Trying to regain the Sawtooth Conference regular-season title it held for four straight years from 2005-08, the Carey School eight-man football team had to take care of business Thursday at Dietrich.
Carey (6-1, 3-0 league) did just that, knuckling down on defense and out-gaining Dietrich 565-181 en route to a 42-6 Sawtooth North Division victory that took a little bit of the fun out of the Blue Devils Homecoming celebration.
Seniors Caleb Cenarrusa and Tim Hoopes each scored two touchdowns. But the story of the game was Carey's defense, which spent 32 of the 48 minutes on the field hunkering down to hold the Blue Devils running game to just 65 yards.
Panther coach Lane Kirkland said, "Our defense spent a long time on the field and played a great game. They stopped the run, contained the pass and picked up the screen passes—always a good sign because it tells me that our kids are smart."
The win, Carey's fourth on the road, cleared the way for the Panthers to focus on Mackay—the team that stole the Sawtooth title away from Carey in 2009 with a 26-22 home win and ousted Carey 22-14 in the State 1A Division 1 semi-finals.
Carey entertains last year's state runner-up Mackay (3-2, 2-0 league) Friday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. at Derrick Parke Memorial Field in a game that should decide the Sawtooth North Division title and settle the North's top seed for the State 1A Division 2 playoffs Nov. 5.
"Dietrich was a decent team. They gave us a good hard-hitting game and made us play four quarters, which is good for us. We'll be playing another decent team in Mackay Friday. We've been anticipating playing Mackay again for about a year," said Kirkland.
Mackay, averaging 28.4 ppg and yielding 9.6 ppg, doesn't have the offensive punch of the Kole Krosch-led power that snapped Carey's 28-game Sawtooth win streak last fall. But the Miners (11-1 last year) have won 11 straight league games dating back to a 36-14 loss in their last visit to Carey in 2008.
Even without Krosch, the Miners (0-1 away, 3-1 home) are still tough. They lost to Challis by four points and at North Gem by two prior to 44-0 and 48-0 home wins over Richfield (1-5, 0-3) and Camas County (2-5, 0-4) the last two weeks.
With the format of the Sawtooth North and Sawtooth South divisions this year, the top two teams in each division advance to the eight-team State 1A Division 2 playoffs. In the first round, the North Division winner will play the South runner-up, and vice versa.
Castleford (6-0, 3-0, 57.3 ppg offense, 12.3 ppg defense) and Rockland (6-0, 3-0, 44.0/9.0) are in lockstep for the South title, and they'll meet Friday, Oct. 22 at Rockland during Carey's bye week. If Carey beats Mackay Friday, the Panthers will likely host the loser of Castleford-Rockland in the first round.
Friday's Mackay game is also "Senior Night" recognizing eight seniors—Shane Bingham, Caleb Cenarrusa, Jacy Baird, Joe Laidlaw, Lynn Mecham, Tim Hoopes, Blair Peck and Brandon Dilworth.
Hard-hitting game at Dietrich
There was no question Dietrich's skill players were fast, talented and could score in bunches, judging by the 50.5 ppg Blue Devils output in four wins over Murtaugh, Raft River, Richfield and Camas.
But Carey's defense led by Blair Peck (13 tackles), Hoopes (11) and Glen Andrews (7) was stubborn. The Blue Devils rushed 37 times for just 65 yards. On 22 of the carries, the Panther defense held Dietrich to two yards or fewer. Carey had five quarterback sacks.
Dominating Dietrich was Carey's strong and quick defensive front including Peck, Andrews, Francisco Gamino, Joe Laidlaw and Rivera.
It's not often a team like Dietrich dominates offensive plays (74-58) and time of possession (32-16) and loses by 36, but that's the kind of game it was Thursday. Carey made big plays when needed. Dietrich had two many penalties (12 calls for 88 yards) and was too soft on its special teams play.
Carey junior Charlie Rivera opened the game with a 95-yard kickoff return.
After the Panther defense stopped the Blue Devils thanks to a 14-yard Andrews sack, Carey built its lead to 14-0 on a 37-yard Rivera end run and a 39-yard TD pass from Cenarrusa to Shane Bingham. It was dump-off pass that Bingham turned into a long TD by breaking a tackle at the Dietrich 21 and running it home.
For the game, Carey rushed 36 times for 246 yards (6.8 per carry) and added 112 yards passing and 207 yards for a well-balanced 565 yards.
Hoopes (13 rushes, 93 yards) and Cenarrusa (10 rushes, 73 yards plus 8-for-16, 115 passing yards) were the offensive stars for the Panthers.
Despite the impressive numbers, the Panther offense didn't have its best night. Kirkland said, "Our execution on offense was just fair. Turnovers slowed our momentum."
Cenarrusa's 62-yard punt return set up Carey's third TD for a 20-0 lead early in the second period. Running by Hoopes pushed the lead to 28-0 on a six-play, 47-yard drive helped by a pair of penalties for first downs whistled against Dietrich.
But two other Carey scoring opportunities were nullified by a fumble and interception in the first half. And, after another 39-yard Cenarrusa-to-Bingham aerial with time ticking away, a high snap killed a Panther TD at the one-yard-line with no time left on the clock.
A 26-yard Hoopes TD run on Carey's first possession of the second half moved the meter to 34-6. The lopsided score could have gotten worse thereafter—since a 68-yard TD punt return by Hoopes on Dietrich's next possession was called back by a penalty and the Panthers fumbled on their next play.
But the Carey defense stayed consistent and kept plugging away until the end, holding Dietrich to just 181 total yards including 114 on returns.
Homecoming king Alex Heimerdinger (10-for-19, 43 yards) was under constant pressure when passing, and was surrounded when he tried to run (12 carries for 10 yards). Speedy senior Dion Norman (21 carries, 33 yards plus 76 yards on kickoff returns) didn't find much daylight in Carey's first night game at Dietrich.
Carey now has seven straight wins over Dietrich by a 416-92 score since the Blue Devils last beat the Panthers 84-48 in Carey seven years ago. See today's Web site for Carey-Dietrich game statistics.
CAREY Line Score
Carey 42, Dietrich 6
CAREY 14 14 6 8 42
DIETRICH. 0 6 0 0 6
CAREY—Charlie Rivera, 95-yard kickoff return (Caleb Cenarrusa run); 11:45 1st (8-0 C)
CAREY—Shane Bingham, 39-yard pass from Caleb Cenarrusa (pass failed); 4:29 1st (14-0 C)
CAREY—Caleb Cenarrusa, 1-yard run (pass failed); 11:23 2nd (20-0 C)
CAREY—Tim Hoopes, 3-yard run (Charlie Rivera, pass from Caleb Cenarrusa); 5:23 2nd (28-0 C)
DIETRICH—Alex Heimerdinger, 1-yard run (run failed); 1:25 2nd (28-6 C)
CAREY—Tim Hoopes, 26-yard run (pass failed); 6:32 3rd (34-6 C)
CAREY—Caleb Cenarrusa, 1-yard run (Tim Hoopes, pass from Caleb Cenarrusa); 6:46 4th (42-6 C)
KEY STATS CAREY DIETRICH
Offensive plays 58 74
Time of possession 15:47 32:13
1st downs, rush 8 3
1st downs, pass 2 4
1st downs, penalty 2 1
1st downs, total 12 8
Rushes, yards 36-246 37-65
Yards per carry 6.8 1.8
Fumbles lost 3 2
Completions, passes 9-19 10-20
Completion percentage 47% 50%
Passing yards 112 43
Yards per completion 12.4 4.8
Intercepted by 0 1
Sacks by, yards 5-41 0-0
Returns, yards 6-207 7-114
Total yards gained 565 181
Penalties 5-47 12-88
Punts, yardage 0-0 7-127
Yards per punt 0.0 18.1
Rushing—Tim Hoopes 13-93, 2 1sts, 2 TD; Caleb Cenarrusa 10-73, 1 1st, 2 TD; Charlie Rivera 8-59, 3 1sts; Austin Hennefer 1-10, 1 1st; Jordan Dilworth 2-9, 1 1st; Brandon Dilworth 2-2.
Passing—Caleb Cenarrusa 8-16, 115 yards, 2 1sts, 1 TD, 2 conv., 1 interception; Jordan Dilworth 1-2, -3 yards; Tim Hoopes 0-1.
Receiving—Shane Bingham 4-102, 2 1sts, 1 TD; Tim Hoopes 3-10, 1 conv.; Charlie Rivera 1-3, 1 conv.; Baley Barg 1, -3.
Fumble recoveries (2)—Tim Hoopes 1, Charlie Rivera 1.
Sacks (5)—Glen Andrews 1-14; Francisco Gamino 1-12; Charlie Rivera 1-11; Rivera and Andrews 1-2; Blair Peck 1-2.
Kickoff returns—Charlie Rivera 1-95, 1 TD.
Punt returns—Caleb Cenarrusa 2-64; Tim Hoopes 3-48.
Tackles (74)—Blair Peck 13, Tim Hoopes 11, Glen Andrews 7, Charlie Rivera 7, Shane Bingham 7, Chance Chavez 6, Caleb Cenarrusa 6, Joe Laidlaw 5, Francisco Gamino 5, Baley Barg 4, Jack Cenarrusa 1, Garrett Lee 1, Brandon Dilworth 1.
Rushing—Dion Norman 21-33, 2 1sts; Alex Heimerdinger 12-10, 1 TD; James McDaniel 4-22, 1 1st.
Passing—Alex Heimerdinger 10-19, 43 yards, 4 1sts; Dion Norman 0-1.
Receiving—Dion Norman 3-8, 1 1st; Andru Howard 2-13, 1 1st; Brody Astle 1-20, 1 1st; Jakob Howard 1-14, 1 1st; James McDaniel 2, -12; Arturo Vargas 1-0.
Interceptions (1)—Andru Howard 1 with a 20-yard return.
Fumble recoveries (3)—Gray Weber 1, Andru Howard 1, Alex Heimerdinger 1.
Kickoff returns—Dion Norman 4-76; Alex Heimerdinger 1-11; Brody Astle 1-6.
Tackles (45)—Gray Weber 10, Rashon Norman 7, Brody Astle 7, Dion Norman 7, Alex Heimerdinger 5, Andru Howard 3, Hazen Weber 2, Colton Hanson 2, James McDaniel 1, Jakob Howard 1.
Carey Composite 2010
Opponents 14 34 8 12 68 (9.7)
Carey 130 128 24 34 316 (45.1)
RESULTS (6-1 overall, 2-1 home, 4-0 away, 3-0 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
Oct. 1 (Away) Carey 54, Clark County 6
Oct. 7 (Away) Carey 42, Dietrich 6
SCORING TD CONV PTS.
Tim Hoopes 13 4 86
Caleb Cenarrusa 8 2 52
Charlie Rivera 6 3 42
Shane Bingham 3 6 30
Dillon Cenarrusa 3 1 20
Baley Barg 2 2 16
Brandon Dilworth 2 0 12
Luis Garcia 2 0 12
Joe Laidlaw 1 1 8
Jordan Dilworth 1 0 6
Christian Zarate 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 and Glen Andrews had 2-point safeties.
Touchdown passes—Caleb Cenarrusa 6, Jordan Dilworth 3, Tim Hoopes 2. Conversion passes—Caleb Cenarrusa 11, Tim Hoopes 2, Jordan Dilworth 2. Notes—Carey has scored in 20 of 24 quarters....Carey has successfully made 24 of 42 conversions (57% success rate)....Carey has scored 44 TD—28 on runs from scrimmage, 11 on passes, 3 on defense, 2 on kickoff or punt returns.