The Skyline defense knew Blackfoot's Teegan Thomas was going to run the ball. The Bronco offense knew Thomas was going to run the ball.
Thursday's matchup between the two remaining unbeaten 4A District 6 teams had plenty of drama, including a wild fourth quarter that saw Skyline rally to tie the game, only to see the Broncos score the eventual game-winner on their next possession with six minutes left and then hold on for a 27-20 victory.
The key play in Blackfoot's clinching scoring drive was Thomas, who bolted around the right side for a 70-yard run that set up the touchdown.
Thomas finished with 263 yards on 36 carries and even scored a 39-yard touchdown on a screen pass to put the Broncos up 20-7 by the half.
Listed at 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds, Thomas was the workhorse all night. The speedy junior ran outside and also took a pounding with inside runs.
Blackfoot quarterback Craig Young may have been overshadowed, but he was efficient with 215 yards passing and was clutch with four touchdown passes, including an 84-yard score to Reece Robinson on the Broncos' first offensive play.
"We knew we had to come out and hit hard right off the bat," Thomas said. "We knew if we set the pace we would be good and our blockers did amazing."
Skyline (3-3, 1-1) trailed 14-0 before Luke Ruiz scored on a 4-yard run on the first play of the second quarter.
Thomas scored on the screen pass on the next series for Blackfoot to tamp down some momentum.
"That's what I trained for this summer," he said of the heavy workload.
Skyline's Cruz Taylor found Connor Maloney sprinting down the left sideline for a 71-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and then Taylor spearheaded a drive midway through the fourth quarter that was capped with 25-yard touchdown pass to Maloney on fourth down that tied the game. The extra point was blocked, setting up Thomas' big run to set up the eventual game-winner
"We were playing with a full heart and playing to the best of our abilities," Broncos fullback Dragen Robinson said.
At 3-0, Blackfoot now leads the 4A District 6 standings. They play Madison next week and then finish the conference season against Idaho Falls and Shelley.
Skyline plays Hillcrest next Thursday.
BLACKFOOT 27, SKYLINE 20
Blackfoot 14 6 0 7 — 27
Skyline 0 7 7 6 — 20
B - Reece Robinson 84 pass from Craig Young (Dominguez Sanchez kick), 9:29
B - Brayden Wright 19 pass from Young (Sanchez kick), 2:42
S - Luke Ruiz 4 run (Chris Cortez kick), 11:54
B - Thomas 39 pass from Young (kick fail), 8:05
S - Connor Maloney 71 pass from Cruz Taylor (Cortez kick), 8:46
S - Maloney 25 pass from Taylor (kick blocked), 7:33
B - Robinson 10 pass from Young (Sanchez kick), 6:12
RUSHING: Blackfoot, Thomas 36-263, Robinson 5-34, Young 1-2. Skyline, Maloney 2-5, Eli Ames 5-15, Taylor 9-58, Ruiz 10-67.
PASSING: Blackfoot, Young 11-16-215-0. Skyline, Taylor 13-23-178-1.
RECEIVING: Blackfoot, Robinson 4-107, Wright 3-39, Thomas 1-39, Kameron Lawes 3-30. Skyline, Jace Eames 4-41, Ames 3-16, Maloney 5-129, Ruiz 1-3.