Printed on: October 05, 2012

Thundering Herd

Broncos win barnburner over Knights

By Marlowe Hereford

BLACKFOOT -- The Hillcrest High School football team had an answer for everything the top-ranked 4A team in the state threw their way for three quarters.

The Blackfoot Broncos, however, put further Hillcrest comebacks to rest in the final 12 minutes to top the Knights 57-36 for a barnburner of a nonconference win.

"It was a little bit of us giving them opportunities," Blackfoot coach Stan Buck said: "I expected us to play better defense. You want to win and keep that focus."

The opportunities were ample in a shootout of a first half that proved no lead was safe. The Broncos (6-0) made it no further than their own 40-yard line on their first possession. Minutes later, Hillcrest took a 3-0 lead with a 25-yard field goal from Rydder Driggs. Blackfoot shook that off, however, when Kyler Haddon sprinted to the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown to give the Broncos the lead back moments before the first quarter ended.

The see-saw battle continued in the second quarter as Hillcrest (3-4) running back Caden Neuerburg caught a 43-yard desperation pass from quarterback Dillon Woodland on fourth and eight. One long Blackfoot possession later, Haddon rushed for a 7-yard touchdown to put the Broncos up 14-10.

Not to be outdone, the Knights answered in the third quarter when Jaxson Landon blazed across the field for a 72-yard kickoff return cut Blackfoot's lead to 28-23.

"That puts a lot of adrenaline back in you," Hillcrest coach Dwight Richins said of Landon's run. "That kept us going."

Blackfoot and Hillcrest continued the back and forth scoring until the fourth quarter, when the Broncos scored two unanswered touchdowns by James Korth and Haddon for a 50-29 lead. A 3-yard Neuerburg run and Driggs extra point with less than five minutes left gave Hillcrest its final points of the game.

Richins said the Knights knew what to expect from the Broncos and he credited Hillcrest for key plays that kept the game tight early.