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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 23 - 29, 2002


Wood River powers 
past Filer 28-20

Running game (381 yards) 
eats up the clock

There was a pretty powerful exhibition of minimum-risk, ball-control offense happening at Filer’s football field Friday night—an offense executed to near perfection by the Wood River High School football team.

Running the ball an amazing 67 times for 381 yards and never losing a fumble, the Wolverines pounded away at Filer’s defense and ate up 32 minutes of the 48-minute Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference contest.

Dylan Welcome, running power in the Oct. 11 home game against Buhl, was a big factor in the Filer victory with 108 yards on a game-high 22 carries. Express photo by David N. Seelig


The result was a 28-20 Wood River victory featuring the rare feat of having three 100-yard rushers in a single game—Matt Pruett (120 yards and 3 TD), Joe Paisley (111 yards) and Dylan Welcome (108).

It snapped a three-game losing skid and gave Wood River (2-5, 1-3 league) its first SCIC win of 2002, indeed, its first league victory in nine games covering two fall campaigns.

Wood River, led by junior quarterback Brandon Silvia, scored in each quarter while the Wolverine defense spread out and contained the manic Filer offense run by scrambling quarterback Andy Griff (115 yards rushing, 169 yards passing and 3 TD).

Straightforward in its tactics, Wood River built a 14-0 halftime cushion and persevered, just as coach John Blackman’s Wolverine squad has done all season in adversity.

Christian Blackman, Wood River senior end and co-captain, snags a pass during the Oct. 11 home game against Buhl. Express photo by David N. Seelig


Wood River had suffered three tough losses, to unbeaten Wendell in the season opener, plus two excruciating one-point home losses to Jerome and Kimberly. Then the Wolverines lost QB Matt Conover (knee).

But the Wolverines put together four lengthy scoring drives, 73, 70, 55 and 64 yards, and were steadfast on defense when Filer (3-4, 1-3 league) gained momentum in the second half and threatened to tie the score.

With the victory, Wood River kept alive its slim hopes for the third State 3A playoff berth from the SCIC.

The Wolverines need to post their first-ever win on the new Phil Homer Field when Gooding arrives for the season finale Friday, Oct. 25. And they need Filer to win at Kimberly (2-5, 2-2 league) this Friday night to force a three-way tie for third place.


Power running at Filer

Winning the coin toss and electing to receive the kickoff, Wood River embarked on a six-minute, 13-play, 73-yard scoring drive. Power running to the right side dominated the drive.

The offensive linemen carving out the holes included center Mark Neville, guards Scott Sanders and David Wood, tackles Dan Fierman and Kenny Kelb, ends Christian Blackman and Zach Bloomfield.

In fact Kelb, a 6-4, 285-pound senior, was responsible for preserving the TD drive. On first-and-goal at the Wildcat 11-yard-line, Kelb alertly picked up a Silvia fumble. Running like a fullback, he advanced the ball three yards before being tackled.

Paisley, who contributed some clutch runs all evening, on the next play dashed through the right side eight yards to paydirt and Kellen Chatterton successfully kicked the first of his four extra points.

Filer unveiled its quick-to-the-snap shotgun formation with Griff at the helm and moved 63 yards on 16 plays before Sanders batted away a fourth-down screen pass at the Wolverine 18 and stopped the threat.

Early in the second quarter, Filer moved deep into Wolverine territory. But Bloomfield made a great stick on Wildcat running back Caleb Lammers, forcing a fumble that Chad Hayward recovered at the Hailey 30.

Wood River went to work—Welcome following Silvia’s lead block for a 14-yard gainer, Paisley running twice for a total 11 yards and Pruett hitting the hole for 10 more. Then Pruett busted through the pack and into open field for a 35-yard TD run.

The Wolverines nearly boosted their halftime lead to 21-0 with a long drive highlighted by a 15-yard slant pass from Silvia to Pruett. But with time winding down Griff intercepted another Silvia pass and Wood River settled for a 14-0 lead at intermission.

Using Griff’s established scrambling ability and adding the option pitch and shovel pass effectively, Filer struck for its first score with a seven-play, 75-yard drive in the first two minutes of the third quarter.

What Wood River needed to stop Filer’s momentum was a quick touchdown—and the Wolverines, sparked by Hayward’s 15-yard kickoff return, put together an excellent 12-play, 55-yard scoring drive. Pruett ran five times for 24 yards including a 1-yard TD plunge for a 21-7 lead.

Filer answered immediately with a 67-yard TD drive, Griff hitting Jake Thornton with a 16-yard scoring aerial on third-and-nine as the buzzer sounded ending the third quarter.

But this was Wood River’s night.

Paisley returned the kickoff 11 yards and Welcome ran three times into Wildcat territory. Trailing 21-14 with eight minutes left, Filer’s defense stiffened and put the Wolverines into a third-and-14 situation.

That’s when Paisley made the biggest run of the night, scooting 26 yards on power left and almost breaking it. Chatterton made an incredible leap of the pile and pushed ahead 10 yards to the Filer 15. And Pruett followed Tyler Brown’s lead block for a 15-yard TD run at 7:08.

Filer (166 yards rushing, 169 passing) frantically scored once more but ran out of time and time outs. Pruett (9 tackles) and Chatterton (8) led the defense. For the season Chatterton has a team-high 88 tackles.



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