The Hillcrest High School football team didn’t waste any time securing its trip to the 4A state playoffs.
The Knights scored touchdowns on their first three drives and cruised to a 59-7 win over Idaho Falls on Friday night at Thunder Stadium. The win puts Hillcrest (5-4, 3-2) into a first-round matchup against the second-place team from District 4-5. Idaho Falls (3-6, 2-3) still has a shot at earning an at-large berth, which will be determined by a tiebreaker with the fifth-place team from District 4-5. That information was not available at deadline.
But Friday was all about the Knights, who dominated from the opening snap.
“I don’t think people understand what a team goes through during a football season,” Hillcrest coach Kevin Meyer said. “We’re finally healthy. We’ve been missing at least three starters for every game, but we’re healthy now and ready to see what we can do.”
What they did Friday was run all over the Tigers, piling up 489 yards and nine rushing touchdowns. Five of those TD runs went for at least 27 yards as the run-heavy Knights leaned on their dominating offensive line.
“The offensive line controlled the game,” Meyer said.
“That was the difference in the game,” Idaho Falls coach Marty Duffin said. “(Hillcrest) executed and their offensive line dominated.”
Quarterback Demick Hatch and running back Tre Kofe were the biggest beneficiaries of that dominance up front.
Hatch, a 6-foot, 170-pound junior quarterback, ran for 149 yards and four touchdowns on just nine carries. Tre Kofe, a 5-10, 175-pound sophomore, added 148 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.
“We’ve got two pretty good backs,” Meyer said.
Junior Keegan Porter also went over 100 yards, picking up 122 yards and a touchdown on six carries.
The running started early for the Knights, who scored on their third play from scrimmage when Hatch faked a handoff and broke free for a 43-yard score.
After forcing a three-and-out, the Knights scored again, this time on the fourth play of a drive, when Kofe started left, cut back to the right and outran the I.F. defense for a 54-yard run.
The momentum kept rolling Hillcrest’s way on the Tigers' next drive when 275-pound defensive tackle Trace Laird picked off an attempted screen pass and nearly scored on the return before going down at the 4-yard line. Hatch capitalized on the next play, running nearly untouched into the end zone to make it 21-0 less than halfway through the opening quarter.
“We went back to basics,” Meyer said. “We took some stuff out and decided to keep it simple.”
Idaho Falls scored its lone touchdown on the next drive when Spencer Moore ran in from 10 yards out.
HILLCREST 59, IDAHO FALLS 7
Idaho Falls 7 0 0 0—7
Hillcrest 21 13 12 13—59
H—Demick Hatch 43 run (Gutama Haws kick failed), 10:53
H—Tre Kofe 54 run (Hatch run), 6:58
H—Hatch 4 run (Haws kick), 6:49
IF—Spencer Moore 10 run (Cole Chastain kick), 1:02
H—Hatch 37 run (Haws kick), 10:00
H—Kofe 27 run (Haws kick failed), 2:51
H—Hatch 1 run (Haws kick failed), 5:50
H—Keegan Porter 50 run (run failed), 1:29
H—Seth Curtis 14 run (Haws kick failed), 11:54
H-Austin Needham 1 run (Aiden Zundel kick), 2:55
RUSHING—Idaho Falls: Spencer Moore 18-57, Logan Westwood 4-35, Taggert Miller 2-(-25), No. 28 1-5. Hillcrest: Tre Kofe 14-148, Demick Hatch 9-149, Keegan Porter 6-122, Seth Curtis 3-2, Zach Greenig 2-6, Austin Needham 9-59, Tyler Schultz 1-3.
PASSING—Idaho Falls: Miller 7-19-1 44. Hillcrest: Curtis 2-3-0 24.
RECEIVING—Idaho Falls: Hunter Miller 4-18, Bradley Thompson 2-16, Spencer Jackson 1-11. Hillcrest: Porter 1-4, Ben Maxwell 1-20.