POCATELLO – The Sugar-Salem football team took care of business early on Thursday night.
The defending 3A state champions scored on the third play of the game and then rolled up a double-digit lead in the first quarter on the way to a 47-20 win over Gooding in the 3A state quarterfinals at Holt Arena.
The Diggers (8-1) had little trouble against the Senators (8-2), taking a 20-0 advantage in the first quarter. Gooding had given up just 28 points total over its past five games, but couldn’t stop the Sugar-Salem run game.
Hadley Miller scored on a 49-yard run and Sam Parkinson added 9-yard score on the next series. Miller ran in an 8-yard touchdown before the end of the first quarter and the rout was on.
“We have a lot of guys who can big plays,” said Miller, who had 72 yards on just four carries. Parkinson finished with four touchdowns and 144 yards as the Diggers tallied 361 rushing yards.
“I felt like coming into this game that for us to be successful for four quarters we really had to get after it in the run game,” Sugar-Salem head coach Tyler Richins said. “That doesn’t mean we don’t have confidence in the pass game, we just know in games like this … we just wanted to really exert our dominance quickly and we felt like the best way to do that was through the run game tonight.”
Six rushing touchdowns against what had been a pretty solid Gooding defense proved too much to overcome for the Senators.
The defense also did its part, sacking Gooding quarterbacks four times and totaling five tackles for loss. Gooding had to try to pass to make up the early deficit, but that resulted in two interceptions.
The Senators did find the end zone late, scoring twice in the fourth quarter against Digger reserves.
Sugar-Salem awaits the winner of today’s Teton vs. Snake River game. The Panthers are the No. 2 seed, so if Snake River wins it will host the semifinals against Sugar-Salem. Teton is seeded seventh and would have to play on the road if it wins.
SUGAR-SALEM 47, GOODING 20
Gooding 0 0 7 13 – 20
Sugar-Salem 20 20 7 0 –47
S – Hadley Miller 49 run (Crew Clark kick), 10:30
S – Sam Parkinson 9 run (kick fail), 8:29
S – Miller 8 run (Clark kick), 0:37
S – Miller 65 pass from Tanner Harris (Cark kick), 10:40
S- Parkinson 29 run (Clark kick), 6:31
S – Parkinson 35 run (Clark kick), 4:23
S – Parkinson 28 run (Clark kick), 9:55
G – Andrew Prince 5 pass from Shane Jennings (kick good), 4:39
G – Colston Loveland 33 pass from Shane Jennings (kick blocked), 9:30
G – Loveland 23 pass from Jennings (kick good), 1:04
RUSHING: Gooding, Kurtis Adkinson 13-90, Jennings 11-(minus-2), Jonathon Carpenter 5-13, Skyler Cheney 3-4, Loveland 1-0. Sugar-Salem, Parkinson 11-144, Browning Bennion 6-36, Ryan Harris 5-20, Miller 4-72, Daxtyn Zollinger 3-19, Kendle Harris 2-13, Logan Cutler 2-11, Tanner Harris 1-21, McKay Schulthies 1-16, Caleb Birch 1-11.
PASSING: Gooding, Jennings 16-35-216-2, Adkinson 1-2-8-0. Sugar-Salem, Harris 2-6-70-1, Kyzon Garner 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING: Gooding, Loveland 9-133, Prince 6-62, Ethan Kulhanek 1-19, Carpenter 1-10. Sugar-Salem, Miller 2-70.