Carey High School senior Joe Laidlaw had never played the position of defensive safety before, so it was something of a surprise that Laidlaw provided one of the big highlights of Friday's Carey game against Pahranagat Valley of Alamo, Nev.
Laidlaw is a raw-boned 6-1, 185-pounder with deceptive speed that he used effectively as a four-event state track meet performer (hurdles, relays) for Carey last spring. He needed every bit of that speed in turning the only Pahranagat mistake of the game into a score.
With Pahranagat Valley driving, Laidlaw intercepted a Cody Hosier pass and returned it 98 yards for Carey's second touchdown early in the second quarter of the non-conference clash. His coast-to-coast sprint gave Carey a brief 16-8 lead.
"I was tired," said Laidlaw afterward about out-running everybody on the Nevada team.
As it turned out, Carey as a team was tired and worn down in the second half—after leading 28-24 at intermission in a battle of unbeaten eight-man powers meeting for the first time for the unofficial Idaho-Nevada eight-man football title.
Pahranagat Valley, led by senior quarterback Hosier (17-for-26, 225 yards, 2 TD) dominated the scrimmage line after the half en route to a 44-28 victory. The Alamo invaders controlled the ball for nearly 17 of 24 minutes after half with a 139-30 advantage in rushing yards.
Carey's starting players hadn't played a full game all season, despite the team's 4-0 record. Two of the games were mercy rule decisions that ended at halftime. The Panther JV played most of the time after half in two other wins that went into the fourth quarter.
That lack of 48-minute experience took its toll against a poised and very determined Pahranagat Valley Panther squad (4-0) that reached its 44.0 point per game average with three scoring drives of 46, 54 and 70 yards after intermission.
Alamo's 5-7, 170-pound quarterback Hosier said, "To us, this was the Idaho-Nevada state eight-man championship because Carey is a very good team. We wanted to finish our first four games 4-0, and we wanted to show everyone what Nevada football is all about."
Hosier added, "In the second half our defense shut everything down. The game is won on the offensive line and I had time to throw all game."
Pahranagat Valley, a 52-8 winner at Challis earlier this season, out-rushed Carey 274-115, had a 79-64 advantage in offensive plays and a 29-19 minute time-of-possession edge. The second half told the story of a game that featured two fine teams trading TDs for the first 24 minutes on a mild evening.
The Nevada squad, riding the drive of its interior line of 210-pound soph Shota Ray, 200-pound junior Andy Linares and 185-pound senior Jeremy Roemer, attacked the edges of Carey's defense led by 5-8, 155-pound junior tailback Chase Hansen (27 rushes, 184 yards).
"Hansen is a powerful runner, and Hosier is one of the smartest quarterbacks we've ever seen," said Carey coach Lane Kirkland. "Still, I give our kids credit for not giving up. We shut their pass down in the second half, and offensively we ran pretty well (115 yards)."
Carey did much of its rushing damage out of the three-back shotgun formation, sweeping right and left ends. Senior quarterback Caleb Cenarrusa rushed 15 times for 55 yards, and tailback Tim Hoopes added 40 more rushing yards.
Cenarrusa (11-for-22 for 149 yards) also passed well including a thread-the-needle 14-yard TD pass to Shane Bingham giving Carey a 28-24 halftime lead. Kirkland said, "Caleb made some good decisions out there."
The host Panthers drove 56 yards in five plays covering just 35 seconds for that score before half, Cenarrusa completing three passes including a marvelous 35-yard fleaflicker through Dillon Cenarrusa, who lateraled the ball to Hoopes.
Afterwards, coach Kirkland joked with his father Heber Kirkland about the fleaflicker. The trick play used to be a frequent weapon of former Carey coach Heber Kirkland, but his son hadn't used it in a Panther game until last Friday night.
Lane Kirkland said, "What we wanted to accomplish against Pahranagat Valley was for our players to play together and play as hard as they could, win or lose. We wanted to get experience against a good team and we did just that."
Carey prides itself on third- and fourth-down conversions, but Pahranagat Valley's Panthers were better than Carey's Panthers after half (2-for-3 4th down conversions, compared to Carey's 0-for-3). Failing to convert a fourth-and-inches at the Carey 46 just five minutes into the third quarter was crucial.
"That fourth down stop by Pahranagat Valley was probably a turning point because we needed to keep the momentum, and we didn't," said Kirkland.
The Nevada team quickly drove 46 yards in seven plays for a 32-28 lead, stopped Carey four-and-out the next time, and added another score—Hosier's fourth-and-seven 35-yard completion to fellow senior Kale Leavitt the final telling blow.
Senior Blair Peck (16 tackles and sophomore Glen Andrews (11 tackles, 1 sack) led the Carey defense. Hoopes, the team's leading scorer with 54 points, passed three times for 42 yards, caught three passes for 56 yards, ran for a TD and conversion, brought back three kickoffs for 33 yards and made seven tackles on the night.
Carey (2-0 away, 1-0 league) resumes action Friday, Oct. 1 at 3:30 p.m. at Dubois against the Clark County Bobcats (3-1, 3-0 home, 2-0 league). Clark County has beaten Richfield 54-24 and Camas County 58-6 at home the past two weeks, but lost 38-0 at Challis before that. The teams last played in 2003, Carey winning that game 16-2 at Dubois.
CAREY Line Score
Pahranagat 44, Carey 28
PAHRANAGAT VALLEY 8 16 8 12 44
CAREY. 8 20 0 0 28
CAREY—Caleb Cenarrusa, 1-yard run (Tim Hoopes run); 7:53 1st (8-0 C)
PAHRANAGAT VALLEY—Kale Leavitt, 20-yard pass from Cody Hosier (Chase Hansen run); 4:58 1st (8-8)
CAREY—Joe Laidlaw, 98-yard run with intercepted pass (Shane Bingham, pass from Caleb Cenarrusa); 9:58 2nd (16-8 C)
PAHRANAGAT VALLEY—Chase Hansen, 63-yard run (Hansen run); 9:02 2nd (16-16)
CAREY—Tim Hoopes, 5-yard run (pass failed); 3:06 2nd (22-16 C)
PAHRANAGAT VALLEY—Tyler Higbee, 12-yard pass from Cody Hosier (Kade Wadsworth, pass from Hosier); 0:42 2nd (24-22 PV)
CAREY—Shane Bingham, 14-yard pass from Caleb Cenarrusa (run failed); 0:07 2nd (28-24 C)
PAHRANAGAT VALLEY—Cody Hosier, 3-yard run (Kade Wadsworth, pass from Hosier); 3:18 3rd (32-28 PV)
PAHRANAGAT VALLEY—Tyler Higbee, 1-yard run (run failed); 10:40 4th (38-28 PV)
PAHRANAGAT VALLEY—Tyler Higbee, 1-yard run (run failed); 1:40 4th (44-28 PV)
KEY STATS PAHRANAGAT VALLEY CAREY
Offensive plays 79 64
Time of possession 29:19 18:41
1st downs, rush 13 4
1st downs, pass 9 7
1st downs, penalty 1 0
1st downs, total 23 11
Rushes, yards 48-274 32-115
Yards per carry 5.7 3.6
Fumbles lost 0 0
Completions, passes 17-26 14-26
Completion percentage 65% 54%
Passing yards 225 191
Yards per completion 13.2 13.6
Intercepted by 1 1
Sacks by, yards 0-0 1-5
Returns, yards 4-47 7-144
Total yards gained 541 450
Penalties 3-27 5-35
Punts, yardage 1-8 2-77
Yards per punt 8.0 38.5
Rushing—Caleb Cenarrusa 15-55, 2 1sts, 1 TD; Tim Hoopes 11-40, 1 1st, 1 TD, 1 conv.; Shane Bingham 1-11, 1 1st; Charlie Rivera 5-9.
Passing—Caleb Cenarrusa 11-22, 149 yards, 5 1sts, 1 TD, 1 conv.; Tim Hoopes 3-4, 42 yards, 2 1sts.
Receiving—Tim Hoopes 3-56, 2 1sts; Dillon Cenarrusa 4-56, 3 1sts; Charlie Rivera 3-53, 1 1st; Shane Bingham 3-26, 1 1st, 1 TD, 1 conv.; Chance Chavez 1-0.
Interceptions (1)—Joe Laidlaw 1 with a 98-yard TD return.
Sacks (1)—Glen Andrews 1-5.
Kickoff returns—Tim Hoopes 3-33; Baley Barg 1-8; Shane Bingham 1-0.
Punt returns—Blair Peck 1-5.
Tackles (76)—Blair Peck 16, Glen Andrews 11, Tim Hoopes 7, Charlie Rivera 7, Francisco Gamino 7, Chance Chavez 6, Joe Laidlaw 5, Caleb Cenarrusa 5, Shane Bingham 3, Garrett Lee 3, Dillon Cenarrusa 3, Brandon Dilworth 2, Baley Barg 1.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS—Pahranagat Valley
Rushing—Chase Hansen 27-184, 8 1sts, 1 TD, 2 conv.; Tyler Higbee 11-63, 5 1sts, 2 TD; Cody Hosier 10-27, 1 TD.
Passing—Cody Hosier 17-26, 225 yards, 9 1sts, 2 TD, 2 conv., 1 interception.
Receiving—Kale Leavitt 6-122, 5 1sts, 1 TD; Kade Wadsworth 5-50, 2 1sts, 2 conv.; Chase Hansen 4-36, 2 1sts; Tyler Higbee 2-17, 1 TD.
Interceptions (1)—Austin Poulsen 1 with an 8-yard return.
Kickoff returns—Austin Poulsen 2-33.
Punt returns—Chase Hansen 1-6.
Tackles (54)—Kale Leavitt 10, Austin Poulsen 8, Tyler Higbee 6, Chase Hansen 6, Kade Wadsworth 6, Mason Stirling 5, Jeremy Roemer 4, Derek Hansen 4, Andy Linares 2, Cody Hosier 2, Shota Ray 1.
CAREY COMPOSITE Score
Opponents 14 22 8 12 56 (11.2)
Carey 102 98 0 20 220 (44.0)
RESULTS (4-1 overall, 2-1 home, 2-0 away, 1-0 Sawtooth Conference North)
Aug. 27 (Away) Carey 56, Idaho City 6
Sept. 3 (Home) Carey 50, Raft River 0
Sept. 10 (Away) Carey 40, Hagerman 6
Sept. 17 (Home) Carey 46, Camas County 0
Sept. 24 (Home) Pahranagat Valley (Nev.) 44, Carey 28
SCORING TD CONV PTS.
Tim Hoopes 8 3 54
Caleb Cenarrusa 6 1 38
Charlie Rivera 5 1 32
Shane Bingham 2 4 20
Brandon Dilworth 2 0 12
Baley Barg 1 1 8
Joe Laidlaw 1 1 8
Jordan Dilworth 1 0 6
Dillon Cenarrusa 1 0 6
Christian Zarate 1 0 6
Luis Garcia 1 0 6
Austin Hennefer 1 0 6
Tori Alvarez 1 0 6
Lynn Mecham 0 2 4
Jack Cenarrusa 0 2 4
Blair Peck 0 1 2
Note: Joe Laidlaw made a tackle for a 2-point safety.
Touchdown passes—Jordan Dilworth 3, Caleb Cenarrusa 2, Tim Hoopes 1. Conversion passes—Caleb Cenarrusa 4, Tim Hoopes 2, Jordan Dilworth 2. Notes—Carey has scored in 12 of 16 quarters....Carey has successfully made 16 of 30 conversions (53% success rate)....Carey has scored 31 TD—21 on runs from scrimmage, 6 on passes, 3 on defense, 1 on kickoff or punt returns.