Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Big rally lifts Carey 38-30

Panthers win final game over Murtaugh


Carey School football coach Lane Kirkland gave the Panthers a piece of his mind on the bus during halftime of Friday?s Sawtooth Conference grid finale against host Murtaugh.

Kirkland rarely raises his voice, but, ?I let them have it on the bus,? he said.

Something clicked with the boys, because Carey (5-3 overall, 4-0 road) scored 22 points in the fourth quarter and overcame the Red Devils 38-30. Junior quarterback Tyler Cook scored the eventual winning touchdown with 11 seconds left.


Connor Rivera, a freshman, rushed for 197 yards and scored two TDs in the comeback. In all, Carey rushed for a season-best 342 yards on 46 carries.

?The line really stepped it up. They rose to the occasion and I?m real proud of them. They came from boys to men. Really, this was the type of game you only dream of coaching,? said Kirkland afterwards.

He certainly didn?t feel that way at halftime.

After two quarters the Panthers trailed Murtaugh 18-8. Carey was staring in the face of losing its final three games, after dropping its final two home games to Camas County and Richfield. Those two losses had knocked Carey out of the eight-man football playoffs.

?Our line was killing us?it looked exactly like the Richfield game,? said Kirkland. ?We weren?t stopping them on the line and we weren?t blocking. And we couldn?t pass the whole game, going 1-for-15.?

With the passing game stalled and its blocking still a question mark, Carey decided to cast its lot with the rushing game in the second half. Kirkland said, ?We?ve never had a high rushing game all season?but we did Friday.?

The coach added, ?We used a little Wyoming, but mostly it was straight T-formation, power left and right and straight up the middle. A lot of Connor?s yardage came through the right side, over the top of Ben Neilson.?

With Luke Harmon snapping the ball, Neilson and Bryan Hill throwing good blocks on the right side, and Cody Baird ripping off some solid lead blocks, Carey started moving. ?Connor reeled off a couple of long runs to get us into position,? said Kirkland.

Rivera scored twice cutting Carey?s deficit to 24-22. Murtaugh scored again, but Carey?s defense stepped up and stopped the Red Devils? conversion attempt. ?That gave us a chance to tie the game,? said Kirkland. ?We stopped all five of Murtaugh?s conversions.?

Meanwhile, Carey made four of its five two-point conversion tries, including two by Cook on plunges after his own TD runs late in the game. One other key for Carey: ?We didn?t have one penalty,? said Kirkland.

?This group of men played as a team. We don?t have one star?we have eight working as one,? said Kirkland. ?The final game always sets the tone for the next season. We?ll have everyone back next year.?

Cody Baird led the Panther defense with 11 solo tackles and 3 assists against Murtaugh (2-6, 1-3 league). Baird also rushed 19 times for 88 yards and scored the first Panther touchdown.

The Sawtooth Conference meeting to determine All-League selections and draw up the 2005 schedule will be held Monday, Nov. 22 in Burley.

EIGHT-MAN NOTES?Mackay (8-0) will host Richfield (5-3) Friday, Nov. 5 at 6 p.m. and Camas County (7-2) will entertain North Gem (3-4) Saturday, Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. in Fairfield as the Idaho 1A Small Division playoffs get underway. Behind four touchdowns by Dakota Dalin, Camas County (53 points in the middle quarters) won the Sawtooth West title Friday with a 67-42 road victory at Richfield.

Other games in the eight-team playoffs are Notus (8-1) at Horseshoe Bend (8-1) and Mullan (3-5) at Clark Fork (8-0, averaging 47.0 ppg).

Hagerman (6-3) and Raft River (8-0) will represent south-central Idaho in the 1A Large Division playoffs and will play each other Friday at 6 p.m. in Malta.



Carey 38, Murtaugh 30

Carey...0...8...8...22...38
Murtaugh...6...12...6...6...30

SCORING
1st half

Murtaugh?Chepe Saucedo, 45-yard interception return (run failed); (6-0 M)

Carey?Cody Baird, 9-yard run (Bryan Hill, pass from Tyler Cook; (8-6 C)

Murtaugh?Sam Goodman, 2-yard run (run failed); 5:36 2nd (12-8 M)

Murtaugh?Chepe Saucedo, 25-yard pass from Bridger Ward (run failed); (18-8 M)
2nd half

Murtaugh?Eli Andersen, 50-yard pass from Bridger Ward (run failed); (24-8 M)

Carey?Connor Rivera, 2-yard run (Brad Hunt, pass from Tyler Cook); (24-16 M)

Carey?Connor Rivera, 18-yard run (pass failed); (24-22 M)

Murtaugh?Trent Cummins, 6-yard run (run failed); (30-22 M)

Carey?Tyler Cook, 4-yard run (Cook run); (30-30)

Carey?Tyler Cook, 1-yard run (Cook run); (38-30 C)



INDIVIDUAL LEADERS?Carey

Rushing?Connor Rivera 26-197, 2 TD; Cody Baird 19-88, 1 TD; Tyler Cook 11-57, 2 TD.

Passing?Tyler Cook 1-15, 5 yards, 1 interception.

Receiving?Connor Rivera 1-5.

Interceptions?Cody Baird 1.

Tackles/assists?Cody Baird 11/3; Devin Simpson 3/8; Bryan Hill 4/4; Brad Hunt 4/4; Luke Harmon 2/6; Jesus Ocampo 2/4; Allen Peck 3/2; Jordan Surerus 1/2; Ben Neilson 0/2; Tyler Cook 2/0.




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