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BLACKFOOT â€” Well the opening round of the 2A and 3A state football tournament are in the books and as expected, Firth, Shelley and Snake River all advanced through the great eight playoffs and into the quarterfinal round.
Blackfoot won their final regular season game in the snow globe bowl with Rigby and they will kick off their playoff run on Friday. My fearless predictions were a perfect 5-0 last week, although I must confess I was hoping that Aberdeen would spoil my perfect week with a road win at Declo but alas, that was not to be. So, without further ado, my breakdown for this weeks intriguing week of playoff football.
AMMON â€“ With a 2A state tournament volleyball title in sight the Firth Cougars took to the Hillcrest court on Saturday morning looking to complete that goal.
At the end of a very emotional day on the court, Firth came up just short of that goal as they brought home the second place trophy after losing to Nampa Christian in both the semi-final and championship games.
â€śIâ€™m not going to lie, whenever you come to state without a single player who has ever been to state it can be emotionally draining,â€ť Firth head coach Carla Reeves said. â€śThat was my one concern coming in and I have been pretty hard on them all season long trying to get them mentally and physically prepared. They are a strong conditioned team so they had that covered I think what got us was the emotional side of things but they never lost face out there, they never gave up.â€ť
POCATELLO â€“ Snake Riverâ€™s Caleb Phillips and Pablo Vega recorded back-to-back sacks to preserve the Panthersâ€™ 28-24 win against Sugar-Salem on Saturday in the first round of the 3A high school football playoffs.
Trailing by four, Sugar-Salem threatened a comeback facing a 3rd-and-12 at the Snake River 45 with 3:50 left in the fourth quarter at Holt Arena. Phillips dropped Sugar-Salem quarterback Teancum Gibson on third down for a 5-yard loss. And after Sugar-Salem burned its final timeout, Vega, a portly defensive lineman, tracked down a scrambling Gibson from behind, dove and knicked his heel for the fourth-down sack.
â€śOur defense had to come up big there to get a stop,â€ť Snake River coach Jeff Dalley said. â€śWe hadnâ€™t stopped them all night. They drove the ball on us and scored. But the defense bowed their necks and came up with a stop.â€ť
POCATELLO â€” Dominant. That is the word that best describes the performance that the Shelley Russet football squad had on Saturday evening against a woefully overmatched Buhl opponent in their 60-7 opening round win over the Indians.
"We're a pretty aggressive football team and it paid off tonight," Shelley head coach Travis Hobson said. "Honestly on film Buhl looked real good so we were able to show the kids some film and show them some good things that they could do now as coaches we saw some things that we thought that we could exploit. I thought that Buhl was aggressive to a point where we could screen and I didn't think that they could cover our deep ball and in their cover three I felt that we could hit them up the sea
RIGBY â€“ The Blackfoot Broncos closed out their regular season with a 41-6 road win at a snowy Rigby High School on Friday night.
Playing in a heavy snowfall all evening long the Broncos built a 28 point halftime advantage and then coasted, or sledded home to finish the regular season at 8-1.
Blackfoot got on the board on just the second play from scrimmage when Alonzo Ramos hit a streaking Matt Peterson in the middle of the field for a 60 yard touchdown strike.
â€śItâ€™s hard to come out and play in these conditions but you just have to fight off the cold and try hard to focus and execute as best as possible,â€ť Ramos said. â€śItâ€™s really hard to pass the ball on a night like tonight.â€ť
POCATELLO â€” The Firth Cougars opened their 2012 2A state football playoffs on Thursday evening in Holt Arena where they scored early and they scored often in a 63-14 landslide victory over the Vikings of Valley.
It was a game of big plays for the Cougars as they scored 7 touchdowns which were longer than 20 yards including a 5 touchdown evening from 2A player of the year candidate Mitch Orme.
And away we go! As most of you football crazed fans in Bingham County are aware of, the state football playoffs begin tonight! The top ranked and undefeated Firth Cougars will open Bingham County's run at the state tournament when they kick off against Valley at Idaho State's Holt Arena at 8:15 p.m.
Aberdeen will play at Declo on Friday evening while Blackfoot will be closing out their regular season at Rigby before they open the 4A state playoffs next week at home against the second place team out of district three which is currently Bishop Kelly.
On Saturday, the 3A schools kick into action with defending 3A state champion Snake River taking on Sugar-Salem at 4 and the current second ranked team in the state, Shelley taking on Buhl immediately following. Both of those games will be in Holt Arena.
As with seasons past, I will now gaze into my crystal ball and make my bold and fearless predictions as to what will unfold over this glorious football weekend.
IDAHO FALLS â€” The 4A boys soccer consolation championship match went as far as it could go on a blustery Saturday morning as the Blackfoot Broncos and the Jerome Tigers played dead even through 100 minutes of play before the Broncos prevailed by winning the match 4-2 on penalty kicks.
"I felt that this game summed up our entire tournament," Blackfoot head coach Liam Pope said. "We had lots of chances but we were just wasteful in front of the goal and then we have a little lapse on the defensive end and give up a cheap goal. Honestly, I don't think that this game should have gone to penalty kicks."
BLACKFOOT â€” The Blackfoot Broncos got back in the saddle on Friday night as they shook off their first loss of the season by dominating conference rival Pocatello 34-13.
"I'm pretty happy with the way we played," Blackfoot head coach Stan Buck said. "The defense played well and really got us going in the game. They made lots of stops which then got our offense going."
IDAHO FALLS â€” On Thursday, the defending 4A state champion Blackfoot Broncos went 80 minutes of play without a goal. That rarity spilled over into Friday's loser out contest against Bishop Kelly for 60 minutes of play but in the sixty-first minute, the Blackfoot offense erupted as they tallied a trio of goals in a fifteen minute span leading to a 3-1 victory.
"We have a running joke in England that you wait around for an hour for a bus and then suddenly two arrive at the same time and that's exactly what it felt like," Blackfoot head coach Liam Pope said. "It went through my head, I would be lying to say that it didn't but I'm standing there and I'm looking at Andy and Gordies and Jordan and Berra and Chewy and I'm like, there's so much attacking talent here, how are we not getting any goals?"