FIRTH – By now, most everyone who follows football in Bingham County has heard about the exploits of Firth senior linebacker Taedyn Jacobsen as the Cougars beat previously undefeated North Fremont 7-6 last Friday to earn a spot in Saturday's 2A state championship.
Jacobsen scooped up a fumble and sprinted 87 yards for the tying touchdown and then kicked the extra point to give the Cougars the lead and ultimately the win over North Fremont.
Firth plays defending state champion West Side at 3 p.m. Saturday at Madison High for the 2A title
Jacobsen, a captain and a leader on both offense and defense, was also named first-team all-conference for the Nuclear Conference as a tight end, linebacker and kicker.
That is pretty heady stuff for the senior, even for one who has been so active in three sports while at Firth and maintains a 4.0 grade point average.
“We are lucky to have so many coaches that constantly tell us that we can do anything we set our minds to,” Jacobsen said. “They tell us every week that we have the team to win, that we can win if we just follow the game plan and don’t waver. That we all need to believe in each other and good things will happen. So far, they have been right about everything.”
Offenses typically get the headlines, but defense is where championships are won. That's a common belief in football circles and true with the Firth Cougars, especially this year.
The defense has produced four shutouts and two other games where the Cougars only gave up two scores. That is six of 11 games where they have given up seven or fewer points.
Jacobsen and his fellow seniors Jason Tucker, Trent Telford and Brandon Richards, are all key parts of the puzzle that has built a team that is 7-3 and facing a West Side team that they are all too familiar with.
“We know those guys pretty well, we play them every year and they have a great program at West Side,” Jacobsen said. “We also know that we aren’t afraid of them and look forward to the challenge they present us with this week.”
The Cougars faced off against the Pirates in the first game of the year back in August. The Cougars scored first in that game and led 6-0, before West Side scored 33 unanswered points to claim the game 33-6.
Both teams have changed a lot since that time, with Firth finding its offense and learning how to play with all of the sophomores who are in the lineup each and every week.
West Side likes to run the ball and use the pass where it can and can score points at any time. The Pirates have scored 40 or more points in a game four times, but managed to win their semifinal game over Declo, 7-0.
“We need to come out and establish ourselves and play like we have been playing and we will be all right,” Jacobsen said. “We know they can score and we know that our defense is up to the task. We also know that our offense can score and we expect that we will put some points on the board.”
When the team met prior to the first game of the year, they all set some goals. Of course, like every team, they put down that they wanted to win a state title. They wanted to win district and they wanted to have a winning season.
Of those goals, the winning season has been checked off. They might not have won the district title, but they came back to beat the district champs in the playoffs a week ago. They find themselves in the title game this week, so there is a chance to possibly complete the trifecta of goals if they knock off top-seeded West Side.