COEUR d’ALENE — Kyler Prendergast picked off the underthrown, desperation pass at the 11-yard line on the final play of the first half. Then the fun began.
Prendergast, a Coeur d’Alene High senior wide receiver/defensive back, headed upfield, then veered down the left sideline nearly to the end zone.
As he was being tackled near the Madison 5-yard line, he tried to lateral to a teammate, but the ball bounced off the teammate. Caleb Beggerly, trailing the play, reached down for the loose ball around the 4 and wound up in the end zone with it for a touchdown to complete the wild play.
On an untimed down, no less.
Madison was down just two touchdowns and driving at the time. But Prendergast’s effort, and all the madness that ensued, put Coeur d’Alene up 30-10 at the half.
The Vikings went on to bury the Bobcats from Rexburg 66-22, in the quarterfinals of the state 5A football playoffs on Friday night at Viking Field.
Coeur d’Alene (8-2) will play Mountain View (10-0) on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow in a semifinal game. Both teams shared the No. 1 ranking in this week’s final statewide media poll.
“He just underthrew it, and I got there,” Prendergast said of how the bizarre play unfolded. “I saw a wide-open field on the left side, and got some good blocks. And then, he (a Madison defender) got me by my shoulder and started to pull me down, he turned me around. I saw two (Viking) players and I just yelled my buddy Ross’ (Chadderdon) name, and threw it at his chest, because I knew there was zero seconds. I guess it bounced off him and Beggerly picked it up and scored with it. It was crazy.”
A roughing-the-passer penalty on Coeur d’Alene on the (apparent) final play of the half gave Madison (7-4) an extra play from the Coeur d’Alene 16. The Bobcats were called for illegal procedure, then there were offsetting penalties on the next play. Finally, Madison quarterback Jordan Porter threw under pressure on the next play, and the pass came up well short of the goal line.
Prendergast took it from there. Then Beggerly did.
“They had three opportunities, or whatever, with no time on the clock,” Beggerly said. “So we were all pretty mad. I didn’t see Kyler intercept it at first, so I was just standing there, then I saw him start taking off, so I started running, and he was starting to get tackled down by the 5. He tried to give it to Ross, and it bounced off Ross’ chest. So I picked it up around the 5 and I was fumbling it all the way into the end zone.
“The coolest part was everybody on the field, even though we got all those penalties (Coeur d’Alene, in its jubilation, was flagged for excessive celebration after the touchdown),” Beggerly added. “That was the coolest part by far. It was a pretty insane play.”
“I honestly didn’t know what happened; somebody had to tell me,” Coeur d’Alene coach Shawn Amos said of the play.
The Vikings overcame a sluggish — for them, anyway — first half in which they lost a fumble and actually punted three times. Coeur d’Alene scored touchdowns on its first five drives of the second half.
“Honestly, we were a little undisciplined at the start of the game,” Amos said. “We made more mistakes than we should have made. As we move on, that’s something we definitely have to clean up. But our kids responded, kept playing hard. You can make mistakes, as long as you respond to them.”
Coeur d’Alene was penalized 12 times for 120 yards. The Vikings out-gained Madison 535-322, and held the Bobcats to 62 rushing yards on 34 attempts.
Madison, which upset Coeur d’Alene two years ago in the quarterfinals at Viking Field, capped a 14-play drive off the opening kickoff with a field goal.
The Vikings responded one play later, Prendergast faking the cornerback and hauling in an 85-yard TD pass from Colson Yankoff.
Yankoff passed for 285 yards and four touchdowns. Twelve Vikings caught passes, with Chadderdon, Derek Gove and Sam Matheson also scoring via the air. Shilo Morgan ran for a pair of scores.
Coeur d’Alene’s defense kept the pressure on Porter all night, and the Viking offensive line shined as usually, the hosts rushing for 246 yards.
“Our kids kept battling, and stayed patient, played disciplined in the second half, and it made a big difference,” Amos said.
Joe Dougherty caught 11 passes for 163 yards and a pair of touchdowns for Madison.
Mountain View had to rally to beat Rigby 14-13 at home in its quarterfinal game. By bracket, Coeur d’Alene is the home team, but with weather conditions being what they are in November — game time temperature Friday night was 30 degrees, with a skiff of snow on the ground — the Vikings agreed to move the game to the dome.
“I don’t care who it is or where it is, we’re still playing,” Amos said.
Madison 3 7 6 6 — 22
Coeur d’Alene 8 22 19 17 — 66
Mad — FG Chris Edstrom 32, 8:53
Cd’A — Kyler Prendergast 85 pass from Colson Yankoff (Yankoff run), 8:30
Cd’A — Ross Chadderdon 13 pass from Yankoff (Caleb Beggerly run), 6:09
Mad — Joe Dougherty 4 pass from Jordan Porter (Edstrom kick), 3:29.
Cd’A — Derek Gove 5 pass from Yankoff (Beggerly run), :39
Cd’A — Beggerly 4 fumble return (pass failed), :00
Cd’A — Sam Matheson 18 pass from Yankoff (pass failed), 10:54
Cd’A — Shilo Morgan 1 run (kick failed), 7:46
Mad — Karson Hastings 4 pass from Porter (pass failed), 5:51
Cd’A — Beggerly 12 run (Seth Harrison kick), 4:11
Cd’A — Morgan 2 run (Harrison kick), 11:25
Cd’A — Brennen Crawford 2 run (Harrison kick), 8:54
Mad — Dougherty 15 pass from Porter, 8:05
Cd’A — FG Harrison 34, 3:37
RUSHING — Mad, Moseley 16-49, Porter 11-(minus 2), Hastings 1-4, Edstrom 4-10, Cordero 2-1. Cd’A, Morgan 11-60, Yankoff 12-88, Beggerly 7-67, Gove 1-6, Crawford 5-16, Edwards 6-9.
PASSING — Mad, Porter 22-41-1-260. Cd’A, Yankoff 21-30-0-285, Edwards 1-1-0-4.
RECEIVING — Mad, Hastings 9-81, Dougherty 11-163, Backstein 1-7, Edstrom 1-9. Cd’A, Prendergast 1-85, Morgan 2-3, Ramseyer 4-28, Kettell 1-18, K. Hegel 1-13, Thompson 1-4, Chadderdon 1-13, Beggerly 2-5, Gove 1-5, Matheson 2-40, Linehan 3-40, G. Hegel 3-25.