The Kimberly Bulldogs stuffed Wood River's running game and turned three Hailey turnovers into touchdowns Friday night at a jam-packed Phil Homer Field in Hailey.
Led by the offense and defense of 6-1, 180-pound senior Eric Marvin, the 3A Bulldogs (2-2) scored four unanswered TDs to turn a close 6-3 game into a 33-10 non-conference rout that spoiled some of Wood River's Homecoming fun.
Running back Marvin (50 rushing yards) scored Kimberly's first two TDs on short runs and turned into a quarterback during the second quarter, completing 6 of 7 passes for 118 yards. He led the defense with 12 tackles and recovered a fumble that led to Kimberly's fifth and final TD.
Marvin did nearly everything selflessly for Kimberly, including dragging the team water bucket from the sideline across the field and out of the stadium to the halftime chat.
In contrast, Wood River's rushing attack couldn't do anything against Kimberly's strong line charge led by senior nose guard Jordan Cazeau. The Bulldogs held the Wolverines to 19 rushing yards on 29 carries and threw top Hailey rusher Sean Bunce for losses 12 times.
Bunce, after rushing for 168 yards in Wood River's 31-13 home win over Gooding Sept. 19, was limited to 19 yards on 21 carries by Kimberly's defense.
After a scoreless first period, A.J. Schroeder's fumble recovery led to Kimberly's first TD scored off tackle by Marvin after he completed 20-yard and 23-yard dump-off passes to Schroeder and Isaac Makings.
Wood River got on the board with a 26-yard Rafael Barriga field goal set up by a Francisco Enriquez fumble recovery. A hard hit by Evan Puluti shook the ball loose in the 'Dogs backfield, and Hailey QB Michale Brunker moved his team into scoring position with a 13-yard flat pass to Tyler Peters.
Kimberly, leading 6-3, had an immediate answer, sparked by Schroeder's 44-yard kickoff return. QB Marvin carried or threw the ball almost exclusively and made first downs on a couple of fourth-down prayers. Then, he hit Parker Champlin down the middle for a 27-yard advance and plunged for the score that made it 12-3.
The wheels came off for Wood River after halftime.
Nic Jayo's interception put the 'Dogs in scoring position at the Hailey 13, but the home defense held and forced Kimberly into a 25-yard field goal attempt. But Wood River jumped offsides, turning a fourth-and-five into fourth-and-inches. Kimberly gave it to Marvin, who made a first down. And QB Nick Dame plunged home for an 18-3 lead.
Kimberly seemed likely to blow it open on its next possession, Marvin throwing the halfback option for 33 yards to the Wolverine six. But the Wood River defense put up a fine goal line stand led by the tackling of linebacker Clayton Jensen (17 tackles), Enriquez (12 tackles) and Peters (8).
Fired up by the defense, Wood River's offense moved quickly downfield—Brunker throwing a 62-yard post pattern to Greg Wakefield. Then Wakefield made a great fingertip catch for 24 more yards into the 'Dogs red zone. But Kimberly's Cody Wadsworth sacked Brunker for a 12-yard loss on fourth down at the 'Dogs three.
A Wood River TD and extra point could have made the score competitive at 19-10, but it was Kimberly playing the opportunist this night. Four plays after Wadsworth's key sack, on third-and-17 at the 'Dogs eight, Dame connected with Schroeder on a throwback pass. And Schroeder turned it into a 92-yard scoring play, 26-3.
Playoffs on line at Burley
Some call Friday's Wood River-Burley league game the "Pocatello Bowl," because the winner will have the dubious honor of traveling to play the probable Fifth District champ Pocatello (4-0) in a first-round game of the State 4A playoffs.
The opener of Wood River's Great Basin Conference West schedule Friday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at Burley will determine the four-team league's third and final representative to the "Great Eight Playoffs." Either Wood River or Burley will make it in, but not both.
"Great Eight Playoffs," is a preliminary round of four games Friday, Oct. 31 that consist of the top eight District 4/5/6 schools from south-central and southeastern Idaho. The Halloween winners advance into the eight-school 4A playoffs Nov. 7 with three teams from the Boise area and one from northern Idaho.
Coach Glenn's Wood River teams have made the "Great Eight Playoffs" for three straight years, but Burley hasn't made the grade since nudging out a winless Jerome squad in 2005. Both teams truly have a lot to prove Friday.
Wood River (1-3, 0-0 league) has played good defense but has struggled offensively. Burley (0-5, 0-2 league) has been outscored 181-35 including 35-3 and 42-7 league losses at Minico (4-1, 1-0) and at home to Jerome (4-1, 1-0). Burley is 1-18 over three seasons and has been out-pointed 837-144 in that span.
But the Bobcats, with new lights at their football stadium, will be motivated Friday night to snap a 13-game home winless skid dating back to a 26-14 home win over Preston in 2005.
And they'll be aiming for revenge against a Wood River program that owns two straight wins over Burley—23-0 in Hailey last year behind 101 rushing yards and two TDs by Matt Libert, and 39-0 two years ago in Hailey's last visit to Burley.
Prior to the two consecutive Hailey wins, however, Burley grid teams had trounced Wood River seven straight times by a combined 235-46 score.
Friday's game could be Wood River's last good shot at a victory, since Oct. 16 road opponent Hillcrest of Idaho Falls (4-1) is having an uncharacteristically strong season—top team in Idaho Falls—since ending a 23-game losing streak Sept. 5 with a 39-14 victory over 5A Idaho Falls. Since, the Knights have beaten Bonneville, Skyline and Rigby.
Homecoming royalty is named
The 2008 Homecoming Royalty Court at Hailey's Wood River High School was announced at the end of Friday's Homecoming football game won by Kimberly 33-10. The announcement was a departure from the usual practice of revealing the court at halftime.
Besides the Homecoming King and Queen, prince and princess winners will be revealed in each class.
Here are the winners:
Senior Homecoming Queen and King: Racheal McGinnis and Nick Kavanagh.
Senior Princess and Prince: Aimee Evans and Luke McNees.
Junior Princess and Prince: Erin Burbank and Gene Fairbrother.
Sophomore Princess and Prince: Rachael Stark and Michael Resendes.
Freshmen Princess and Prince: Michaela Rodriguez and Quentin Dowdle.
Silver Creek Alternative School in Hailey also had a Homecoming Court. The king and queen were Graham Osburn and Georgia Kyle. Prince and princess were Gavin Admire and Joana Guerrero.