Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Football team falls short 7-6 at Preston

In a defensive struggle, missed opportunities stand out


By JEFF CORDES
Express Staff Writer

The defenses were on display Friday when the Wood River Wolverines and Preston Indians squared off in a Great Basin Conference 11-man prep football game at Preston.

Each team scored only one touchdown. The hard-hitting defenses kept rushing yardage (163 yards WRHS, 122 Preston) to a minimum on a warm night at O.R. Cutler Field. The teams were so even they could have played all night.

But senior Preston Slaughter of Preston kicked the extra point after his team's second-quarter touchdown and that turned out to be the winning margin in Preston's 7-6 victory.

Preston (2-6) snapped a four-game losing streak on its "Senior Night," while Wood River (4-5) saw its two-game winning streak and likely chance for a .500 season come to an end.

The outcome wasn't assured until Wood River's best drive of the game stopped on a fumble at the Indian 14 with 2:20 left. Still trailing 7-6, the Hailey defense got the ball back and gave the offense one more chance for the winning points, but a 40-yard field goal fell short.

Besides the solid defense played by both teams, it was a game of punts and missed opportunities.

Wood River senior Tyler Jackson averaged 45.8 yards on five punts, and two different Jackson punts measured 57 yards. In the first half the Wolverines punted on their first four possessions before they started rolling better later in the game.

Senior tailback Scott Bartlett (23 carries for 126 yards) had his sixth 100-yard rushing game in nine contests but much of it was very tough yardage between the tackles and he broke free only twice—a 25-yard carry on the game's first play and a 20-yard tackle-breaking carry on Wood River's only TD drive.

Danny Kramer, Wood River's sophomore quarterback who had been 3-1 since taking over calling the signals, had his best passing game with 13 completions in 25 attempts for 137 yards. Top receivers were Huston Brashears (5-for-42) and Kenny Cardona (3-for-62).

Matching Kramer was Preston senior left-handed quarterback Jake Bartholomew, who loosened up the Wolverine defense with bootlegs and play action passes for 137 yards. The Indians didn't have a runner like Bartlett, but that's because the gang-tackling Wood River defense led by Carl Browning (12 tackles) was solid.

Indeed, Preston's second-quarter TD snapped a string of seven consecutive scoreless quarters for the "Wolverine Rage" defense. Wood River has now allowed only two touchdowns in the last three games.

They might have blanked Preston as well, if not for a tipped pass the Indians shouldn't have caught.

Grayson Thompson's fumble recovery after a hard stick by Jeff Conover stopped a Preston threat at the Wolverine 30-yard-line in the second quarter. Preston got the ball back and started its best drive, an eight-play, 69-yard, three-minute attack that turned on one big play.

Bartholomew's long pass to T.J. Adams was under-thrown at the Wood River 10-yard-line. Defensive back Brashears got his hand on it and tipped it, but the ball went in the wrong direction and was caught by Adams for a 32-yard completion.

Three plays later Greg Russom scored. Slaughter kicked the point.

Wood River's first missed opportunity came just before the half.

Only 18 seconds remained in the first half when Conover intercepted a halfback-option pass and Wood River took over near midfield. Kramer sent Cardona on a post pattern. They linked up on a 46-yard third-down pass completion along the sideline.

There was time for only one play, but Kramer threw the ball a little behind tight end Erik Jacobson in the end zone. Preston led 7-0 at half.

Wood River's scoring drive, 10 plays covering 58 yards over four minutes, came in the third quarter with Bartlett (5 carries for 36 yards) and Kramer (2 pass completions) leading the way. Jackson plunged for the score from one yard, but Dima Springs' kick went wide left.

Preston answered with a drive that moved to the Wolverine nine before the Hailey defense stuffed two runs and Slaughter's 27-yard field goal attempt sprayed off wide right.

Wood River took over at the 20-yard-line with 8:22 left in the game. The Wolverines methodically drove 66 yards in 12 plays covering six minutes—the big plays a 10-yard Bartlett sweep, a 12-yard play action pass from Kramer to Jackson, and a 21-yard Kramer to Brashears pass.

But Jackson fumbled at the Indian 15-yard-line and Preston's Dustin Olsen pounced on the ball. The Indians got it back with 2:20 on the clock. Browning was in on three tackles, the third with Anthony Quarles stopping a Slaughter pitch for a four-yard loss. Preston punted.

Wood River got it back with its best field position all game, at the Preston 44 with 56 seconds left. Kramer hit Brashears with two clock-killing down-and-out passes. Brashears got behind the Indian defense at the goal line, but the pass was under-thrown and batted down.

Cardona drew a pass interference call in the middle of the field and the ball advanced to the Indian 18, but a five-yard sack and two incompletions made it fourth-and-15—and a 40-yard field goal attempt by Springs fell short of its mark.

Wood River will play Fifth District king Pocatello (8-0) Friday, Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. in Pocatello's Holt Arena in the first round of the State 4A grid playoffs. Last year's state runner-up Pocatello (353-64 over opponents this fall) is 17-3 over two years and pounded Minico (6-2) 48-7 Friday in Rupert.

WOLVERINE NOTES—Wood River has scored 174 points (19.3 ppg) in nine games, compared to 136 points in 17 games over the past two seasons. The Hailey rushing attack in nine games has been good for 343 carries for 1,807 yards (5.3 yards per carry), compared to 1,368 rushing yards for its opponents. Last season's nine-game season-ending WR rushing totals were 1,369 yards (3.9).....Preston improved its advantage to 5-0 in its grid rivalry with Wood River but the final score was the closest of all the previous meetings. Coming in, Preston had outscored Wood River 150-23....Erik Jacobson was ejected from the game on the final play of the first half, and Scott Bartlett played some defense in place of Jacobson after intermission. Jacobson's loss hurt in more ways than one, since he's the long snapper for Wood River's placekicking—and of course the Wolverines couldn't make either their extra point or long field goal.

Bartlett now has six 100-yard rushing games this season—231 against Filer, 104 against American Falls, 199 against Burley, 242 against Kuna, 131 against Jerome and 126 against Preston.....For his Wolverine career, Bartlett has 1,403 rushing yards.....The final Great Basin Conference/Great Eight playoff berths have been formalized after Monday's three-school Kansas-style playoff at Shelley. Bonneville (2-6), which started the season 0-5, dominated division rivals Hillcrest and Rigby to earn a trip to the State 4A playoffs. Bonneville will travel to Great Basin West champion Minico (6-2) Friday, Oct. 28. In the other games besides Pocatello vs. Wood River, Great Basin West runner-up Burley (4-4) goes to Blackfoot (6-2) Friday, and Madison of Rexburg (7-1) hosts Century of Pocatello (3-5)....Idahosports.com 4A football rankings are #1 Bishop Kelly of Boise (8-0) followed by Pocatello, Madison, Blackfoot and #5 Minico.

Preston 7, Wood River 6

wood river 0 0 6 0 6
PRESTON. 0 7 0 0 7

SCORING

1st half

Preston—Greg Russom, 2-yard run (Preston Slaughter kick); 0:51 2nd (7-0 Preston)

2nd half

Wood River—Tyler Jackson, 1-yard run (kick failed); 1:36 3rd (7-6 Preston)




KEY STATS WOOD RIVER PRESTON
Offensive plays 71 61
Time of possession 26:14 21:46
1st downs, rush 10 5
1st downs, pass 5 6
1st downs, penalty 1 0
1st downs, total 16 11
Rushes, yards 35-163 33-122
Yards per carry 4.7 3.7
Fumbles lost 2 1
Completions, passes 13-25 9-18
Completion percentage 52% 50%
Passing yards 137 137
Yards per completion 10.5 15.2
Intercepted by 1 1
Sacks by, yards 0-0 1-5
Returns, yards 3-39 4-60
Total yards gained 334 319
Penalties 6-55 4-40
Punts, yardage 5-229 5-178
Yards per punt 45.8 35.6


INDIVIDUAL LEADERS—Wood River

Rushing—Scott Bartlett 23-126 (5.5 per carry), 7 1st downs; Tyler Jackson 10-35, 3 1sts, 1 TD; Kenny Cardona 1-2; Danny Kramer 1-0.

Passing—Danny Kramer 13-25, 137 yards, 5 1sts, 1 interception.

Receiving—Huston Brashears 5-42, 2 1sts; Kenny Cardona 3-62, 2 1sts; Tyler Jackson 3-17, 1 1st; Scott Bartlett 2-16.

Fumble recoveries (1)—Grayson Thompson 1.

Interceptions (1)—Jeff Conover 1.

Kickoff returns—Huston Brashears 1-30

Punt returns—Kenny Cardona 2-9.

Tackles (80)—Carl Browning 12, Danny Ward 11, Collin Hand 8, Anthony Quarles 7, Dusty Selner 7, Grayson Thompson 7, Andrew Grimaldo 5, Jeff Conover 5, Erik Jacobson 4, Huston Brashears 4, Alex Burwell 4, Scott Bartlett 2, Carter Stewart 1, Houston Shaw 1, Kenny Cardona 1, Danny Kramer 1.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS—Preston

Rushing—Dustin Olsen 16-61, 2 1sts; Greg Russom 9-36, 2 1sts, 1 TD; Jake Bartholomew 4-16, 1 1st; Preston Slaughter 4-9.

Passing—Jake Bartholomew 9-17, 137 yards, 6 1sts; Dustin Olsen 0-1, 1 interception.

Receiving—T.J. Adams 4-105, 4 1sts; Michael Kelley 3-18, 1 1st; Preston Slaughter 2-14.

Fumble recoveries (2)—Preston Slaughter 1, Dustin Olsen 1.

Interceptions (1)—T.J. Adams 1 with a 27-yard return.

Sacks (1)—Dustin Olsen 1-5.

Kickoff returns—Greg Russom 1-18; Dustin Olsen 1-14.

Punt returns—Jake Bartholomew 1-1.

Tackle leaders—Dustin Olsen 11, Greg Russom 11, Lance Forsgren 9, Kolt Workman 8, Brooks Moser 8, Nick Coats 5, Preston Slaughter 4, Dustin Sparks 4, Derik Atkinson 4.

Wood River Football Composite 2005

TOTAL SCORING

Opponents 13 54 56 34 157 (17.4)

Wood River 35 79 26 34 174 (19.3)

RESULTS (4-5 overall, 3-2 home, 1-3 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) Preston 7, Wood River 6

Oct. 28 (Away, Poc./Holt Arena, State 4A)


SCORING TD CONV PTS.
Scott Bartlett 12 0 72
Tyler Jackson 8 0 48
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 18 of 36quarters....Wood River has successfully made 20 of 25conversions (80 success rate)....Wood River has scored 25 TDs—19 on runs from scrimmage, 3 on passes, 3 on defense.




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