Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Minico wears down WRHS 46-28 for GBC title

Playoff teams clash in physical battle


By JEFF CORDES
Express Staff Writer

     A gutsy performance by the Wood River High School football team couldn’t overcome a game-turning effort by the beefy Minico Spartans front line during Friday’s hard-fought Great Basin Conference championship game in Hailey.

     Coach Tim Perrigot’s Spartans (7-2) won their seventh consecutive game and secured their eighth GBC regular-season championship in 10 years with a 46-28 victory over the upset-minded Wolverines (6-3). The Spartans out-gained Wood River 491-338 in yardage.

     Wood River, averaging 181 rushing yards per game, was limited to 111 by Minico’s bruising defense. In addition, Wolverine junior quarterback Alec Nordsieck was sacked six times and intercepted on three occasions late in the game.

     The shutdown of the running game forced Nordsieck (19-for-29, 232 yards, 3 TD) to go airborne more than usual. He read defenses well, hitting six different receivers, and scrambled for a team-high 56 yards to keep the offense in motion.

     In the absence of top scorer Gunner Gibson, serving a one-game suspension because of a game ejection, Nordsieck relied more on senior Austin Savaria (8 catches for 74 yards) and senior Cam Benson (3 catches, 72 yards). He connected with Savaria twice for touchdowns, and with Benson once.

     But the quick-moving Minico attack kept coming up with answers led by senior quarterback Tanner Harper (9-for-13, 131 yards, 3 TD), senior running back Daniel Freiburger (14 carries, 92 yards) and, in the second half, senior Daxton Davis (11 carries, 59 yards).

     When Wood River defenders started looking for the run, Harper snuck passes down the middle to junior Peyton Bailey. He caught a 16-yard TD on Minico’s 80-yard drive to start the second half, and added a 13-yard TD for the final score.

     Among the Minico 200-pounders up front were 6-2 senior Josh Barclay (8 tackles), 250-pound senior J.J. Silvaz and sophomore Donaven Rottini (game-high 13 tackles), along with inside linebackers Daxton Davis and junior Jared Nessen.

     “We got worn down physically up front,” said Wood River coach Kevin Stilling. “Minico was extremely fast, a lot faster than Gooding, but it was their sheer size up front.

     “It was a hard-fought physical game. I noticed, probably for the first time in a game we’ve played with Minico, that we weren’t the only ones limping around after the game.”

     “But I was really impressed with our kids’ resiliency. Coach Perrigot told me after the game, you guys just wouldn’t go away. And our guys did play for 48 minutes. It was a 48-minute street fight.”

     Wood River secured its best-ever 4A Great Basin Conference finish in 11 seasons with a 4-1 mark for second place.

     In the first period, it seemed the Wolverines would settle for nothing but first place in the well-attended clash on a mild evening at Phil Homer Field.

     Following a 17-yard Savaria kickoff return to start the game, Nordsieck engineered a 14-play, 62-yard scoring drive that ate up nearly seven minutes. He completed three passes for 36 yards, one of them coming on a 4th-and-6 gamble from the Spartan 46 when Savaria caught a 21-yarder down the middle.

     Yet for all the efforts of Hailey’s offensive line of center Jackson Toothman, guards Dee Jay McMurdo and Taylor Douthit, and tackles Parker Bingham and Jens Blackman, the Spartan defense stopped Wood River cold on three straight runs up the gut from the Minico 1-yard-line.

     It foreshadowed Wood River’s problems to come in penetrating the Minico line.

     Stilling called time out. Wood River went with a play action pass where Nordsieck showed movement to the left, and then swiveled right for a flip to a wide-open Savaria in the right flat for a 6-0 lead. Kyle Weller made the first of his two extra-point kicks.

     Four of Friday’s 11 touchdowns, two for each team, came on fourth-down plays.

     Minico, going four-and-out on its first possession, trailed 7-0 after one quarter and was held without a first down in the first 12 minutes. But the Spartans tallied three unanswered touchdowns in the second period for an 18-7 lead.

     Penalties started sniping at the Spartan heels at that point as Minico (13 penalties, 142 yards) actually out-did Wood River (8-for-82) in the infraction department.

     Holding and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties whistled against Minico helped along Wood River’s 15-play, 80-yard, six-minute drive making the halftime score 18-13. Nordsieck completed three passes and ran for tough yardage in Minico territory, including his one-yard touchdown plunge.

     But that touchdown caused a very strange situation because Minico’s defense thought it had stopped Nordsieck behind the Wolverine line surge. The officials ejected Minico’s Isaiah Cofer and assessed three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties against the Spartans.

     It meant that Wood River kickoff man Weller teed up the subsequent kickoff from the Minico 15-yard-line, with 14 seconds left in the half. No one could recall ever seeing such a situation before on a kickoff.

     Weller bounced the short kick over the Minico defenders and Jubal Toothman pounced on it in the end zone for an apparent Wood River touchdown and a 19-18 lead that sent the home crowd into a frenzy. The officials puzzled over what had happened and, correctly, ruled it an automatic touchback.

     Minico brought its “A” game in the second half and wore down Wood River.

     The Spartan defense limited the Wolverines to just 37 rushing yards, while piling up 104 yards on their own and keeping the Hailey defense on the field. Still, the Wolverines hung very tough despite four interceptions after the half.

     Highlight was a six-play, 79-yard scoring drive that narrowed the Minico lead to 25-21 midway through the third.

     Benson, a first-year football player, made a great catch on a Nordsieck crossing pass for 37 yards. The gritty quarterback shrugged off a sack and completed three straight passes to three receivers, the final one a 12-yard scoring toss to Savaria.

     Jubal Toothman and senior Hayden Thayer led the Hailey defense with 12 tackles apiece. Sophomore Travis Swanson added 10 and Nordsieck eight.

 

WRHS Line Score

Minico 46, Wood River 28

MINICO....................................... 0.... 18.... 14.... 14      46

wood river.................................. 7..... 6..... 8..... 7       28

                                       SCORING                                      

1st half

Wood River—Austin Savaria, 1-yard pass from Alec Nordsieck (Kyle Weller kick); 5:24 1st (7-0 WR).

Minico—Tanner Harper, 4-yard run (pass failed); 10:54 2nd (7-6 WR).

Minico—Chris Caldara, 44-yard pass from Tanner Harper (run failed); 9:08 2nd (12-7 M).

Minico—Tanner Harper, 4-yard run (kick failed); 5:48 2nd (18-7 M).

Wood River—Alec Nordsieck, 1-yard run (kick blocked); 0:14 2nd (18-13 M).

 

2nd half

Minico—Peyton Bailey, 16-yard pass from Tanner Harper (Harper kick); 8:51 3rd 2nd (25-13 M).

Wood River—Cam Benson, 13-yard pass from Alec Nordsieck (Austin Savaria, pass from Nordsieck); 7:35 3rd (25-21 M).

Minico—Daxton Davis, 18-yard run (Tanner Harper kick); 4:50 3rd (32-21 M).

Minico—Peyton Bailey, 6-yard run (Tanner Harper kick); 9:39 4th (39-21 M).

Wood River—Austin Savaria, 12-yard pass from Alec Nordsieck (Kyle Weller kick); 6:39 4th (39-28 M).

Minico—Peyton Bailey, 13-yard pass from Tanner Harper (Harper kick); 1:44 4th (46-28 M).

KEY STATS........................ MINICO......................... WOOD RIVER

Offensive plays............................................. 70........................................................ 84

Time of possession.................................... 17:16................................................. 30:44

1st downs, rush.............................................. 12........................................................... 7

1st downs, pass............................................... 3............................................................ 9

1st downs, penalty........................................ 2............................................................ 7

1st downs, total............................................. 17......................................................... 23

Rushes, yards............................................. 46, 192.............................................. 35, 111

Yards per carry............................................. 4.2....................................................... 3.2

Fumbles lost.................................................... 1............................................................ 0

Completions, passes................................. 9, 13................................................ 19, 30

Completion percentage.......................... 69%.................................................. 63%

Passing yards................................................ 131...................................................... 232

Yards per completion................................ 14.6..................................................... 12.2

Intercepted by................................................ 4............................................................ 0

Sacks by, yards........................................... 6, 48................................................... 0, 0

Returns, yards............................................ 5, 168................................................ 8, 43

Total yards gained...................................... 491..................................................... 338

Third down efficiency........................... 2 for 7.......................................... 4 for 12

Fourth down efficiency........................ 2 for 2............................................ 4 for 5

Penalties...................................................... 13, 142................................................ 8, 82

Punts, yardage............................................ 2, 93................................................. 3, 101

Yards per punt............................................. 46.5.................................................... 33.7

 

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS—Wood River

Rushing—Alec Nordsieck 17-56, 5 1sts, 1 TD; Ashton Owens 10-41, 2 1sts; Owen Gifford 4-8; Austin Savaria 3-8; Chris Lentz 1, -2.

Passing—Alec Nordsieck 19-29, 232 yards, 9 1sts, 3 TD, 1 conv., 3 interceptions; Cade Schott 0-1, 1 interception.

Receiving—Austin Savaria 8-74, 2 1sts, 2 TD, 1 conv.; Cam Benson 3-72, 2 1sts, 1 TD; Ashton Owens 4-38, 3 1sts; Owen Gifford 2-25, 1 1st; Hagan Barsch 1-12, 1 1st; Hayden Thayer 1-11.

Kickoff returns—Owen Gifford 3-30; Austin Savaria 1-17; Bodie Bennett 1-1; Ashton Owens 1, -5.

Punt returns—Owen Gifford 1-5; Cam Benson 1-5.

All-purpose yardage—Alec Nordsieck 288.

Fumble recoveries—Jubal Toothman 1.

Tackles (66)—Jubal Toothman 12, Hayden Thayer 12, Travis Swanson 10, Alec Nordsieck 8, Austin Savaria 7, Hans Heaphy 5, Parker Bingham 3, Wyatt Johnson 1, Ozzi Alberdi 1, Chris Lentz 1, Cam Benson 1, Jacob Bulotti 1, Jens Blackman 1, Ashton Owens 1, Hagan Barsch 1, Taylor Douthit 1.

 

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS—Minico

Rushing—Daniel Freiburger 14-92, 4 1sts; Daxton Davis 11-59, 3 1sts, 1 TD; Tanner Harper 10-37, 2 1sts, 2 TD; Peyton Bailey 7-21, 2 1sts, 1 TD; Nico Chavez 1-4, 1 1st.

Passing—Tanner Harper 9-13, 131 yards, 3 1sts, 3 TD.

Receiving—Nico Chavez 4-35, 2 1sts; Peyton Bailey 2-29, 2 TD; Chris Caldara 1-44, 1 TD; Daniel Freiburger 1-21, 1 1st; Brandon Williams 1-2.

Kickoff returns—Nico Chavez 1-37; Chris Caldara 1-20.

All-purpose yardage—Tanner Harper 168, Nico Chavez 157.

Interceptions (4)—Nico Chavez 2 with 81 yards in returns; Trey Crystal 1 with a 30-yard return; Tristen Dunahoo 1.

Sacks (6)—Josh Barclay 2-26; Donaven Rottini 2-10; Daxton Davis 1-7; Kaleb Fife, Donaven Rottini and Andrew Vela 1-5.

Tackles (64)—Donaven Rottini 13, Josh Barclay 8, Kade Crystal 7, Trenton Chandler 5, Trey Crystal 5, Daxton Davis 4, Daniel Freiburger 4, J.J. Silvaz 4, Jared Nessen 3, Nico Chavez 2, Tristen Dunahoo 2, Brandon Williams 1, Andrew Vela 1, Dylan Schell 1, Jaden Jensen 1, Tanner Harper 1, Kaleb Fife 1, Isaiah Cofer 1.

 

2014 WoodRiver Football Composite

 

 

TOTAL SCORING

Opponents................................... 27........ 78........ 51.... 40……0 196 (21.8)

WoodRiver.................................. 86........ 92........ 28.... 59……3 268 (29.8)

 

RESULTS (6-3 overall, 2-2 home, 4-1 away, 4-1 Great Basin Conference)

Aug. 29 (Away)................................................ Wood River 17, Jerome 14

Sept. 5 (Away)....................................................... Wood River 41, Filer 6

Sept. 12 (Away).................................... Wood River 24, Twin Falls 21 (OT)

Sept. 19 (Home).............................................. Gooding 42, Wood River 40

Sept. 26 (Away)............................................. Wood River 33, Kimberly 14

Oct. 3 (Home).................................................... Wood River 46, Burley 14

Oct. 10 (Away)..................................................... Buhl 19, Wood River 18

Oct. 17 (Home)....................................... Wood River 21, Canyon Ridge 20

Oct. 24 (Home).................................................. Minico 46, Wood River 28

Nov. 1 (State 4A)....................................................................................

 

SCORING.......................................... TD............ CONV................. PTS.

Gunner Gibson..................................... 9................. 0......................... 54

Austin Savaria..................................... 6................. 2......................... 40

Ashton Owens..................................... 6................. 1......................... 38

Owen Gifford....................................... 6................. 0......................... 36

Alec Nordsieck.................................... 5................. 1......................... 32

Hunter Kern......................................... 0................ 11........................ 14

Chris Lentz.......................................... 2................. 0......................... 12

Hayden Thayer.................................... 2................. 0......................... 12

Kyle Weller.......................................... 0................. 7......................... 10

Cam Benson........................................ 1................. 0.......................... 6

Champe Kotara.................................... 1................. 0.......................... 6

Aramys Gallegos................................. 1................. 0.......................... 6

Hagan Barsch...................................... 0................. 0.......................... 2

Note: Kyle Weller kicked a 20-yard field goal; Hunter Kern kicked a 19-yard field goal.

 

Touchdown passes—Alec Nordsieck 18, Cade Schott 1, Owen Gifford 1. Conversion passes—Alec Nordsieck 1. Notes—Wood River has scored in 29 of 36 quarters....Wood River has successfully made 22 of 39 conversions (56% success rate)....Wood River has scored 39 TD—15 on runs from scrimmage, 20 on passes, 2 on kickoff or punt returns, 2 on defense.

 

 

 

 




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