A couple of teams established themselves as frontrunners in their respective conferences during week 6 of the football season.
Blackfoot held off Skyline 27-20 to improve to 3-0 in 4A District 6, and Lost Rivers knocked off state No. 1 Oakley in dramatic fashion to remain unbeaten at 5-0 and share the top spot in the 1AD1 Snake River Conference with Raft River at 2-0.
North Fremont, the No. 1 state media poll ranked team in 2A, and 3A No. 1 Sugar-Salem each had bye weeks.
Broncos’ Thomas too much for Grizzlies
Blackfoot’s Teegan Thomas was the workhorse in Thursday’s key conference game with Skyline, rushing for 263 yards on 36 carries and even scored a 39-yard touchdown on a screen pass to put the Broncos up 20-7 by the half. His biggest play came late in the fourth quarter when he bolted around the right side for a 70-yard run that set up the eventual winning touchdown after Skyline had mounted a comeback to tie the game at 20-20.
“That’s what I trained for this summer,” Thomas said of the heavy workload.
Blackfoot quarterback Craig Young may have been overshadowed, but he was efficient with 215 yards passing and was clutch with four touchdown passes, including an 84-yard score to Reece Robinson on the Broncos’ first offensive play.
Lost Rivers takes out No. 1 Oakley
It wasn’t exactly the offensive explosion expected in the matchup between Oakley, the state’s No. 1 ranked 1A Division I team, and upstart Lost Rivers on Friday night.
Lost Rivers didn’t seem to mind.
The Pirates survived what turned into a defensive battle to defeat Oakley 20-14.
Lost Rivers (5-0, 2-0) led 8-0 at the half and Oakley came back to tie the game in the third quarter.
A blocked punt set up another scoring drive for Lost Rivers, which capitalized with a touchdown pass from Bridger Hansen to Sage Cummins.
But Oakley would respond and tie the game midway through the fourth.
That set up the late drama as Cummins caught a pass and ran it down to the Oakley 5-yard line in the closing minutes. Hansen scored the go-ahead touchdown on a sneak, but Oakley (5-1, 2-1) wasn’t finished.
The Hornets had one last chance, but a Hail Mary pass was knocked down in the end zone on the final play of the game.
“Both teams played great defense,” Lost Rivers coach Sam Thorngren said.
Tigers earn grind-it-out win over Bees
In the soup and slop that was Thunder Stadium on Friday night, the Idaho Falls Tigers emerged muddied, bloodied and victorious.
With a 14-7 win over the Bonneville Bees, the Tigers overcame three fumbles and a makeshift offense to keep their postseason hopes alive.
With winds in the 20s and rain in the inches at kickoff, ball control and turnover management was the game plan.
This meant less run-after-the-catch and more three-yards and a cloud of “blorp.”
With little in the way of field traction and less in the way of field downfield offense, both defenses stacked the box, with predictable first half results.
Neither team threatened over the first 24 minutes. And with the exception of Bonneville’s opening drive, neither team reached the red zone.
“It was a tough adjustment with them sending that many guys, and they were blitzing us all over,” Idaho Falls left guard Andrew Finlinson said. “It got a little chippy in there with a lot of talk, and that kind of atmosphere works for us, I think.”
Spencer Moore scored the winning touchdown on a 10-yard run with 7:55 left.
Snake River upset by Teton
So apparently the fall season lasted about three days. At least in Driggs, where wind and snow wreaked havoc during the game.
Both teams struggled to move the ball, but Teton managed a pair of first-half scores and made them hold up for a 12-6 win. The victory was Teton’s first over Snake River since 2013. It was the second-straight nail-biter for Teton, which beat Declo 19-14 last week.
South Fremont can’t hold lead against Marsh Valley
South Fremont has led going into halftime in every game it has lost this season. Such was the case Friday when the Cougars lost 20-19 to Marsh Valley after leading 13-6 at halftime.
“We looked really good (in the first half),” South Fremont head coach Chad Hill said. “Our defense was playing lights out. Our offense we had the ball on their end of the field the whole time. We scored on our first two drives.”
The Cougars also took a hit with injuries as quarterback Jace Neville went down with an apparent neck injury. South Fremont was without Sawyer Hobbs who sat out with a sprained ankle and Bryan Popocatl went out near the beginning of the second half with a sprained ankle.
South Fremont has a bye week this week.
Koster Kennard/Standard Journal
MADISON 26, HILLCREST 23: At Rexburg, Hillcrest led 15-14 in the third quarter when Seth Curtis connected with Tre Kofe for a 44-yard touchdown, but Madison responded with two fourth-quarter scores, led by Easton Cordero, who tossed a 35-yard touchdown to Trey Holloway and then scampered in for a 6-yard touchdown with 6:22 left to put the Bobcats up 26-15.
Kofe scored on the Knights’ next possession, but that was as close as they would get.
Derrick Hatch ran for 108 yards and scored for Hillcrest. Kofe finished with 96 yards rushing.
Cordero passed for 187 yards and three scores and also ran for 148 yards and a touchdown for Madison (3-4).
CLARK-WATERSPRINGS 70, CHALLIS 0: At Challis, Clark-Watersprings had little trouble in this one, taking a 36-0 lead at the half.
Brayden Remer passed for 150 yards and Matt Almgren ran for 75 yards and Bubba Summers added 78 yards. Both scored two touchdowns. Gavin Tomlinson led the way with four touchdowns.
Clark-Watersprings (3-2) begins conference play next week at North Gem.
Other final scores
Ririe 36, West Jefferson 6
Firth 15, Salmon 8