RIRIE — For the Ririe Bulldogs, playing Firth this past decade has been a little bit like digging for obsidian up Kelly Canyon way.
Every so often you get a jewel, but for the most part, it’s a series of great expectations that disintegrate into gray dust and disappointment.
With a 28-0 win over the Bulldogs on Friday night, Firth has now won every meeting with Ririe since 2010, with the exception of the jewel of 2017 that saw Ririe win 27-12.
Friday night’s game was the final regular season home date on the Ririe schedule, and it had a difficult beginning for the blue and gold.
Firth standout sophomore Gage Vasquez took the opening kickoff from the west hash to the east hash and on into the end zone for an 87-yard kickoff return touchdown.
Firth added a 23-yard run from Sam Park on its first offensive possession, needing just six plays to cover 58 yards and take a 14-0 lead.
Having already scored on offense and special teams, the Firth defense got itself on the scoreboard when sophomore Burton Park picked off Ririe’s Gage Morgan for a 43-yard pick-six.
The Firth defense held Ririe to just 26 first-half yards, taking a 21-0 lead into the halftime break.
For Ririe senior lineman Steven Burtenshaw, the team disintegration started early.
“It felt like half of us gave up after that first play,” Burtenshaw said. “If we want to win (next week), we’ll win. It all comes down to how much we want to play.”
Firth added a second-half touchdown when senior Jason Tucker scooted 27 yards into the end zone late in the third quarter.
But it was Tucker’s reads on the defensive end that helped Firth post the shutout.
In all, Ririe managed just five first downs and 106 total yards, 44 of which came on a single toss sweep from Ririe senior Gabe Sommers.
“We were getting a really good read on what they were doing, and when you can do that, it is fun out there,” Tucker said. “I’m looking forward to every practice and every game.”
Tucker’s teammate and senior defensive tackle Jaime Ortiz was proud of his team’s defensive effort, noting it all goes back to coaching.
“The coaches set us up to succeed and trust us to give them stops,” Ortiz said. “I think we did that here tonight.”
Firth (3-2, 1-0) continues its march through the Nuclear Conference schedule when it hosts rival Salmon on Friday.
Ririe (2-4, 1-1) will do the same Friday when it heads west for an all Jefferson County dual against the Panthers of West Jeff.
FIRTH 28, RIRIE 0
F – Gage Vasquez 87 kickoff return (Taedyn Jacobsen kick) 11:42
F – Sam Park 23 run (Jacobsen kick) 4:29
F – Burton Park 43 interception return (Jacobsen kick) 5:00
F – Jason Tucker 27 run (Jacobsen kick) 1:24
RUSHING — Firth: S. Park 7-94, Tucker 12-80, Vasquez 6-30, B. Park 4-20. Ririe: Gabe Sommers 10-55, Rawley Johnson 6-29, Zane Austin 6-8, Layton Yearsley 4-5, Zack Williams 1-5, Gage Sperry 2-(-1), Tucker Criddle 3-(-6), Gage Morgan 3-(-11).
PASSING — Firth: Vasquez 5-10-0-47. Ririe: Criddle 2-3-0-22. Morgan 0-1-1-0.
RECEIVING — Firth: Angel Arriaga 1-20, Trent Telford 1-13, Kyle Jacobsen 1-10-, T. Jacobsen 1-4, S. Park 1-0. Ririe: Keagan Park 2-22.