With 4:36 left in the fourth quarter and the Rigby High School football team trailing Hillcrest 40-32, the large contingent of Trojan fans began chanting “We believe in you.”
The Trojans were listening.
Braden Youngstrom scored three of Rigby’s final four touchdowns to propel Rigby to a 58-52 three overtime win over Hillcrest in a thriller 5A District 5-6 showdown at Thunder Stadium.
“I thought I wasn’t in California anymore,” Trojans coach Armando Gonzalez said. “That game about gave me a heart attack. That was a wild shootout that we had to work really hard to get a big win.”
The senior Youngstrom scored on a two-yard run with less than three minutes remaining in regulation to pull Rigby within two and a Tanner Clayton two-point conversion pass to Austin Good tied the game at 40-40.
Just as they had done most of the night, the Knights marched the ball down the field.
A 33-yard screen pass from Dalton Clark to Oakley Hussey put the Knights inside the Trojan 25, but they were unable to get the ball into the endzone.
“I thought that screen play to Oakley was going to get it for us,” Knights coach Jeff Marshall said. “But we just couldn’t get it in. Give credit to Rigby. They made a stop when they needed to.”
Each team scored on their possessions of the first two overtime periods. Clark found Marlowe on a five-yard strike to open the scoring. Rigby answered with a Clayton to Good four-yard pass.
But each extra point was missed. The two teams combined to miss seven extra points in the game.
Hillcrest’s Jordan Neuerburg and Youngstrom each scored in the second overtime—each from two yards—but again the extra points were missed.
In the third overtime, Hillcrest brought the ball to the two yard line. A double reverse that had Marlowe throwing to Clark was intercepted by Rigby’s Jaydin Follett, shifting the momentum to the Trojans.
Two Youngstrom carries later, the game was over after his fifth touchdown of the evening sent Rigby players and cheerleaders streaming toward him in the endzone.
“Braden has a nose for the endzone,” Gonzalez said. “When we need tough yards, he is there to get them for us.”
Youngstrom finished the night with 178 yards on 27 carries and five touchdowns.
“It was a tough game, a good game and I am very proud of our kids,” Marshall said. “We are disappointed it didn’t end up in our favor, but we still have ways to get into the playoffs. we just need to take care of ourselves.”
Hillcrest tested Rigby early with a 14-6 lead after one quarter, powered by Neuerburg’s 93 yards in the first quarter. He finished the game with 106 yards on 24 carries and three touchdowns.
“Hillcrest’s offense is tough because they have a lot of weapons,” Gonzalez said. “They move around alot and made us pay for not being in the right spots.”
Marlowe caught eight passes for 144 yards and four touchdowns while Rigby’s Good made nine catches for 136 yards and three touchdowns.
Clayton was 13-of-30 for 219 yards and three touchdowns and Clark was 13-of-20 for 223 and four touchdowns.
Rigby (6-1, 1-1 5A District 5-6) hosts Highland on Friday while Hillcrest (5-2, 0-2) plays at Idaho Falls the same night.
RIGBY 58, HILLCREST 52, 3OT
Rigby 6 13 0 20 6 6 6 — 58
Hillcrest 14 12 6 8 6 6 0 — 52
H — Jordan Neuerburg 60 run (Nelson Tallman kick)
R — Braden Youngstrom 44 run (kick failed)
H — Nueuerburg 3 run (Talman kick)
H — Derek Marlowe 16 pass from Dalton Clark (kick failed)
R— Austin Good 6 pass from Tanner Clayton (pass failed)
H — Devin Wernette 88 kick-off return (kick failed)
R — Youngstrom 1 run (Brendon Lowder kick)
H — Marlowe 15 pass from Clark (kick failed)
R — Robbie Larsen 4 run (Lowder kick)
H — Marlowe 57 pass from Clark (Clark run)
R — Good 38 pass from Clayton (kick failed)
R — Youngstrom 2 run (Good pass from Clayton)
H — Marlowe 5 pass from Clark (kick failed)
R — Good 4 pass from Clayton (kick failed)
R — Youngstrom 2 run (pass failed)
H — Neuerburg 2 run (pass failed)
R — Youngstrom 5 run
RUSHING — Rigby: Braden Youngstrom 27-178-5, Tanner Clayton 7-17, Robbie Larsen 3-7-1. Hillcrest: Jordan Neuerburg 24-106-3, Dalton Clark 18-67, Justin Moore 2-6.
RECEIVING — Rigby: Braden Youngstrom 3-28, Ben Fullmer 1-43, Austin Good 9-136-3, Robbie Larsen 1-13. Hillcrest: Oakley Hussey 2-44, Jordan Neuerburg 2-29, Derek Marlowe 8-144-4, Devin Wernette 1-6.
PASSING — Rigby: Tanner Clayton 13-30-219-3-0. Hillcrest: Dalton Clark 13-20-223-4-0, Derek Marlowe 0-1-0-0-1.