ARIMO – In a crucial game between two of the three members of the South East Idaho Conference, Marsh Valley and Snake River, it was the Eagles who were able to overcome the wet, windy conditions and post a win that often determines the league’s representative to the state football playoffs, now just three weeks away.
Marsh Valley simply took care of the football and didn’t make as many mistakes as Snake River and they were able to prevail by a final of 26-7, in a game that was played in a constant rain storm with high winds.
“The ball was so slippery,” Marsh Valley senior quarterback Hunter Roche said. “It was like you were holding a fish. You get any grip on it and it just pops right out.”
Marsh Valley was able to control the ball and not make any turnovers. Snake River, on the other hand, was guilty of four fumbles on the night, including one on the first drive of the night and another on a punt that gave the Eagles the ball in the red zone just before halftime.
By that time of the game, the Eagles had already opened up a 14-0 lead on the Panthers and it was simply a matter of taking care of the ball the rest of the way.
“This is not like us,” Snake River coach Jeb Harrison said. “We anticipated it being tough, but I thought we were prepared and ready for it.”
What Snake River may not have anticipated was a bruising running attack unleashed by Marsh Valley The Eagles virtually abandoned any thought of passing the ball from the start of the game. They ran the ball 51 times on the night for 234 yards and forced the Panthers to play catch-up after they opened up with a 14-0 lead.
“We were just tougher than they were tonight,” Roche said. “We just ran the ball downhill on them. We took it to Snake River, we outmuscled them and they just didn’t respond like we thought they would.”
If there was any chance of a comeback by the Panthers in the second half, the Eagles put that to rest early on.
In the early stages, Roche took the ball and went to the right. He followed a couple of blockers and blocks and the next thing you knew, Roche had gone 67 yards for a touchdown, easily the longest play of the night.
“We knew that if we put one more score on them after halftime, they may just shut down,” Roche said. “It turned out exactly that way. We were able to finish them off.”
With the win, Marsh Valley moved to 3-3 on the season, 1-0 in conference play, with only American Falls left to play in league play and that game will come up on Oct. 22 at American Falls.
Snake River fell to 3-4 on the season and they will also face American Falls this week at Snake River with game time at 7 p.m. on Friday night.