Sugar-Salem vs Homedale football trophy(IF)

Sugar-Salem player Brayton Pope cries as he holds the Idaho State 3A Football trophy that they just won against Homedale Saturday afternoon at Holt Arena in Pocatello.

POCATELLO - Tidbits from Holt Arena on Saturday as Sugar-Salem and Blackfoot competed for coveted state titles.

Sugar-Salem may have lost a core group of seniors off of last year’s state title team, but this year’s squad gelled quickly and never lacked leadership, coach Tyler Richins said.

That was important in big games under the spotlight.

“This is nothing new for us,” Richins said, noting the younger players were a big part of last year’s team.

“We’re trying to make it so we’re not just one-year wonders or two-year wonders. We want to continue the culture and be here year after year.”

Starting a legacy

Richins challenged this year’s upperclassmen by asking if they were satisfied going along for the ride last season or if they we willing to make their own mark and become part of school history with two consecutive state titles?

“We played with a little bit of a chip on our shoulders,” Sam Parkinson said.

Offenses run wild

In a wild first half between Blackfoot and Kuna, the two teams combined for 27 first downs, eight touchdowns, and 578 total yards.

By the end, the two teams had combined for 688 passing yards and seven passing touchdowns.

Green wave

As expected, Blackfoot definitely had the homefield advantage in the 4A game with Kuna.

One side of Holt Arena was heavily green as it looked like the entire town of Blackfoot came out for the game. Kuna fans filled up half of their side, but were equally loud, if not louder as the Kavemen pulled away in the second half.

Digger defense sets the tone

Homedale was held to just 3.0 yards per rush. Perhaps the biggest defensive stat however was holding Trojan quarterback Daniel Uranga without a scoring pass.

The Digger defense accounted for three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns.

Crests and troughs

Kuna was stoned by the Blackfoot defense on its first offensive possessions, but scored on its next five. Conversely, Blackfoot scored on its first three possessions, but failed to score on six of its next eight. Blackfoot’s defense had not allowed more than 32 points in any game this season, but Kuna piled up 35 in the first half with their spread offense.