Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any crazier, in pops the term “Kansas City tiebreaker.”
South Fremont, Sugar-Salem and Teton will get some more playing time on Monday as all three finished 1-1 in the Mountain Rivers Conference, courtesy of Teton’s win over South Fremont on Friday night.
To determine playoff seeding, the tiebreaker requires all three teams to play a “Kansas City” style competition similar to college overtime.
One team starts at the 40-yard line and tries to score. Play continues until a team outscores the opponent. Each team will play the other two to determine who eventually wins.
“It’s intense,” Teton coach Brody Birch said, noting that the conference did the tiebreaker in 2014 to determine the second-place team.
Making things more dramatic is that the conference only has 1 1/2 berths, so the winner is top seed and the second team has to play next week. The third team does not make the playoffs.
Sugar-Salem (7-1), South Fremont (6-2) and Teton (5-3) could all be state champion challengers, Birch said, so the “Kansas City” format is going to leave one deserving team out of the postseason.
The only thing worse would be if a coin flip determined the seedings.
“It would be sickening to be a coin flip,” he said.
The tiebreaker is Monday at Madison High and starts at 6 p.m.
Rigby continues to roll
RIGBY – The cycle of the pendulum is predictable and regular.
First the pendulum swings one way, then the laws of physics mandate it swing back the other way.
The Madison Bobcats pulled that pendulum higher than usual with five straight wins over rival Rigby from 2014-2018.
With a blowout 56-6 win at Rigby High School on Friday night, the Trojans backed up a 35-20 win in 2019 and started pulling the pendulum Jefferson County’s way.
In essence, the law conservation of momentum is the universe’s way of squaring the books.
All the pluses and all the minuses are totaled into one big arithmetic stew, and the net sum is always zero.
Rigby’s way of squaring the books is domination at the line. And in the running game. And passing. Special teams. Clock management. Fan base. … Basically name it, and Friday night the 8-0 Trojans did it en route to a mercy-rule, running clock whitewashing.
Though the Rigby offense scored on all but two of its possessions, it was the Trojans’ stout defense that was on full display.
Rigby limited the Madison passing offense to just 32 yards, getting three interceptions against six Madison receptions. In all, Rigby forced five turnovers on the night.
“I am really happy with the way we were playing the ball tonight, and that all goes back to coaches getting us ready, and us executing,” Rigby senior linebacker Bridgen Craig said.
Rigby scored on all but two of its possessions, one of those going to senior big man Ricky Soliai.
For Soliai, the one-yard plunge was a dream come true, and was the perfect way to highlight senior night.
After pounding it over the goalline, big No. 73 put his arms out and flew airplane style back to a bench that was losing its collective mind.
“It meant a lot to me, and they put that play in for me special because I’m a senior,” Soliai said. “Looking forward to (the bye) next week. We’re going to relax, get healthy and watch film.”
Rigby quarterback Tiger Adolpho threw four touchdowns, including three to tight end Con Dansie.
Rigby tailback Zheik Falevai ran for three more scores, including a 33-yarder in the first quarter.
The defending 5A state champion Trojans have now won 18 straight and enter the 2020 state championships with a bye. Their opener will be Nov. 6 or 7 against a team to be determined.
-Paul Lambert/For the Post Register
Diggers overcome slow start
Sugar-Salem finished its regular season Friday night winning a nonconference game 42-18 over Mountain Home. It didn’t start out quite that pretty though as the Diggers went down 6-0 on the fourth drive of the game.
“I think it’s kind of our nature trying to get things rolling early,” Sugar-Salem head coach Tyler Richins said. “Getting in a groove to get some momentum, that’s one thing we have to get figured out pretty quick because we can’t wait to get started. It seems to be the last few weeks especially we aren’t waking up until the second or third series. To their credit, our kids did. They woke up, they bounced up and started making great plays on D to shut them down.”
Sugar-Salem’s offense started a little slow as well but began to roll during a second scoring drive. The Diggers took a 14-6 lead with 1:53 left in the first quarter and finished with 35 unanswered points.
After losing its first game of the season last week, Sugar-Salem’s coaching staff looked at what changes they needed to make. One of those changes was getting Brigham Lee the ball more. After only running a few times on a gadget wildcat play to this point in the season, Lee carried the ball 10 times for 71 yards on Friday.
Quarterback Kyzon Garner finished 7 for 13 for 114 yards and ran for 104 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries. Crew Clark led all receivers with three catches for 51 yards.
-Koster Kennard/Standard Journal
North Fremont claims Nuclear title
FIRTH – Following a scoreless first quarter, the Firth Cougars showed that they did not fear the highly regarded and No. 2-ranked North Fremont Huskies on Friday night.
The Cougars led early after running back Jason Tucker ran over the left side for a three-yard touchdown and a 6-0 lead.
North Fremont would respond and went on to win 22-6 to claim the Nuclear Conference title.
This wasn’t the first time that the Cougars had led a highly ranked 2A team in a game this season, as they also led the West Side Pirates 6-0 in the opening game of the season, but in that game, the lead was short lived and the Pirates went on to a 33-6 win over the young Cougars.
North Fremont used a long run by Jordan Lenz to set up a scoring opportunity on the 11-yard line and on the next play, Lenz would find a wide open receiver for the score to tie the game at 6-6.
The Huskies would then force a turnover of their own and with just over five minutes remaining in the first half, they would be able to punch the ball in from seven yards out as their power back, Deshon Wheeler barreled into the end zone for the Huskies’ second touchdown and with the two-point conversion, the Huskies led 14-6 at the half.
With the win, North Fremont improved to 8-0 with the playoffs beginning next week. The loss moves Firth to 5-3 and they will await the playoffs as well.
Fred Davis/Bingham News Chronicle
Pirates claim conference title
At Arco, Butte County won the 1AD1 High Desert Conference title on Friday, downing Grace 26-20.
“The fourth quarter was a nail-biter,” Pirates coach Sam Thorngren said.
With the win, Butte County secured a playoff spot.
Grace scored just before the half to tie the game at 14-14 and both teams had their chances in the second half.
A late defensive stand by Butte County kept the game close and Treyton Miller scored his second touchdown of the game with 30 seconds left to seal the win.
Miller finished with 124 yards rushing and Tyler Wanstrom ran for 95 yards and passed for 97. On the defensive side, Cummins Anderson forced two fumbles, recovered one, and defensive end Ethan Smith led the team with 15 tackles.
Rigby 56, Madison 6
Blackfoot 34, Bonneville 14
Skyline 44, Shelley 7
Thunder Ridge 28, Hillcrest 10
Highland 61, Idaho Falls 19
Sugar-Salem 42, Mountain Home 18
Teton 19, South Fremont 13
North Fremont 22, Firth 6
West Jefferson 36, Salmon 14