RIGBY — It looked like a boxing match between two of the state's top 5A teams, with Rigby landing shots early and Eagle responding with punishing blows of its own.
But by the second quarter of Friday's state quarterfinal football game it was clear the Trojans had survived the Mustangs' best punch.
Rigby, which was riding a seven-game win streak, unleashed its dual-threat quarterback Keegan Thompson on the Mustangs' defense and Rigby's defense all but shut down Eagle the rest of the way en route to a 56-28 win.
Rigby (8-1) will play at Rocky Mountain in the semifinals next week. Rocky Mountain (10-0) is the No. 1 team in the state media poll.
The Trojans scored on their first two possessions on Friday and seemed to be enjoying their homefield advantage with a bundled-up and spirited crowd. But that quickly changed as the Mustangs (7-4) struck twice with sophomore quarterback Mason McHugh hitting on 56 and 33-yard scoring strikes to tie the game at 14-14 in the first quarter.
"I said before the game we're a good football team but now in the playoffs we're playing other good football teams," Rigby coach Armando Gonzalez said. "I told them we're going to face some adversity and we'll see how we respond to that … We just kind of held our ground and held on and let things settle in."
Thompson orchestrated an 80-yard scoring drive on the next possession, capped by a 2-yard run by Brigham Youngstrom. The Trojans would go on to score on their next two possessions to take a 35-14 lead at the half. They built the lead to 49-21 in the third before playing the reserves.
"We knew as the game wore on we would be more physically dominant than they were and that's what happened," Gonzalez said.
Thompson ran for 132 yards and three scores and finished an efficient 10 of 16 for 159 yards with one touchdown pass. Youngstrom ran for 171 yards and two touchdowns. Christian Fredricksen caught four passes for 79 yards and a touchdown Brycen Uffens added 63 yards receiving.
RIGBY 56, EAGLE 28
Eagle 14 0 7 7 — 28
Rigby 14 21 14 7 — 56
R - Thompson 4 run (Brendan Behunin kick), 9:10
R - Thompson 5 run (Behunin kick), 7:39
E - Cam Churchill 56 pass from Mason McHugh (Austin Frisk kick), 6:23
E - Charlie Baker 33 pass from McHugh (Frisk kick), 4:08
R - Youngstrom 2 run (Behunin kick), 10:17
R - Zhigy Falevai 1 run (run fail), 7:13
R - Thompson 2 run (Fredrickson pass from Thompson), 1:46
R - Zheik Falevai 15 run (Behunin kick), 5:26
E - Dalton Mashore 30 pass from McHugh (Frisk kick), 4:17
R - Youngstrom 6 run (Behunin kick)
R - Fredricksen 20 pass from Thompson (Behunin kick), 10:19
E - Churchill 9 pass from McHugh (Frisk kick), 8:26
RUSHING: Eagle, Baker 12-55, Jackson Stampfli 1-5, McHugh 6-(minus-1). Rigby, Thompson 18-132, Youngstrom 19-171, Zhigy Falevai 1-1, Zheik Falevai 7-34, Benten Zagula 3-30, Taylor Freeman 3-0.
PASSING: Eagle, McHugh, 15-31-232-3. Rigby, Thompson 10-16-159-1.
RECEIVING: Eagle, Mashore 3-63, Churchill 8-131, Mikita 3-26, Morgan 1-12. Rigby, Fredricksen 4-79, Zheik Falevai 1-3, Uffens 4-63, Trajen Larsen 1-14.