battle down to the wire
Panther season 30-22
Express Staff Writer
fans saw an exciting, down-to-the-wire battle featuring 1,050 total
yards when the Carey Panthers and Notus Pirates battled Saturday at
Notus in a State 1A eight-man football quarterfinal contest.
(8-2) scored first in the seesaw offensive display, but the Panthers
couldn’t stop the 222-yard passing attack of Notus (10-0) and the
Pirates scored last for the 30-22 victory. Carey amassed 363 rushing
yards but couldn’t get its own aerial attack in gear.
the game was Notus senior quarterback/linebacker Micheal Burdine (279
all-purpose yards). Burdine rushed for 83 yards including a 46-yard
touchdown, completed eight passes for 128 yards and two TD and made 11
of his 19 tackles after half.
beating Carey for the first time in four state playoff clashes, earned
the dubious distinction of playing Castleford (10-0) in the state
semi-finals this weekend.
was a close game," said Carey coach Lane Kirkland. "I thought
we fought as hard as could fight. We didn’t give up whatsover, and I’m
really proud of that."
scored five touchdowns to Carey’s three, but the Pirates missed all
five of their two-point conversions due to Carey’s tough defense led
by seniors Destry Simpson and Kole Peck.
gave everything he had," Kirkland said.
brave all-around game was power runner Simpson, who hadn’t carried the
ball for five weeks because of a gimpy knee. Simpson rushed for 121
yards, scored a touchdown and made a team-high 19 tackles on defense.
personally stopped three Pirate conversions, and intercepted a pass.
was dog tired but he ran hard," said Kirkland.
scorer Shawn Hennefer (110 points) led the Panthers with 133 rushing and
210 all-purpose yards plus 13 tackles. Robbie Ellsworth, also a Panther
senior, had 97 rushing yards and 13 tackles.
Notus was taller and bigger than Carey. It caused problems for the
Panther passers who were intercepted four times. Kirkland said, "We
had some difficulty with as far back as they were playing on defense,
and how tall they were."
both teams had difficulty with turnovers in the sloppy first quarter (Notus
three fumbles lost, Carey two interceptions). Carey’s defense held
Notus’ rushers to just 35 yards in the first quarter, but the Pirates
started establishing their passing attack with quick outs and timing
caught an 18-yard pass from Sean Cenarrusa and scored on a four-yard
counter giving Carey a 16-12 lead early in the second. Four plays later
Burdine scrambled for a 46-yard TD and the Pirates went on top to stay
defense gave up some big plays," said Kirkland. "But it was
the kind of game that never came down to one play making the
defense made the biggest difference—stopping Carey drives at the
Pirate 14 and 23 in the second quarter, and three more drives at the 32,
20 and 31 in the second half. Untimely penalties hurt a couple of those
those penalties," said Kirkland. "It’s hard to make the
right offensive call when you’re forced into a passing
also made the difference with two huge pass plays, to Andrew Porterfield.
was a perfect 31-yard lead pass to Porterfield, on third-and-seven at
the Panther 43. Cody Dranginis scored on the next play giving Notus a
Simpson’s 36-yard punt return early in the fourth set up a short Carey
TD drive capped by Simpson’s seven-yard end run for a 24-22 game,
Carey missed the two-point conversion that would have tied it with 8:30
defense appeared to have stopped Notus, forcing fourth-and-nine at the
Panther 38. Then, as Carey blitzed its backers, it was
Burdine-to-Porterfield again, a perfect lead pass that Porterfield ran
under for the clinching 38-yard TD.
Panthers were disappointed, but coach Kirkland put it in perspective.
"It’s been an extremely positive season. This group (of nine
seniors) essentially has been seniors for two years. They’ve grown up
a lot, matured and helped the underclassmen to develop."
this week’s Express Web site for Carey season stats.
NOTES—Simpson and Hennefer were honored Monday as a local
television station’s "Co-Athletes of the Week."…All-Sawtooth
Conference selections will be announced after the Nov. 25 league meeting….Carey
played Bryson Ellsworth on defense, only, and Ellsworth responded with
10 tackles. Stephen Jurgensmeier took Bryson’s place on the offensive
to last year’s stats, Carey rushed for 370 more yards but passed for
360 fewer yards….Over two years Hennefer rushed 255 times for 1,693
yards, and Simpson 164 times for 1,267 yards. Top two-year receivers
were John Saili 58-893 and 10 TD, Robbie Ellsworth 46-434 and 5 TD,
Simpson 36-491 and 6 TD.
ended his four-year Carey career with 40 TDs and 11 conversions for 262
points. Simpson had 28 TDs and 5 conversions for 178 points, and Robbie
Ellsworth 19 TDs and 11 conversions for 136 points. The trio scored 71%
of Carey’s points the last two seasons, helping the Panthers to a 15-4
eight-point margin was identical to the margins of Carey’s victories
the other two times the teams played at Notus. Carey had never lost to
Notus. In 1992, Carey won 38-30 in a state semi-final at Notus, then
Carey lost 30-16 to Council in the state final in Pocatello. In 1993 at
Notus, Carey won 26-18 and went on to lose the next week to Deary 36-22
in the state final in Moscow. The next year, 1994, Carey routed Notus
40-14 indoors at Pocatello and the next week beat Deary 58-26 for its
first-ever state championship.