Wednesday, October 19, 2005

?Wolverine Rage? reverses a long curse

Wood River whitewashes Jerome 16-0, first win in 30 years over Tigers


By JEFF CORDES
Express Staff Writer

It was a happy "Senior Night" in more ways than one for Cesar and Teresa Lara and their sons Adrian Grimaldo (#72) and Andrew Grimaldo (#66). Photo by Willy Cook

Wood River High School football coach Mike Glenn was a 16-year-old high school football player when the Wolverines last beat the Jerome Tigers on the gridiron. That was way back in 1975—30 years ago.

After Wood River's 16-0 home Great Basin Conference West football victory that reversed a long curse of lopsided grid losses to Jerome, Glenn sounded like a high school football player again.

"It's been 30 years since Wood River beat Jerome—and Jerome got their butt kicked tonight," he told a large and happy crowd of Wolverine players, parents and supporters during the post-game victory party in the high school commons area.

No doubt about it, Wood River (4-4, 3-2 home, 1-2 league) dominated the winless Tigers at the scrimmage line. The Wolverines posted their second shutout of the season as the defense ran its scoreless string to six straight quarters.

It was the third win in the last four games for "Wolverine Rage."

The success story on "Senior Night" at Homer Field in Hailey didn't come as any surprise to defensive coordinator John Rade.

Rade said, "We followed our game plan, everybody did their job, we ground it out and kept their offense off the field. We just shut them down. You could see it in the kids' eyes. They knew when they came on the field they were going to win."

Wood River's defense held Jerome to 77 rushing yards and kept the desperation Tiger passing in check late in the game. Three quarterback sacks, two by senior Dusty Selner, came at timely junctures. And the biggest defensive play of them all came in the second quarter.

After sophomore quarterback Danny Kramer (3-for-7, 69 yards, 1 TD, no interceptions) spearheaded a seven-play, 69-yard scoring drive that ended with a 31-yard TD pass over the middle to senior fullback Tyler Jackson, Jerome replaced starting QB Brett Boesiger with junior Naithon Cook and started to move.

Two first-down pass completions by Cook pushed Jerome's best attack of the game down to the Wolverine 11-yard-line. There, Alex Burwell made a great stick on Jerome running back Steven Kincheloe for a one-yard-loss. Jerome moved to the six on a five-yard penalty, then sent Kincheloe around the right end.

Huston Brashears and Jeff Conover teamed up for the biggest defensive play of the game to end Jerome's 63-yard drive and its biggest threat.

Senior defensive back Brashears saw the play coming. He said, "I saw that lead man and knew my job was to come up and contain. I got my hand on the ball, then Jeff came from the inside and hit him. He spun him around and I knocked the ball out and jumped on it."

Brashears recovered the fumble at the seven. So, instead of Jerome tying it 7-7 and seizing the momentum and making a new game out of it, Wood River regained possession and started methodically chewing up turf.

Recently the Wolverines have been doing that pretty well.

The Hailey offense moved 14 plays in nearly seven minutes and senior kicker Dima Springs finished the drive with a 33-yard field goal—his first of the season for a 10-0 lead.

Getting tough yardage during the drive, indeed, all game, was senior running back Scott Bartlett. He rushed 26 times for a game-high 131 yards. Bartlett's outstanding rushing numbers are now 193 carries for 1,139 yards (65.9) and 12 TD.

But senior fullback Tyler Jackson (78 rushing yards, 3 pass catches for 69 more yards) made the biggest plays on the drive. He bulldozed on a dive for 25 yards into Tiger territory, and caught a Kramer swing pass in the right flat and roared 24 more yards down to the 11-yard-line.

Leading 10-0 at the break, Wood River's offense faced terrible field position on its first try in the third quarter but punter Jackson got Hailey out of trouble with a booming 48-yard punt. The defense held—Collin Hand and Selner crunching a surprise Tiger shovel pass from no gain—and the offense went to work.

This time, it was 11 plays, 69 yards and five minutes of just plain mowing the Tigers down.

Alternating carries by Bartlett and Jackson, Wood River rolled downfield averaging six yards a carry. Bartlett finished it by straight-arming frustrated Jerome linebacker Brennon Miller and scoring from three yards out for the 17-0 final.

No game with Jerome is complete without some controversy, though, and Friday's had several at the end that had longtime Wolverine supporters remembering the litany of Jerome misdeeds during the long and miserable 30-year losing string.

With four minutes left in the game Jerome started moving airborne and quickly ripped its way into Hailey territory. Wood River defensive back Danny Ward made an absolutely great defensive play to break up a pass attempt from Cook to Jeff Dill. Ward smashed the intended receiver at the same time as Cook's pass arrived and incredibly was whistled for pass interference.

The Wolverine fans booed loudly.

By the time all the ruckus was over and Wood River had filed its legitimate objections and the officials had stepped off the penalties, Jerome had the ball at the 25-yard-line. Then, in the eyes of the Wolverine coaching staff the officials erred again, ruling a trapped ball a pass completion and letting Jerome advance to the 14. But that's as far as the Tigers got, thanks to the defense.

Seniors Burwell and Andrew Grimaldo (7 tackles) nailed Tiger QB Cook for a seven-yard sack, then Browning (8 tackles) nearly intercepted a Jerome pass. A fourth-down pass went incomplete and Wood River took over with 75 seconds left.

The celebration was on.

Brashears said, "All week long coach Rade told us our assignments. We all had a job to do and we went out and did it." How does it feel to finally beat Jerome? "It's awesome," Brashears said.

Coach Glenn added, "The guys have worked so hard and they just got their dander up at end of the game. When the flags started flying, we got physical. Now, we'll give Preston a bit of Wolverine Rage, and we're not afraid at all of playing Pocatello. We want the school to be proud of its football program."

Jerome (0-7, 0-2 league) has now lost nine consecutive games over two seasons by a 287-93 margin.

With the win Wood River captured third place in the Great Basin Conference West league and earned the school's first-ever State 4A playoff berth. The Wolverines will play undefeated Pocatello (7-0) in the first round of the State 4A playoffs the weekend of Oct. 28-29. Pocatello defeated Century (3-4) by a score of 35-0 Friday at Holt Arena.

The playoff situation has come into clearer focus.

Great Basin West champion Minico of Rupert (6-1, 3-0 league), a 55-20 winner at Burley Friday, will play the third-place Sixth District team—either Rigby, Hillcrest or Bonneville. League runner-up Burley (3-4, 1-1 league) will most likely play Blackfoot, the second place team out of District Six, and Wood River will go to Fifth District champ Pocatello.

Wood River goes to Preston

The Preston Indians provide Wood River's opposition for the regular-season finale Friday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. at Preston. Since its 26-8 home win over Jerome Sept. 9, Preston (1-6) has lost four consecutive games including Friday's 28-13 setback to Bonneville in Idaho Falls.

Preston is averaging 12.1 ppg and yielding 35.4 ppg including 65-6 and 47-7 losses to Pocatello and Century.

But Wood River has never beaten Preston in football including last fall's 52-0 loss in Hailey. The Indians (8 TDs) outrushed Wood River 247-31 in that one. From 1990-92 the teams played three times with Preston winning all three by a 98-23 score. Wood River lost 32-13 and 44-10 in Preston in 1990 and 1992.

WOLVERINE NOTES—Wood River grid teams had lost 24 straight games to Jerome by an 815-143 score, dating back to the last win 30 years ago, 19-6 in Hailey in 1975.

Wood River 16, Jerome 0

JEROME. 0 0 0 0 0
wood river 0 10 6 0 16

SCORING

1st half

Wood River—Tyler Jackson, 31-yard pass from Danny Kramer (Dima Springs kick); 10:45 2nd (7-0 WR)

Wood River—Dima Springs, 33-yard field goal; 0:48 2nd (10-0 WR)

2nd half

Wood River—Scott Bartlett, 3-yard run (kick blocked); 0:15 3rd (16-0 WR)

KEY STATS JEROME WOOD RIVER
Offensive plays 57 61
Time of possession 20:54 27:06
1st downs, rush 4 10
1st downs, pass 5 2
1st downs, penalty 2 2
1st downs, total 11 14
Rushes, yards 26-77 45-207
Yards per carry 3.0 4.6
Fumbles lost 1 1
Completions, passes 9-22 3-7
Completion percentage 41% 43%
Passing yards 106 69
Yards per completion 11.8 23.0
Intercepted by 0 0
Sacks by, yards 0-0 3-15
Returns, yards 5-74 2-17
Total yards gained 242 293
Penalties 5-50 7-80
Punts, yardage 3-80 3-99
Yards per punt 26.7 33.0

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS—Wood River

Rushing—Scott Bartlett 26-131 (5.0 per carry), 6 1st downs, 1 TD; Tyler Jackson 14-78, 4 1sts; Kenny Cardona 2, -2; Danny Kramer 3-0.

Passing—Danny Kramer 3-7, 69 yards, 2 1sts, 1 TD.

Receiving—Tyler Jackson 3-69, 2 1sts, 1 TD.

Fumble recoveries (1)—Huston Brashears 1.

Sacks (3)—Dusty Selner 2-8; Alex Burwell and Andrew Grimaldo 1-7.

Kickoff returns—Danny Ward 1-15.

Punt returns—Kenny Cardona 1-2.

Tackles (57)—Carl Browning 8, Jeff Conover 8, Collin Hand 7, Andrew Grimaldo 7, Alex Burwell 5, Huston Brashears 4, Dusty Selner 4, Danny Ward 4, Anthony Quarles 4, Erik Jacobson 3, Carter Stewart 2, Soren Ireland 1.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS—Jerome

Rushing—Brett Boesiger 4-24, 1 1st; David Prescott 4-21, 1 1st; Pat Fleming 5-14; Naithon Cook 3-12, 1 1st; Steven Kincheloe 9-6; Travis Cooley 1-0.

Passing—Naithon Cook 9-20, 106 yards, 5 1sts; Brett Boesiger 0-2.

Receiving—Jeff Dill 5-61, 3 1sts; David Prescott 1-28, 1 1st; Em Powell 1-13, 1 1st; Steven Kincheloe 1-4; Pat Fleming 1-0.

Fumble recoveries (1)—Pat Fleming 1.

Kickoff returns—Em Powell 1-27; David Prescott 1-11; C.J. Rienstra 1-10.

Punt returns—Sean Stadelman 1-27.

Tackle leaders—Em Powell 14, Pat Fleming 13, Brennon Miller 9, Chris Anderson 6, Sean Stadelman 3, Travis Cooley 3.

Wood River Football
Composite 2005

TOTAL SCORING

Opponents 13 47 56 34 150 (18.8)

Wood River 35 79 20 34 168 (21.0)

RESULTS

(4-4 overall, 3-2 home, 1-2 away, 1-2 Great Basin Conference West)

Aug. 26 (Home) Wood River 42, Filer 0
Sept. 2 (Home) Hillcrest 34, Wood River 13
Sept. 9 (Away) Minico 27, Wood River 8
Sept. 16 (Away) Buhl 27, Wood River 7
Sept. 23 (Home) Wood River 42, American Falls 14
Sept. 30 (Home) Burley 41, Wood River 13
Oct. 7 (Away) Wood River 27, Kuna 7
Oct. 14 (Home) Wood River 16, Jerome 0
Oct. 21 (Away)

SCORING TD CONV PTS.
Scott Bartlett 12 0 72
Tyler Jackson 7 0 42
Dima Springs 0 19 22
Jeff Conover 2 0 12
Huston Brashears 1 0 6
Danny Ward 1 0 6
Anthony Quarles 1 0 6
Carl Browning 0 1 2

Note—Dima Springs' total includes a 33-yard field goal.

Touchdown passes—Tyler Jackson 2, Danny Kramer 1.

Conversion passes—Tyler Jackson 1.

Notes—Wood River has scored in 17 of 32 quarters....Wood River has successfully made 20 of 24 conversions (83% success rate)....Wood River has scored 24 TDs—18 on runs from scrimmage, 3 on passes, 3 on defense.




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