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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of October 2 - 8, 2002


Time runs out on 
Wood River’s bid

Kimberly wins 34-33 
in another Homer Field thriller

There was a lot of fight in both the Wood River Wolverines and Kimberly Bulldogs Friday in yet another thrilling one-point prep football game at Hailey’s new Phil Homer Field.

In the Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference opener that wasn’t settled until the final nine seconds, Kimberly and Wood River (451 rushing yards) put 67 points, 10 touchdowns and 1,028 total yards on the board.

Kimberly (1-3, 1-0 league) rallied from a 19-7 deficit and prevailed 34-33—but it was Wood River (1-3, 0-1) knocking at the door with an amazing fourth-quarter comeback of its own that ended 18 yards short of victory.

"We just ran out of time," said Wood River coach John Blackman. "It was our best offensive effort to date. We just pounded it at them all night. The kids never quit—it just never entered their minds."

Despite a resilient rally that ended when Kimberly’s Ricky Zodrow blocked a 35-yard field goal attempt by Kellen Chatterton that would have won the game, Wood River players were bitterly disappointed.

They had lost a 27-26 overtime game to Jerome Sept. 13 at Homer Field when a two-point conversion attempt was stopped, and they lost Friday’s potboiler when Kimberly’s defense stopped Matt Conover’s two-point conversion plunge at the one.

"It’s very hard losing two games like that," said Blackman.

Big plays sparked Wood River, Matt Pruett (3 TDs, 140 yards rushing) busting loose for 65-yard and 50-yard scoring runs and Chatterton (a season-high 177 yards rushing) busting up the middle and hurdling tacklers on 75-yard and 45-yard TD runs.

Kimberly put together the longer drives and opportunistically recovered an onsides kick to start the second half, fueling a 13-point third quarter that gave the Bulldogs a 27-19 lead. Kimberly’s 5-for-7, 89-yard passing after the half was a big factor.

So was the officiating.

"We could have played better defense, but I felt the officiating affected the game," said Blackman.

The officials disallowed Conover’s incredible 97-yard TD punt return early in the second on a clip against Chatterton. "I watched the game film 20 times and Kellen’s block was a perfect nose-to-nose. It wasn’t even close," said Blackman.

Astonishingly, Conover was whistled for intentional grounding on the next play—Blackman nearly blowing his stack. "There were two receivers where he threw," he said.

But the game-turning miscall, in Blackman’s view, was a 15-yard illegal participation whistle for having too many men on the field when Kimberly was punting—on 4th and 15 at the Wolverine 44 of a 27-27 tie game with six-and-a-half minutes left.

"Zach Bloomfield goes on the field in punt formation and Jason Nelson comes out. Jason didn’t come out so Zach called time out, and we were also yelling time out from the sideline, and the official heard it, but he still called the penalty," he said.

Given new life, Kimberly surprised the unsettled Wolverine defense with a 30-yard TD pass on the very next play and kicked the extra point for a 34-27 lead. Chatterton came right back with his 45-yard TD run on third-and-6, but Conover’s two-point dive fell just short.

Refusing to die with three minutes left, Wood River’s defense stopped Kimberly without a first down on a hard Chatterton (19 tackles) stick and a Christian Blackman tackle in the backfield. Conover returned a punt 19 yards and Wood River methodically drove deep into Kimberly turf.

Kimberly’s defense stiffened in the red zone. Out of time outs—and virtually out of time with nine seconds left—Wood River resorted to the desperation field goal that was blocked. "It would have been our game if we had a couple of more minutes," said Blackman.



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