Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A bittersweet Homecoming victory for Carey

Panthers win 54-6, Baird breaks arm

Carey's Cody Baird looks for an opening during Friday's Homecoming game against Rockland. Baird later suffered a season-ending broken arm. Photo by David N. Seelig

Carey School's 54-6 Homecoming football victory over the Rockland Bulldogs last Friday was bittersweet because of the loss of senior Cody Baird.

Baird's left arm was broken when two Bulldogs tackled him on a sweep out-of-bounds, said Carey coach Lane Kirkland. "Unfortunately we lost Cody for the season," Kirkland said.

The many contributions of Baird to Carey football over four seasons included 38 touchdowns and 254 points on offense. He led Carey in scoring last season with 17 touchdowns and 8 conversions for 118 points and tops this year's scorers with 9 TDs and 56 points.

Kirkland said, "Cody has been a starter and a huge force for Carey since the seventh grade. He was a captain last season and again this year.

"He will go down in history among the great Panther seniors. Cody was surely headed for first-team All-State on both sides of the ball. I feel just terrible for him. He will be missed greatly."

Despite the loss of Baird, Carey picked off where the Panthers left off the previous week with their 58-14 home win over Camas County. Kirkland said, "We dominated Rockland on both sides of the ball."

Junior quarterback D.J. Simpson (7-for-13, 201 yards) was on fire. The Carey coach said, "D.J. threw the ball real well and his receivers took it home. Four of his seven completions went for touchdowns."

Coach Kirkland appreciates balanced offense and he got it against Rockland, with 199 yards rushing and 201 yards passing. Receiver Brad Hunt caught two long TD passes. Sophomore Heith Adamson rushed for two of Carey's eight TDs on the cold evening.

It was Carey's 15th win in its last 16 grid meetings with Rockland (1-3 overall).

Title on line against Dietrich

The Panthers (3-1 overall, 1-0 Sawtooth Conference West) will shoot for another league championship Friday, Sept. 22 when they invade Dietrich (2-2, 2-0 league) for a huge West game, starting at 3:30 p.m.

Dietrich, led by the running of senior Anthony Pitman, lost to Raft River and Oakley in its first two starts. But the Blue Devils rebounded with 66-32 and 38-36 Sawtooth West wins over Richfield and Camas County to set up the showdown.

Friday's winner will likely earn the homefield advantage for the first round of the State 1A Division 2 playoffs Nov. 3.

Carey (43.5 points per game offense, 11.5 ppg defense) has the statistical edge, particularly on defense. Dietrich (35.0 ppg offense, 43.5 ppg defense) has scored plenty but often can't make the defensive stops.

Last year Carey mercy-ruled Dietrich 62-16 with 476 yards of total offense and three TDs by Baird. The Panthers have now won three straight games over Dietrich since an 84-48 loss on the Carey gridiron in 2003.

After the Dietrich game, Carey entertains the top-ranked defending state champion Mackay Miners (4-0 this season, 25-1 three seasons) on Friday, Sept. 29 in Carey.

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