There were no red zone woes and penalty problems for the Pirates this time around.
West Side exploded for seven touchdowns in the opening half and never looked back en route to a 62-16 drubbing of Soda Springs in a 2A Fifth District football game on Friday night in Soda Springs. In the process, the Pirates (6-0, 2-0) were able to extend their winning streak to 16.
The Pirates were able to clean some things up from last week’s 7-0 triumph over Bear River on the road. West Side failed to score any points on five trips to the red zone and was penalized 13 times for 105 yards.
“Yeah, that was kind of our focus all week was finishing drives, especially once we got into the red zone, and not hurting ourselves with penalties,” WS head coach Tyson Moser said. “We ended up tonight with only two penalties, compared to 13 a week ago, so I’m happy with the kids for taking what we did in practice and putting into the game, and cleaning things up.”
West Side ran the ball it will against Soda Springs (1-3, 0-2) as it racked up 385 yards and eight touchdowns on 52 attempts. Cage Brokens led the way with 120 yards on 12 carries, while Parker Henderson chipped in with 63 yards on 13 attempts. Henderson powered his way into the end zone from 1 yard out on a trio of occasions.
Christian Plancarte had a pair of short scoring runs for the Pirates, who got a 51-yard sprint to paydirt from Easton Shurtliff and a 7-yarder from Brokens. Brokens also hauled in a 10-yard scoring pass from Blaize Brown, who completed 7 of 8 passes for 85 yards. Brown had a 3-yard TD run on West Side’s first possession of the game.
The Pirates, who got 42 receiving yards from Bryler Shurtliff, didn’t turn the ball en route to their highest-scoring game of the 2020 campaign.
Henderson intercepted a pass for the West Side defense, while Wes Millburn recovered a fumble. The Cardinals finished with 216 yards of total offense — 148 of them on two long scoring scampers by Scott Hunsaker.
West Side will now have its bye week before and then return to action on Friday, Oct. 16, at home against Aberdeen.
“Yeah, we’re ready for (our bye week),” Moser said. “It’s been a long season so far and, you know, we don’t have any serious injuries, just a lot of the regular bumps and bruises that comes with football. And it’s time for a break and to let the kids get away from football for at least four days, and just not think about it and do something different. It’s just good for the mind, good for the body to let them get a little break for a week, and hopefully go hard for another six weeks.”
DIGGERS 34, INDIANS 22
For the second consecutive week, missed opportunities offensively and explosive plays by the opposition proved to be too much for Preston to overcome — this time at home. Reigning 3A state champion Sugar-Salem scored on explosive passes of 66 and 64 yards, and Preston failed to capitalize on two straight drives inside Sugar-Salem’s 12-yard line in the opening half.
As a result, the Diggers (5-0) improved to 3-0 against 4A competition this season. Sugar-Salem jumped out to a 20-0 lead in the first half and 34-7 advantage early in the fourth quarter before Preston (2-3) rallied late.
“Tough game tonight,” PHS head coach Eric Thorson said. “When playing a team that is 25-2 over the past three years, there’s a reason for that. It’s not luck. They are a great program. (Our) players practiced well this week and, for the second week in a row, we felt the difference was just a few plays. Very proud of our players for taking on the challenge of playing top-rated teams.”
Chevy Nelson put Preston on the scoreboard courtesy of a 38-yard pass from Brecker Knapp on a fourth-and-forever play with 4:07 remaining in the third quarter. The Diggers immediately bounced back with the aforementioned 64-yard pass to increase their advantage to 27-7.
Tyler Lindhardt snared a 12-yard TD pass from Knapp early in the fourth quarter despite being interfered with. Knapp was then successful on the ensuing two-point conversion run.
Preston’s final touchdown was a beautiful play on fourth and 25. Cole Harris caught a pass from Knapp in stride over the middle of the field, broke a tackle and was off to the races for a 52-yarder to paydirt. Harris would have come up short of the first down had he not slipped that tackle.
Brecker ended up throwing for 262 yards and finishing with 79 of the Indians’ 127 rushing yards. Harris racked up 130 yards on his five receptions. Additionally, Harris blocked a 25-yard field goal, blocked an extra point attempt and contributed with three tackles for loss, including one sack.
Emery Thorson also shined defensively for Preston as he chipped in with eight tackles, including two for a loss, and broke up a pass. Davon Inglet and Tait Rawlings teamed up for 17 tackles for the Indians.
BEARS 21, MUSTANGS 0
Missed opportunities doomed Mountain Crest (1-7, 0-4) at home against Bear River, which scored all of its points after halftime. The Mustangs didn’t capitalize on either of their trips inside the red zone — the second time after they patiently marched down to the Bear River 2-yard line.
Both defenses completely dominated the game in the opening half as neither offense gained more than 12 yards. However, the Bears (4-4, 1-3) got their rushing attack going in the second half as Kace Jones scored from 3 yards out, and Chance Udy sprinted to the end zone from 14 yards out.
Bear River’s final touchdown was an 82-yard bomb from Josh Payne to Gabe Dwaileebe with 4:40 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Mustangs only trailed 7-0 in the third quarter when they advanced the pigskin to the Bear River 2. Two big screen passes from Preston Lofthouse to Elijah Jackson got the hosts going, and third-down receptions by Emilio Veater and Mace McBride were huge. McBride’s diving 14-yard catch on third and 10 put Mountain Crest in first-and-goal territory.
Unfortunately for the Mustangs, Garrison Marble picked off a Lofthouse pass three plays later.
In the first quarter, Mountain Crest got a nice diving reception from Tony Lopez on a third-and-eight play to put the hosts in scoring territory. However, the Mustangs came up empty when the Bears stuffed them on a fourth-and-one run inside the 20.
Payne and Mountain Crest signal caller Zeb Bensen faced constant pressure during the first half. Mountain Crest’s defense got sacks from Veater, Stockton Nielsen, Kolmyn Foulger and Avery Wells in the first two quarters.
This was Bear River’s first victory over Mountain Crest since 1996.
PIRATES 62, CARDINALS 16
Friday at Soda Springs, Idaho
West Side 21 28 7 6 — 62
S. Springs 0 8 8 0 — 16
WS — Blaize Brown 3 run (Jackson Stewart kick).
WS — Cage Brokens 7 run (Stewart kick).
WS — Parker Henderson 1 run (Stewart kick).
WS — Easton Shurtliff 51 run (Stewart kick.
WS — Brokens 10 pass from Brown (Stewart kick).
WS — Henderson 1 run (Stewart kick)
SS — Scott Hunsaker 64 run (Hunsaker run).
WS — Henderson 1 run (Stewart kick).
WS — Cristian Plancarte 4 run (Stewart kick).
SS — Hunsaker 84 run (run good).
WS — Plancarte 2 run (kick failed).
DIGGERS 34, INDIANS 22
Friday at Preston
Sugar-Salem 7 13 7 7 — 34
Preston 0 0 7 15 — 22
P — Chevy Nelson 38 pass from Brecker Knapp (Owen Pierson kick), 4:07.
P — Tyler Lindhardt 12 pass from Knapp (Knapp run), 8:12.
P — Cole Harris 52 pass from Knapp (Pierson kick), 3:10.
BEARS 21, MUSTANGS 0
Friday at Hyrum
Bear River 0 0 7 14 — 21
Mtn. Crest 0 0 0 0 — 0
BR — Kace Jones 3 run (kick good), 9:09.
BR — Chance Udy 14 run (kick good), 11:48.
BR — Gabe Dwaileebe 82 pass from Josh Payne (kick good), 4:40.