The first round of the playoffs featured a little bit of everything. There was an 88-point game, a shutout by a No. 1 team, and those teams with byes finally got a look at their upcoming competition.
Skyline takes down Twin Falls in opener
REXBURG — Top-seeded Skyline’s opponent to kick off the 4A playoffs Friday night was Twin Falls, at least in theory.
Only if you watched the game, you came away with the sense that the Grizzlies’ only opponent was themselves. In fact, outside of garbage time, Skyline prevented itself from scoring more often than Twin Falls did.
That goes a long way in illustrating just how thoroughly Skyline throttled Twin Falls, 49-0, at Madison’s Bobcat Stadium, cruising to one of its easiest wins of the season.
Skyline will play Nampa on Nov. 6 in the 4A quarterfinals. Time and location have yet to be determined.
The Grizzlies, though, had little trouble getting there.
“Our line really got together and they blocked really well,” said running back Bridger Swafford, who led his team’s rushing attack with 10 carries for 63 yards and a touchdown. “Everyone blocked and executed and did exactly what their jobs (were). It worked really well. I couldn’t have asked for better blocking.”
There are several ways to break down the ways Skyline (9-1) ran away with this win, but start with the basics. The Grizzlies out-gained the Bruins 330-48. Twin Falls didn’t cross midfield until early in the third quarter, when the game was effectively out of hand. Seven different players scored for Skyline, which averaged 8.4 yards per carry, while Twin Falls generated just 0.3 yards a carry.
At one point in the first half, the Grizzlies scored on five straight series, using an array of weapons to keep the Bruins guessing.
Twin Falls never guessed correctly.
“We’ve been watching film on them all week, and we knew they weren’t going to be a hard up-front team,” Swafford said. “But we didn’t think that we were going to move the ball as efficiently as we really did. We were surprised.”
If Skyline’s offense was surprised how well things went, its defense must have been shocked.
The Grizzlies held the Bruins to minus-five rushing yards on 19 carries. The only success they had came through the air, but even that was in short supply. Combined, Twin Falls’ two quarterbacks — Nic Swensen and Andy Geilman — completed just 7 of 24 passes for 98 yards.
-Greg Woods/Post Register
Watersprings wins shootout with Hansen
Watersprings didn’t need all of its school-record 88 points Friday.
Just most of them.
The Warriors fired the first shot of the 2020 1A/D2 playoff season with an 88-56 win over visiting Hansen at Watersprings High School on Friday.
And the game was everything the score would suggest.
But where to start?
How about the Warriors’ 724 yards of total offense on 47 plays?
Or maybe the 80-44 third-quarter lead?
Wait, wait. Then there was the sophomore quarterback who ran for four and threw for four more scores.
Yes. Let’s start there.
Sophomore quarterback Jrew Plocher finished his night 7-for-13 with 281 passing yards and four touchdown strikes, adding 103 rushing yards and four scores on the ground.
Senior bell cow Matt Almgren got 231 yards and four rushing scores out of his 13 carries, adding a 65-yard receiving touchdown on the first play of the game.
And right there on the left side of the offensive line watching was senior Zac Merkling — watching the show.
“Oh man,” Merkling said with a grin when asked about watching Almgren or Plocher running free to the end zone. “All I’m really thinking is, ‘yeah, yeah, touchdown,’ every time.”
Watersprings scored on 12 of its 14 possessions in the win, holding the Jonathan Camarillo-led Hansen offense to six scores on 12 possessions, though the Huskies added a pair of kickoff return scores to their total.
-Paul Lambert/For the Post Register
Blackfoot downs Vallivue
BLACKFOOT – It was a tale of two halves Friday between the Vallivue Falcons and the Blackfoot Broncos in the 4A playoff opener and the Broncos prevailed 42-12.
With Blackfoot leading 14-6, and only one second remaining until halftime, the Falcons punched the ball into the end zone on a one-yard run by power running back Braydon Ary, his second score of the night and just like that, the game was 14-12 and the Falcons were lining up for a two-point conversion. The Broncos held, but they went to the intermission with a slim lead and Vallivue had all the momentum.
That all changed in the third quarter.
The Broncos, on their second possession of the half got some movement with the ball. They worked down the field on some nifty runs by backup tailback Austin Ramirez, but the drive was beginning to stall on the Vallivue 32-yard line. That is when quarterback Jace Grimmett let fly with the ball that found its way into the hands of sophomore wide receiver Ja’Vonte King and the lanky youngster came up with the catch to give the Broncos the lead at 21-12 with Bryce Cornell’s PAT.
That was just the beginning for the Broncos, as King would add another pair of touchdown catches in the second half, giving him four on the evening, and the Broncos were exploding offensively, leading 35-12 entering the fourth quarter.
With the win, Blackfoot moves into the second round of the playoffs and will travel to Emmett to take on the Huskies, winner of the Southern Idaho Conference at the Huskies home field.
-Fred Davis/Bingham News Chronicle
Firth shuts down Malad 40-0
FIRTH – The first-round playoff game between the Firth Cougars and the Malad Dragons probably wasn’t nearly as close as the 40-0 score might have indicated.
The Cougars scored on the ground, in the air and the game mainly was s showcase for the talents of sophomore quarterback Gage Vasquez.
Vasquez scored twice in the opening quarter, once on a 10-yard run and the second time on a 79-yard scamper that not only showed that he can carry the ball, but that he also has better speed than most of the running back in 2A.
Vasquez can also throw the ball, as indicated by the three touchdown passes.
As if the score didn’t already indicate it, the Cougars can also play some defense, forcing a pair of Dragon turnovers and stopping Malad on fourth down on several occasions.
It all added up to an impressive victory that will send Firth into the quarterfinals of the 2A playoffs. Firth will host Bear Lake at a date to be determined.
Fred Davis/Bingham News Chronicle
Eagle 49, Thunder Ridge 0
Skyline 49, Twin Falls 0
Sandpoint 30, Hillcrest 27
Blackfoot 42, Vallivue 12
Bear Lake 36, West Jefferson 22
Firth 40, Malad 0
Watersprings 88, Hansen 56