re progressing really slow,” NIC coach Kelsey Stanley said. “Which is fine right now. As long as we’re at our peak level during the NWAC Championships, we’ll be fine. We’ll have our ups and downs during the year, but as long as we’re improving every day and at our best at the end of the season, that’s all we want.”

The top four teams from each region advance to the conference championships Nov. 16-19 in Tacoma.

“We’re playing cleaner, smarter and we just have more energy on the court,” Stanley said.

Something that if things continue the way they have, will pay off when they need it to the most.

Jason Elliott is a sports writer for the Coeur d’Alene Press. He can be reached by telephone at (208) 664-8176, Ext. 2020 or via email at jelliott@cdapress.com. Follow him on Twitter @JECdAPress.

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