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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of  October 10 - 16, 2001


Buhl grinds out 28-13 win, ousts Wolverines

Wood River (2-4) now plays for respect

There was no secret to Buhl’s success story Friday. They ran and ran and ran some more, mostly using one tailback, senior Chris Floyd.

Buhl (5-1, 3-0 league) built a 14-0 lead just four minutes into the pivotal Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference game and whipped Wood River by a score of 28-13 at Bowers Field, Buhl.

Credit the Buhl offensive line for controlling the line of scrimmage and sending Floyd on an amazing 43 runs for 275 yards. Floyd scored all four Tribe touchdowns—three running, one with a huge catch.

The story lines focused on the clock and Buhl capitalizing on early scoring chances.

Buhl hoarded the ball 30 of 48 minutes and piled up 15 rushing first downs, to just three for Wood River. Otherwise, the game was statistically even—446 total yards for Wood River, 440 Buhl.

Never finding a way to stop Floyd, Wood River’s offense never established the run, similar to its previous SCIC losses to Kimberly and Declo.

While Wood River had 196 yards rushing, 176 came on four long runs—a 33-yard dive by Christian Ayala and 46-yard TD run by Nic Nottingham on the first Wolverine drive, and two QB draws for 100 yards by Ryne Reynoso in the fourth.

And the Wolverines (2-4, 0-3 league) missed some golden scoring opportunities.

Buhl scored on three of its first four possessions, twice striking paydirt after Hailey turnovers. Wood River scored once in the first half on a Nottingham’s first TD but came up with nothing on two other drives to the Buhl 17 and 10.

The turning point came in the second quarter, Buhl’s lead 14-7 and the game still in doubt.

Having stopped Wood River at the 17, Buhl pieced together a 20-play, 72-yard drive covering seven minutes. Most of it was Floyd right and Floyd left, but Wood River’s defense rose up and forced a third-and-seven situation at the Wolverine 8.

Forced to throw, Buhl QB AW Wells overthrew a crossing pass to Tim Bourner, but a pass interference call gave the Tribe first-and-goal at the four.

Once again the Wolverine defense fired up. Christian Blackman and Evan Peebles (10 tackles) sacked Floyd for a two-yard-loss, Wells threw incomplete and Sky Barker (9 tackles) stopped Floyd for no gain. That made it fourth down.

Wood River put a big rush on Wells as the Tribe QB retreated and rolled to the right. He floated a pass that just barely dropped over the fingers of Wolverine linebacker Kellen Chatterton and into the hands of Floyd in the end zone. 20-7.

Matt Conover’s interception and a 74-yard Reynoso-to-Cole Everman passing play in the final two minutes moved Wood River to the Buhl 10, where two Hailey passes fell incomplete.

In the second half, Buhl’s defense throttled whatever remained of the Wolverine running game and forced the visitors to pass, which they did mostly unsuccessfully—three possessions and three punts.

That’s when the Tribe said, heck, we’ll break the stalemate. Buhl embarked on a nine-play, 73-yard TD drive with Floyd running six times for 60 yards including a 25-yard draw for his fourth and final TD. Floyd’s conversion run made it 28-7.

After spending the first three quarters with senior QB Joe Molyneux at the wheel, Wood River went with junior QB Reynoso in the fourth and made the score respectable.

Reynoso followed a Nottingham block for a 58-yard TD on a QB draw with seven-and-a-half minutes left. Another long Reynoso run, a 42-yarder, put Wood River in business at the Tribe 13 with less than two minutes left. But a holding penalty was a killer.


Still a playoff chance?

Wood River can still make the playoffs as one of three SCIC representatives, but it needs help in the weeks ahead.

For instance, wins over Filer and Gooding in its last two games would put Wood River at 4-4 and 2-3 in league.

Assuming Gooding loses at Declo Friday, the only scenario that would put Wood River in the playoffs would be if Kimberly loses its final two games, home against Buhl and at Filer, to finish 2-6, 1-4 league.

In that case, Gooding and Wood River would finish 2-3, with Wood River getting the nod because of head-to-head.

Defending SCIC champion Declo (5-1, 3-0 league) and Buhl (5-1, 3-0) are state locks—with their season-ending game Oct. 19 at Buhl likely determining the top seed into the playoffs.

The way state is set up this year, the SCIC winner will host the third-place Fifth District team—either Bear Lake or Preston—while the SCIC runner-up will be pitted against unbeaten Snake River (6-0).

All Snake River has done is win five of the last six State 3A championships—failing only in 1997 when Marsh Valley nipped Snake River in the semi-finals and Weiser captured the title.

This year, the third-place SCIC team will visit the Sixth District champion, most likely Teton (5-2, 3-0 league). After winning the State A-3 title in 1999, Teton made it to the final eight of the A-2 playoffs in 2000, losing to Snake River 27-13.

Wood River lost 47-20 to Teton in the first round of the 2000 state playoffs in Pocatello.

SCIC NOTES—Seventh-year Buhl coach Gary Krumm crept over the .500 mark with a 30-29 record with the win over Wood River. Krumm’s Tribe teams won league titles in 1997 and 1998. This will be Krumm’s fifth state playoff trip in seven years, but his first winning season since 1998.

Wood River’s three-game losing streak is its longest since 1998, when Hailey dropped its first three games to Middleton, American Falls and New Plymouth then rebounded with a 3-3 mark to make state.

In Wood River’s three SCIC losses, opponents have rushed 151 times for 865 yards, to Wood River’s 75 carries for 503 yards. Rushing first downs are 41 for opponents, 13 for Wood River. Time of possession: 85 minutes for opponents, 60 minutes WR.

WR’s four losses have come to teams with a combined 18-6 record. The two Wolverine wins have come over an 0-6 Middleton team and 4-3 Glenns Ferry bunch.

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.