The Idaho Falls High School football team flipped the switch in the second half Friday, turning a 14-14 halftime stalemate with Hillcrest into a 34-20 nonconference win on senior night at Ravsten Stadium.
Junior tailback Aaron Gravelle broke off runs of 45 and 55 yards on consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter, backing up a second quarter run of 6 yards.
Add his four extra point kicks, and Gravelle accounted for 22 of Idaho Falls’ 34 points.
Senior receiver Noah Hillam celebrated his final regular season home game with a pair of touchdown receptions, hooking up with quarterback Cannon Thompson on scores of 26 and 7 yards.
“This was a pride game for us, not only because it was against a city school in Hillcrest, but for us seniors it was a chance to get that senior night win,” Hillam said.
Hillcrest looked strong early, opening the scoring on its first drive on a run by Devin Wernette, adding another score midway through the second quarter.
With the exception of a garbage time touchdown run in the final minute of the fourth quarter, however, the Idaho Falls defense handcuffed the visiting Knights in the second half.
For senior defensive lineman Matt Olsen, it was just as he remembered it.
“I remember as a kid watching this team play Hillcrest, and it is amazing to be a part of this tonight,” he said. “We came out strong and got it done, and I just feel grateful to have the chance to be out here with my brothers.”
Both teams conclude their regular seasons Friday at Holt Arena, with Hillcrest (5-3) taking on Highland at 5:30 p.m. followed by Idaho Falls (5-3) against Century at 8:30.
IDAHO FALLS 34, HILLCREST 20
Hillcrest 7 7 0 6 — 20
Idaho Falls 0 14 6 14 — 34
HC — Devin Wernette 7 run (Nelson Tallman kick) 7:59
IF — Aaron Gravelle 6 run (Gravelle kick) 11:41
HC — Dalton Clark 23 run (Tallman kick) 7:57
IF — Noah Hillam 26 pass from Cannon Thompson (Gravelle kick) 2:17
IF — Hillam 7 pass from Thompson (kick blocked) :09
IF — Gravelle 45 run (Gravelle kick) 8:06
IF — Gravelle 55 run (Gravelle kick) 5:31
HC — Wernette 5 run (kick failed) :19
MADISON 42, BONNEVILLE 30: At Thunder Stadium, Madison held off Bonneville in the fourth quarter for a conference win.
The Bees had cut the Bobcats’s lead to 35-30 in the fourth quarter but Madison scored with less than seven minutes left and then intercepted a Bonneville pass in the end zone with 45 seconds left. No other details were available by press time.
Madison (6-2, 3-1) hosts Skyline on Friday to end the regular season while Bonneville (2-6, 0-3) hosts Rigby the same night in its regular season finale.
SKYLINE 55, POCATELLO 7: At Holt Arena, Skyline routed Pocatello for a conference win to remain undefeated in conference play and wrap up the 4A District 5-6 championship.
The Grizzlies led 41-7 at halftime. No further details were available by deadline due to the game’s 8:15 p.m. start.
Skyline (6-2, 5-0) ends the regular season Friday at Madison.
BLACKFOOT 28, PRESTON 20: At Preston, Blackfoot rallied for a conference road win over Preston.
The Broncos trailed the Indians 13-12 at halftime and 20-12 through three quarters before scoring 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Hagen Moore caught a 20-yard pass from Rayce Shelley, who found Jose Aguayo for the two-point conversion to tie the game at 20-20 within the first minute of the fourth quarter. The Broncos sealed the win with a little more than a minute left in the game when Aric Vail ran in a 9-yard touchdown and Shelley found Moore for the ensuing two-point conversion.
Vail piled up 131 yards on the ground on 24 carries for three touchdowns, Moore caught three passes for 31 yards and a touchdown and Shelley completed 10 of 17 passes for 115 yards, two interceptions and three touchdowns for Blackfoot (2-6, 1-3), which hosts Pocatello on Friday in its regular season finale.
BLACKFOOT 28, PRESTON 20
Blackfoot 6 6 0 16 — 28
Preston 0 13 7 0 — 20
BF—Aric Vail 15 run (pass failed), 10:05.
BF—Vail 3 run (pass failed), :37.
P—Britten Atkinson 1 run (Brayden Stokes kick good), 4:49.
P—Jonny Thames 15 pass from Atkinson (run failed), 2:05.
P—Kyler Burbank 25 pass from Atkinson (Stokes kick), 8:40.
BF—Hagen Moore 20 pass from Rayce Shelley (Jose Aguayo pass from Shelley), 11:18.
BF—Vail 9 run (Moore pass from Shelley), 1:07.
RUSHING—Blackfoot: Vail 24-131, Reece Robinson 2-11. Preston: Thames 9-38, Brent Stephens 5-16, Atkinson 5-0, Cayleb Peck 6-17.
PASSING—Blackfoot: Shelley 10-17-2 115; Preston: Atkinson 8-22-1 132.
RECEIVING—Blackfoot: Moore 3-31, Carter Cooper 3-42, Cayden Cornell 2-22, Chase Turner 1-17, Robinson 1-3. Preston: Thames 4-46, Burbank 3-43, Neil Benoit 2-33.
SHELLEY 42, SOUTH FREMONT 0: At St. Anthony, six different players scored for Shelley in a conference shutout win over South Fremont.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Russets scored two touchdowns in each of the final three quarters. While team rushing stats were about even (Shelley had 128 yards on the ground to South Fremont’s 120), Shelley had 300 yards through the air versus 104 by South Fremont.
Jake Wray completed nine of 19 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 28 yards on seven carries for Shelley while Brandon McBride rushed for nine yards on two carries and caught two passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. Braxton Balmforth rushed for eight yards on four carries and caught two passes for 65 yards and a touchdown, Mason Price caught four passes for 60 yards and a touchdown, Peyton Whitaker caught one pass for 89 yards and a touchdown and Garrett Murdoch rushed for 80 yards on eight carries for a touchdown. Shelley (6-1, 2-0) concludes the regular season Thursday at Sugar-Salem.
Daniel Coverley rushed for 60 yards on 16 carries to lead South Fremont on the ground while Steven Zundel caught six passes for 58 yards and Reece Yancey completed 10 of 30 passes for 104 yards and two interceptions for South Fremont (4-4, 0-2), which ends the regular season Thursday at Teton.
SHELLEY 42, SOUTH FREMONT 0
Shelley 0 14 14 14—42
South Fremont 0 0 0 0—0
SH—Brandon McBride 80 pass from Jake Wray (McBride kick)
SH—Wray 14 run (McBride kick)
SH—Braxton Balmforth 63 pass from Wray (McBride kick)
SH—Peyton Whitaker 89 pass from Wray (McBride kick)
SH—Mason Price 50 pass from Wray (McBride kick)
SH—Garrett Murdoch 55 run (McBride kick)
RUSHING—Shelley: Murdoch 8-80, Balmforth 4-8, Wray 7-28, Cashe Kantack 3-3, Price 2-0, McBride 2-9, Bryson Cummings 1-(-2); South Fremont: Yancey 15-52, Daniel Coverley 16-60, Yancey 1-8, Olson 1-0
PASSING—Shelley: Wray 9-19-0 300; South Fremont: Reece Yancey 10-30-2 104
RECEIVING—Shelley: McBride 2-86, Balmforth 2-65, Price 4-60, Whitaker 1-89; South Fremont: Steven Zundel 6-58, Coverley 2-13, Talon Maupin 2-33
SUGAR-SALEM 26, TETON 7: At Driggs, Sugar-Salem held Teton to one touchdown en route to a conference road win.
The Diggers led 20-7 at halftime and scored the lone touchdown of the second half in the fourth quarter. The win keeps Sugar-Salem tied for first in the Mountain Rivers Conference with Shelley. The Diggers and Russets have identical overall records and conference records of 6-1 and 2-0, respectively. They play each other Thursday at Sugar City to end the regular season.
Kyle Ostermiller led Sugar-Salem on the ground, rushing for 50 yards on 16 carries while Dylan Pope rushed for 47 yards on three carries and caught two passes for 28 yards. Hayden Crapo completed three of eight passes for 43 yards, zero interceptions and one touchdown and rushed for 22 yards on 17 carries for two touchdowns for Sugar-Salem.
Coleby Hess rushed for 69 yards on 16 carries and caught a pass for nine yards, Bridger Weston rushed for 18 yards on eight carries for a touchdown and Hunter DeRize rushed for 44 yards on nine carries for Teton. Weston completed two of nine passes for 26 yards and an interception for Teton (2-6, 0-2), which hosts South Fremont on Thursday to end the regular season.
SUGAR-SALEM 26, TETON 7
Sugar-Salem 6 14 0 6—26
Teton 0 7 0 0—7
SS—Hayden Crapo 1 run (Conner Wood kick no good)
SS—Jacob Christensen 15 pass from Crapo (run failed)
SS—Sam Parkinson fumble recovery (Kyle Ostermiller run)
T—Bridger Weston 4 run (Paal Bredal kick good)
SS—Crapo 1 run (Wood kick no good)
RUSHING—Sugar-Salem: Crapo 17-22, Ostermiller 16-50, Curtis Drake 5-12, Dylan Pope 3-47, John Lewis 1-11, Parkinson 1-4, Ethan Warner 1-(-4); Teton: Coleby Hess 16-69, Hunter DeRize 9-44, Weston 8-18, Mason Swainston 4-7, Tanner Huff 1-6
PASSING—Sugar-Salem: Crapo 3-8-0 43; Teton: Weston 2-9-1 26, Alex Linsenmann 0-5-1 0
RECEIVING—Sugar-Salem: Pope 2-28, Jacob Christensen 1-15. Teton: Hess 1-9, DeRize 1-3.
SNAKE RIVER 41, AMERICAN FALLS 8: At Moreland, Snake River ran its win streak to four to move past .500 on the season in a conference win over American Falls.
The Panthers held the Beavers scoreless for three quarters and got touchdowns from six different players in the win.
Treyton Young rushed for 134 yards on 17 carries for a touchdown, Cade Mortensen had 67 yards on three carries and caught three passes for 66 yards and a touchdown while Coby Young completed six of 18 passes for 147 yards, two interceptions and three touchdowns for Snake River (4-3, 2-0), which hosts Preston on Friday to end the regular season.
SNAKE RIVER 41, AMERICAN FALLS 8
American Falls 0 0 0 8 — 8
Snake River 0 14 14 13 — 41
SR — Clancy Thomas 6 pass from Coby Young (Young kick)
SR — Ramsdale 6 run (Young kick)
SR — Cade Mortensen 40 pass from Young (Young kick)
SR— Treyton Young 10 run (C. Young kick)
SR — Austin Jensen 4 run (Young kick)
SR — Carson Dance 30 pass from Young (kick failed)
RUSHING — Snake River: Treyton Young 17-134, Ramsdale 4-38, Mortensen 3-67, Jensen 1-4.
PASSING — Snake River: Coby Young 6-18-2 147, Wray 0-2 0.
RECEIVING — Snake River: Thomas 1-6, Mortensen 3-66, Dance 2-67.
FIRTH 34, WEST JEFFERSON 13: At Firth, the Cougars upended West Jefferson to throw another wrench into an unpredictable Nuclear Conference.
Firth, which led 26-7 at halftime, is now 2-1 in conference play while West Jefferson is 1-2. North Fremont moved to 2-1 with a win over Ririe, which dropped to 2-2 in conference play, and Salmon is 1-2.
“I’ve never had a year like this,” Firth coach Keith Drake said. “Nobody’s out.”
Drake said Friday being senior night was a motivating factor in his team’s win.
“They were emotional,” Drake said. “The seniors just said they were not gonna lose. They played their hearts out.”
Drake said his team only passed four times and Remington Chapman probably carried the ball more than 20 times for two touchdowns.
Firth (4-3, 2-1) concludes the regular season Friday at North Fremont while West Jefferson (4-3, 1-2) hosts Salmon the same night in its regular season finale. Drake said the winner of Firth-North Fremont will be district champion.
OAKLEY 34, CHALLIS 14: At Challis, Oakley won a battle of state-ranked teams and handed Challis its second conference loss.
Challis coach T.T. Cain said Oakley shut down Challis’s running game and capitalized on Viking turnovers.
“They got two turnovers off us for touchdowns,” Cain said. “Our offense couldn’t keep up. It was a good defensive battle on both sides. We made more mistakes.”
Challis’s loss paired with previously undefeated and No. 1 ranked Valley’s 42-40 loss to Grace opened the door for playoff contention in the 1A Division I District 4-5-6 conference, Cain said. Challis (6-2, 4-2) has a bye week next before hosting Grace in two weeks.
“This conference is wide open right now,” Cain said. “We’ve got to beat Grace to get in (to the playoffs).”
Cooper Erickson caught two passes for 89 yards and a touchdown, Parker May caught two passes for 61 yards and a touchdown and Ross Sheppeard completed 14 of 34 passes for 239 yards for two touchdowns and zero interceptions for Challis.
OAKLEY 34, CHALLIS 14
Oakley 12 0 14 8—34
Challis 8 0 6 0—14
CH—Cooper Erickson 69 yard pass from Ross Sheppeard (Dustin Stillwaugh run)
CH—Parker May 61 yard pass from Sheppeard (run failed)
RUSHING—Challis: Pete Bradshaw 13-24
PASSING—Challis: Sheppeard 14-34-0 239
RECEIVING—Challis: Erickson 2-89, May 2-61, Rowdy Piva 5-44, Bradshaw 4-39, Mitch Cotant 2-20
WATERSPRINGS-CLARK COUNTY 44, MACKAY 26: At Dubois, the seniors of the Watersprings-Clark County co-op football team celebrated senior night with a conference win over Mackay.
The self-named “Warcats,” as the Watersprings and Clark County players call themselves, led 24-14 at halftime before the Miners cut the deficit to 24-20 after the third quarter. The Warcats went on to outscore the Miners 20-6 in the fourth quarter.
“Our last few games, we’ll play the first half pretty good and then kinda fall asleep in the second half,” Watersprings coach Aaron Booth said. “This one we really turned it on in the second half. We need to keep this momentum going the next couple weeks. Our seniors, they want to make a good playoff run.”
Booth said the Miners are much improved from previous seasons when they played a JV schedule, and they hung with the Warcats.
“They’re gonna be tough the next few years,” Booth said. “Mackay has definitely improved a lot. It was a lot of fun playing them. They like to run.”
Watersprings-Clark County quarterback Kyson Poletti completed four of six passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 157 yards on 13 carries for two touchdowns. Matthew Murdoch rushed for 100 yards on 12 carries for two touchdowns and caught two passes for 64 yards and two passes while Carter Eddins rushed for 98 yards on 11 carries and caught a pass for nine yards. Watersprings-Clark County (5-2, 3-1) plays Friday at Rockland in its regular season finale.
Caleb Green rushed for 142 yards on 12 carries for two touchdowns and caught two passes for 28 yards while Dallin Green rushed for 32 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown and completed eight of 17 passes for 115 yards, one touchdown and one interception for Mackay (1-4, 1-4) which hosts Sho-Ban on Friday.
WATERSPRINGS-CLARK COUNTY 44, MACKAY 26
Mackay 0 14 6 6—26
Watersprings-Clark County 8 16 0 20—44
WC—Matthew Murdoch 4 run (Carter Eddins run)
WC—Murdoch 32 pass from Kyson Poletti (Poletti run)
M—Caleb Green 85 run (Chase Green pass from Dallin Green)
M—D. Green 2 run (kick failed)
WC—Murdoch 32 pass from Kyson Poletti (Matt Almgren from Poletti)
Third q uarter
M—Caleb Green 21 run (run failed)
WC—Poletti 42 run (run failed)
WC—Murdoch 52 run (Brayson Bramwell run)
M—Jakoda Whitworth 15 pass from D. Green (run failed)
WC—Poletti 46 run (run failed)
RUSHING— Mackay: Caleb Green 12-142, Riley Johnson 1-1, D. Green 16-32, J. Whitworth 4-(-8); Watersprings-Clark County: Poletti 13-157, Murdoch 12-100, Carter Eddins 11-98
PASSING—Mackay: D. Green 8-17-1 115; Watersprings-Clark County: Poletti 4-6-0 79
RECEIVING—Mackay: Caleb Green 2-28, R. Johnson 2-23, J. Whitworth 2-14, Chase Green 3-50; Watersprings-Clark County: Murdoch 2-64, Eddins 1-9, Almgren 1-6