Wednesday, October 5, 2005

After 41-13 Homecoming letdown, Wolverine football looks ahead

Three games left starting Friday at Kuna

Express Staff Writer

Jeff Conover tackles Burley senior quarterback Logan Parish Friday night, as Huston Brashears and Erik Jacobson come to help. Burley won 41-13. Photo by David N. Seelig

Coach Mike Glenn, frustrated by Friday's 41-13 Homecoming football loss to the Burley Bobcats, spent most of the weekend with his staff looking at film and trying to find a way to get into the heads of his Wood River Wolverine players.

Monday, first-year head coach Glenn sent out a letter to the parents of the Wood River football players. He stressed the importance of year-round weight and strength training.

"I'm convinced we can do this," he said, about turning around the fortunes of Wood River football. "It's going to take time, but physical and mental confidence starts in the weight room. Against Burley, mentally we didn't give ourselves a chance to win."

Glenn didn't sugar-coat what happened in Friday's Great Basin Conference West home game against defending league champion Burley. Simply put, he said Wood River got pushed around at the scrimmage line. His players were intimidated by Burley's size and stature as an established 4A program.

"Burley had a couple of good players. Their running backs were big-time athletes and their line was big. But we held our own up front," he said. "What we've got to do is purge ourselves of this inferiority complex. When you're intimidated on the football field, you can't carry out your task because you're not thinking.

"And when you fall behind three or four touchdowns it compounds the problem."

Having lost six straight games to Burley by a 194-33 margin, Wood River surprisingly opened Friday's Homecoming game before a standing-room-only crowd with a 73-yard TD run by senior Scott Bartlett (29 rushes for 199 yards, 2 TD) on the second play of the game.

"We had a plan and put in this new fly sweep and, boom, Scott takes it all the way down," said Glenn about the quick 7-0 Wolverine lead as the home team tried to win its first game in 17 years over Burley.

Burley, however, had a plan of its own and that was to dominate the line of scrimmage. The Bobcats (3-2, 1-0 league) methodically pieced together 73-yard and 85-yard TD drives covering 11 minutes that were capped by two-yard TD runs by senior Joel Haran (19 rushes for 165 yards, 3 TD).

Turnovers have hurt Wood River in recent games, and Burley turned two pass thefts and a fumble recovery into touchdowns. Add those scores to 52-yard and 94-yard "big play" scampers by senior Ryan Hondo (8-86) and Haran and Wood River ended up yielding six unanswered touchdowns.

Friday's halftime score was 20-7 Burley, still reachable. But the wheels came off with the two long scoring runs in the third quarter. Actually, Wood River hasn't scored in the third quarter since the season-opening 42-0 romp over Filer, and opponents are now 56-7 better after intermission.

Still, there are positives.

"We have probably five or six kids who've played hard all the time—kids we can count on," said Glenn. "Our challenge as coaches will be convincing all the players we can do it."

Wood River has scored 125 points in six games, compared to 136 points in 17 games over the past two seasons. The Hailey rushing attack has been good for 209 carries for 1,122 yards (5.4), compared to 1,100 rushing yards for foes. Last season's nine-game WR rushing totals were 1,369 yards (3.9).

The Burley game was a rushing showcase. Although Wood River amassed its second-best total of 252 yards, the Hailey defense surrendered a season-high 330 yards overland.

The "baby steps," that coach Glenn has been touting as the key to Wood River progress include Bartlett's outstanding rushing numbers: 125 carries for 766 yards (6.1) and 8 TD. And Carl Browning continues to lead the defense with double-digit tackling totals each week.

For Wood River (2-4, 0-2 league), the feeling of having a good season or just a fair season boils down to the final three regular-season games starting Friday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. at 4A Kuna (2-3). Kuna lost 61-6 to Skyview in Nampa Friday.

In fact, Wood River's final three opponents have a combined 3-13 record this season and have been outscored 521-196. "We have three games left against opponents we can compete with from a physical standpoint," said Glenn. "I expect to be successful."

The key game, of course, is the "Senior Night" contest against Jerome (0-5) Friday, Oct. 14. Wood River teams have lost 24 straight games to Jerome by a 815-148 score, dating back to the last win 30 years ago, 19-6 in Hailey in 1975.

Whichever team wins in the Wood River-Jerome match-up will take third place in the league and will have the dubious honor of playing, most likely, undefeated Pocatello (6-0) in the first round of the State 4A playoffs Oct. 28. Pocatello and Century (2-3) will square off Oct. 14 for first place in the southeastern Idaho league.

Glenn said, "We want to play Pocatello. It will be a good measure of where we are."

WOLVERINE NOTES—Wood River haven't played on the gridiron since a three-game series from 1977-79—and they were all close games. Wood River edged Kuna 13-12 in 1977 in Hailey, then Kuna won 13-6 at Kuna in 1978 and the Wolverines escaped 14-7 at Hailey in 1979.....The Kavemen of first-year coach Dave Beymer (former Skyview coach) have beaten Emmett 18-13 and Nampa 21-7 on their home field, and have lost all three road games at Caldwell 28-3, at Post Falls 35-20 and at Skyview 61-6....Kuna is 4-10 the last two seasons.

WRHS Line Score

Burley 41, Wood River 13

BURLEY. 6 14 15 6 41
wood river 7 0 0 6 13


1st half

Wood River—Scott Bartlett, 73-yard run (Dima Springs kick); 11:02 1st (7-0 WR)

Burley—Joel Haran, 2-yard run (kick failed); 6:42 1st (7-6 WR)

Burley—Joel Haran, 2-yard run (Ryan Hondo run); 8:24 2nd (14-7 Burley)

Burley—Casey Miller, 35-yard pass from Logan Parish (kick failed); 6:28 2nd (20-7 Burley)

2nd half

Burley—Ryan Hondo, 52-yard run (Parish run); 7:31 3rd (28-7 Burley)

Burley—Joel Haran, 94-yard run (Mike Phillips kick); 4:42 3rd (35-7 Burley)

Burley—Mike Phillips, 31-yard pass from Logan Parish (kick failed); 10:39 4th (41-7 Burley)

Wood River—Scott Bartlett, 2-yard run (kick blocked); 3:37 4th (41-13 Burley)

Offensive plays 70 66
Time of possession 24:20 23:40
1st downs, rush 11 9
1st downs, pass 3 3
1st downs, penalty 1 1
1st downs, total 15 13
Rushes, yards 47-330 42-252
Yards per carry 7.0 6.0
Fumbles lost 1 1
Completions, passes 8-13 5-12
Completion percentage 62% 42%
Passing yards 176 59
Yards per completion 22.0 11.8
Intercepted by 2 0
Sacks by, yards 0-0 0-0
Returns, yards 4-55 7-106
Total yards gained 561 417
Penalties 11-95 6-55
Punts, yardage 1-29 2-59
Yards per punt 29.0 29.5


Rushing—Scott Bartlett 29-199 (6.9 per carry), 4 1st downs, 2 TD; Tyler Jackson 9-47, 5 1sts; Kenny Cardona 2-10; Danny Kramer 1, -1; Huston Brashears 1, -3.

Passing—Danny Kramer 5-11, 59 yards, 3 1sts, 1 interception; Kenny Cardona 0-1, 1 interception.

Receiving—Tyler Jackson 2-26, 1 1st; Erik Jacobson 1-16, 1 1st; Jeff Conover 1-13, 1 1st; Kenny Cardona 1-4.

Fumble recoveries (1)—Alex Burwell 1.

Kickoff returns—Huston Brashears 6-95; Jeff Conover 1-11.

Tackles (81)—Collin Hand 16, Carl Browning 15, Erik Jacobson 8, Jeff Conover 7, Grayson Thompson 7, Anthony Quarles 6, Danny Ward 5, Andrew Grimaldo 3, Travis Beckman 3, Houston Shaw 3, Huston Brashears 2, Kenny Cardona 1, #49 1, Dusty Selner 1, Tyler Jackson 1, Carter Stewart 1, Alex Burwell 1.


Rushing—Joel Haran 19-165, 5 1sts, 3 TD; Ryan Hondo 8-86, 3 1sts, 1 TD, 1 conv.; Logan Parish 5-45, 2 1sts; Steven Andreasen 3-27, 1 1st; Gavin Wrigley 2-7; Casey Miller 2-2.

Passing—Logan Parish 8-13, 176 yards, 3 1sts, 2 TD.

Receiving—Joel Haran 5-76, 2 1sts; Casey Miller 1-35, 1 TD; Gavin Wrigley 1-34, 1 1st; Mike Phillips 1-31, 1 TD.

Fumble recoveries (1)—Steven Andreasen 1.

Interceptions (2)—Casey Miller 1 with a 19-yard return; Logan Parish 1 with a 15-yard return.

Kickoff returns—Steven Andreasen 1-15; Mike Phillips 1-6.

Tackle leaders—Nathan Mitton 8, Casey Miller 8, Ryan Hondo 7, Riley Harris 6, Jonathan Gil 5.

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