A trio of huge plays helped West Side’s football team make a big statement to the rest of the 2A classification.
The Pirates scored three touchdowns in the third quarter en route to burying Bear Lake, 26-0, on Friday night in Dayton. It was West Side’s third shutout in its last four games.
In a showdown between the third- and fourth-ranked teams in the latest 2A Coaches Poll, it was the No. 3 Pirates who asserted themselves. Additionally, West Side clinched at least a share of the 2A Fifth District title.
“I never dreamed in a million years that we’d shut them out,” WS head coach Tyson Moser said. “They’re a very explosive. Very seldom do we play a quarterback like this in 2A that throw the ball like this kid can, and they’ve got great skill players that can catch it. We just hoped to limit the big plays and I never thought we’d keep them scoreless, but our defense and our defensive (coaches did an outstanding job).”
The Pirates (6-1, 3-0) were clinging to a 8-0 lead in the third quarter when Bear Lake quarterback Owen Teuscher made an ill-advised decision. Teuscher was being sacked by Jaxon Moser when he threw the ball to West Side defensive end Easton Henderson, who returned in 72 yards to the house — the first of two West Side interception returns for touchdowns in the quarter.
The Pirates struck again with 4:08 remaining in the quarter on a 21-yard back shoulder fade from Ryan Beckstead to Bryler Shurtliff.
West Side was celebrating again a few plays later. Blaize Brown made a nice play on a Teuscher pass, picked it off and returned it 28 yards for a pick-six.
The Pirates marched inside the Bear Lake 2-yard line in the fourth quarter, but fumbled the ball. It was West Side’s third turnover of the game, but the damage had already been done.
West Side scored its first touchdown of the game on a 2-yard run by Cage Brokens with 4:12 remaining in the first quarter. Brokens had another memorable performance as he gained 140 yards on 23 carries. The Pirates got inside the red zone again at the end of the second quarter, but an INT thwarted that drive.
The Pirates stopped the Bears (6-2, 3-1) in a pair of fourth-down plays in the opening quarter, one of which was inside the red zone. West Side’s defense has only allowed 5.71 points an outing this season.
Coming into this game, Bear Lake’s defense had only given up 6.14 points per game and had blanked a trio of opponents. This is the first time this season a team has scored more than 14 points against the Bears.
POCATELLO 42, PRESTON 26
Pocatello scored 18 points on three Preston turnovers in the first half and never looked back en route to a Senior Night victory at Idaho State’s Holt Arena. Preston (5-3, 2-2) also coughed the ball up once in the second half, and Poky (4-4, 1-2) took advantage of that takeaway.
Jaydn Downs shined for the Gate City Indians as he rushed for four touchdowns and threw two more. Downs completed 25 of 35 passes for 388 yards for a Pocatello offense that played turnover-free football.
Pocatello jumped out to a commanding 30-6 advantage and led 30-12 at the half. Downs racked up 230 yards passing in the first two quarters alone.
Andrew Iverson found paydirt for Preston on a 5-yard run in the first quarter. The Franklin County Indians doubled their score in the second quarter on a wild 25-yard pass from Ty Hyde to Isaiah Smith. The pass was a little behind Smith, who got his hands on the ball, which deflected off a Poky defensive back and back into Smith’s hands.
Hyde found Zay Davis on a swing pass for a 12-yard score in the third quarter.
Brecker Knapp quarterbacked Preston to a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Preston’s second-string signal caller rolled to his right and hooked up with Garrett Ward for a 4-yard TD. Ward finished with 77 yards on seven receptions.
Poky limited Iverson, Preston’s standout tailback, to 43 yards on 10 carries.
It was a breakthrough performance for the Gate City Indians, who have lost three games this season in nailbiting fashion, including two in overtime.