POCATELLO — A pair of 4A heavyweights stood toe-to-toe on Friday night inside the comfy confines of ISU's Holt Arena.
At the end of the highly anticipated match up, the defending 4A state champion Blackfoot Broncos emerged triumphant with a comfortable 35-20 victory over the Skyview Hawks.
"Looking into the season and at our area I'm thinking heck, we're as good as anybody," Blackfoot head coach Stan Buck said. "We have some potential kids that can make plays so why not us. It was just a matter of how we developed and gelled and now we're there and we are excited and happy about it."
Blackfoot opened the nights festivities by taking the opening kick off and then promptly moved the ball down the field for the games first score, a 33-yard pitch and catch from Trae Pilster to Colby Pearson.
The drive didn't start out like a scoring drive however, as Skyview sacked Pilster on the games first offensive play from scrimmage. Undaunted Pilster then connected with Pearson for the first of nine catches on the evening by Pearson.
A 20-yard run by sophomore sensation Alonzo Ramos didn't hurt the Bronco effort on the opening drive either as the Blackfoot offense had the Hawks completely off balance for the entire first drive.
"We just came out here doing everything, throwing, passing, running, whatever works." Ramos said.
Skyview responded with a nice scoring drive of their own after the Blackfoot kickoff. Utilizing a no huddle attack, the Blackfoot defense didn't give up the big play but the Hawks were able to eventually tie the game at 7-7 with 3:11 remaining in the first quarter.
"We had to stay a little vanilla there and stay on one particular defense because we didn't have the time to rotate because you don't want confusion going on," coach Buck said. "We were affective at times, could have made some plays defensively but Skyviews a good team, that's why they are here."
Blackfoot regained the lead on the last play of the first quarter when Ramos took a direct snap and then out raced the Hawks defense to the corner and down the sideline for a 58-yard touchdown scamper.
"You got to have weapons and you got to have kids that make plays to do it," coach Buck said.
The two teams then traded defensive stands in the second quarter as the game settled into a more traditional smash mouth affair. Blackfoot garnered the only score of the quarter when Pilster connected with Pearson on a 11-yard strike with 1:21 remaining in the half. A Luis Oseguera extra point made the score 21-7 Blackfoot heading into the break.
Out of the break Skyview was able to put together a 7 minute scoring drive to cut the deficit to 21-14.
Blackfoot pushed the lead back out to two scores on the first play of the fourth quarter.
On the play, Ramos took a hand off from Pilster on a play that was designed to be a half back pass. When the play didn't develop properly, Ramos showed savvy beyond his years when he didn't force the play, instead pulling the ball down, reversing field and then sprinted 13-yards for the touchdown and a 28-14 lead.
"The defense read it and shifted their whole line," Ramos said of the play. "I tried to look for Colby but I couldn't see him so I just broke it back to the right and my blockers adjusted to me and I was able to get it down the sideline."
Skyview had one last drive in them however as they took advantage of a trio of defensive penalties called on the Broncos for a 1-yard score. A missed extra point made the score 28-20 Blackfoot.
On the ensuing onsides kick attempt, the Hawk kicker whiffed on the ball but an alert Peyden Dietrich scooped up the ball for the Broncos and then carried the rock down to the Hawk 28-yard line.
After a false start on the offense the Pilster to Pearson tandem dialed up their connection once again. On the play Pilster was under heavy pressure and broke out of the pocket.
With his quarterback scrambling, Pearson took off for the end zone where Pilster lofted a perfect pass on the run, hitting Pearson in stride for the games final score.
"I just kind of threw that one together," Pearson said. "I saw Trae roll out under pressure and then the corner jumped my route so I wasn't open, so I just turned up the field and Trae threw a good ball to me. This was great, it was huge."
Blackfoot will play for the state championship next week against either Shelley or Bishop Kelly who play today at 1 P.M. at Bishop Kelly High School.
If Shelley wins, the Broncos and Russets will meet in Holt Arena on Friday night. If Bishop Kelly wins, the Broncos will travel to Boise for a Saturday tilt on the blue turf.
Skyview 7 0 7 6 - 20
Blackfoot 14 7 0 14 - 35
Blackfoot 35, Skyview 20
BHS 8:39 33yd pass Pilster to Pearson (Oseguera kick good) 7-0
SHS 3:11 2 yd pass Hyde to Wymore (Cornilles kick good) 7-7
BHS 0:00 58 yd run Ramos (Oseguera kick good) 14-7
BHS 1:21 11 yd pass Pilster to Pearson (Oseguera kick good) 21-7
SHS 5:00 1 yd run Kido (Cornilles kick good) 21-14
BHS 11:50 13 yd run Ramos (Oseguera kick good) 28-14
SHS 3:54 1 yd run Hyde (kick failed) 28-20
BHS 3:40 33 yd pass Pilster to Pearson (Oseguera kick good) 35-20
Passing: Pilster13-18 182 3td, Ramos 1-15 Rushing: Ramos 10-111 2td, Pilster 7-11, Coffey 7-24, Hoskins 1-2, Gallegos 2-1, Buck 9-30 Receiving: Hoskins 4-57, Pearson 9-137 3td, Ramos 1-3