THOMAS – Following an opening season win over Kimberly by the tune of 42-14, there was a general feeling around the campus of Snake River High School that the Panthers were back. Back to the glory days of five straight state championships and 10 overall state championships in football.
The only problem was that somebody forgot to tell the West Side Pirates, who came to Harrison Field with something to prove Friday night, even after a 28-18 win in their own season opener against Firth.
As things turned out, the Pirates and Panthers waged a helmet-to-helmet, tough,defensive contest that played out in Snake River’s favor with a final score of 7-6, the difference in the game a missed point after touchdown on the game’s opening score in the second quarter.
West Side was able to get the first score when Jackson Moser took the ball in from two yards out. Snake River came right back down the field and tied the game up when Trey Poulter hauled in a seven-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Cole Gilbert. The extra point was good and the Panthers led the game at 7-6. That is where the game would end after a scoreless second half that was defense-dominated by both teams.
“They matched out physicality play for play,” Snake River coach Jeb Harrison said. “They are a tough team. Take your hat off to them.”
The Pirates, the top-ranked team in the 2A rankings released earlier in the week, never backed down to the Panthers, who struggled to run the ball with the same effectiveness that they had shown a week earlier. The Pirates simply took that part of the Snake River game plan away and made big stop after big stop throughout the game.
Harrison did point out that the Panthers had 12 penalties for 140 yards in the game, which only aided the Pirates’ cause.
You can be assured that the Panthers will work to reduce the penalty aspect of the game in practice this week.
With the win, the Panthers are the only unbeaten team in Bingham County with a record of 2-0 and they will host Firth (1-1) next Friday night at Harrison Field with kick off scheduled for 7 p.m.