Sugar-Salem’s football team won all season long and many of the Diggers’ games haven’t been close, but they never completely dominated until Saturday when they beat Weiser 34-8 in the 3A state quarterfinal.
Next week’s semifinal appearance will be their third in a row.
“The kids just focused and kind of locked in on what’s at stake while feeling confident in where we’re at and what we’re doing,” Sugar-Salem head coach Tyler Richins said. “We took care of the football and played sound defense. We focused on that over the past couple of weeks knowing that we have to peak at the right time — playing in the playoffs we need to be playing our best football.”
The scoreboard didn’t completely convey how dominant the Diggers were as they scored all of their points in the first three quarters and Weiser only scored late after the Diggers put in their subs.
Sugar-Salem outgained Weiser 393 yards to 192. Crew Clark led the Diggers with six carries for 78 yards playing probably his best game since coming back from a collarbone injury.
“Anyone who was there saw he had a ton more confidence,” Richins said. “He’s confident in where he’s at with his recovery and he’s playing at a high level and high speed. It’s really nice to have him back. He’s an athlete, he’s a playmaker and to have him back gives the other kids more confidence too. We’re glad to have him back contributing like we envisioned he would all season.”
Ten different backs carried the ball for Sugar-Salem. In total the Diggers averaged 4.9- yards-per carry running the football.
Quarterback Kyzon Garner completed 7 of 8 passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns. Brigham Lee led all receivers with four catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns and Kendle Harris added one catch for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Sugar-Salem will host Kimberley next week with a shot to go to the state final on the line.