Following a fall to the Minico Spartans and loss of Scott Dunn to a broken arm, the Preston Indians will host Burley on Friday. They invite the public to come cheer them on as they hope to secure a place in the season play offs.
The Minico Spartans, a team statistically tied with Preston this football season, ended Preston’s four-win streak. Minico has scored an average of 37 points per game so far this season, being the highest scoring offence in the Great Basin East Pod Conference by outscoring their opponents by an average of 35 points per game.
But Preston’s defense held Minico below their average score range, and matched Minico’s strong statistics and potential of not allowing opponents offence to rack up points. The game was the match up of high school football that fans didn‘t want to miss.
Indian offense started out the game strong and drove the ball down to half field where it was turned over on downs. Preston’s defense fought hard and didn’t allow Minico to gain much yardage and on the Spartan’s first pass attempt, Preston’s Hunter Wright intercepted to ball and ran it back 20 yards. Preston then rushed the ball into the end zone to score the first points of the game.
Preston’s defense came back out to battle Minico after the return on Preston’s own 36 yard line. Minico’s offense ran the ball and took a big hit by Zay Davis, the ball was fumbled and recovered by Wright at the 44-yard line. Minico answered back by causing Iverson to fumble and gain possession. Preston’s defense held Minico with the help of a hard hit from Scott Dunn to turn the ball back over to Preston’s offense to end the first quarter.
The second quarter showed a strong offence from the Indians as Andrew Iverson lead a long drive of 15 carries for 59 yards. Hyde completed passes to Cole Harris and Isaiah Smith. Hyde then completed to Dunn. Preston fumbled the ball and Minico recovered.
Minico’s Raylynn Chandler burst through the line and ran 85 yards down the field. The only person who could catch him was Scott Dunn, who leapt and wrapped his arms around Chandler. He was brought down at the third yard line. Dunn didn’t get up from the attack. During the tackle, Dunn’s arm was caught between Chandlers calves. The combined force of both boys and Chandler’s leg motion, snapped Dunn’s forearm. The medical team had to help him off the field and to the hospital. Minico scored in the next play and completed a P.A.T, putting them ahead by one.
The Spartans took advantage of the Indian’s shaken emotions over Dunn’s injury and scored two more touchdowns. Preston pulled together and Iverson made a 95-yard touchdown on a kick return and Garrett Ward’s PAT put the score 20 — 13 for Minico at the half.
Minico made their final touchdown of the game at the top of the third quarter. The Indians held true to the second half being their strong game. Their defense dominated the rest of the third quarter with Zay Davis and Conner Shaffer leading the tackles and Brock Shenk sacking Minico’s quarterback.
A powerful Indian offense came back out for the fourth quarter and drove the ball toward the goal line with the help of Ward, Smith, and Gordon Knapp. Ty Hyde completed a pass to Ward who scored for Preston.
Again, Preston’s defense held Minico and quickly turned the ball back over to Indians possession. With only minutes on the clock and Preston trailing 27 — 19, Hyde lead the team with the help again from Iverson, Harris, and Ward. Hyde completed, this time to Justin Inglet and followed with Iverson rushing into the end zone to put the score 27 — 25. Preston set up for a two-point conversion to tie the game but Minico burst through the line and brought down Hyde. The game ended with Preston down by two.
“Minico is a very respectable program,” said Eric Thorson, head coach to the Indians. “Hats off to them for fighting to end. On the same note I’m very proud of our players for fighting to the end as well. I love everyone of them. I think when you play a good team you get good football. You want to end up on the wining side of that, but unfortunately tonight we didn’t.”
We didn’t come out as strong as we wanted to, but we still had a good start this game,” said senior player Garrett Ward. “We had a decent week in practice to prepare. Minico is ranked the best team in our district right now. We didn’t play sharp enough to beat them and gave up a couple chances on some good plays. They out-ran us and were able to score those few times. It just came down to the wire and we fought hard and we didn’t give up.”
“We have a habit of falling a little short in the first half and we just didn’t get away with it tonight,” said Gordon Knapp. “Kudos to our team though. We worked really hard and fought to the very end. We just fell short this time.”
Dunn was taken into surgery the following morning to repair a broken radius and ulna with plates and screws on both bones. He will recover during the remainder of the season.
Hyde passed close to 190 yards for the game and Iverson ran 160 yards to rival the predicted statistics of Minico.