Ever heard the old adage that there is strength in numbers?
Of course you have.
Apparently, no one has floated that idea to the 12 boys representing the Watersprings Warriors football team.
Because the Watersprings 12 out-punched the Rockland 25 by a score of 26-20 on Friday afternoon in a 1AD2 8-man thriller at Watersprings.
“All we have to do is beat the eight on the field,” Watersprings senior Matt Almgren said. “We just need to match up 8 vs. 8, and not worry about the rest.”
On the subject of worry, Rockland had Almgren.
Almgren, the reigning Rocky Mountain Conference Player of the Year, scored all four of Watersprings’ touchdowns.
Three of those scores came on rushing plays, covering 7, 47 and 31 yards, respectively.
The fourth, however, left them all behind.
With Rockland marching in the third quarter, Almgren sniffed out a pitch on an option play and took the ball out of the air and off the helmet of Rockland’s Brigham Permann for a 39-yard touchdown — a score that looked and smelled like a pick-6, but went into the books as a fumble return.
“We have the athletes on this team to do anything, and we proved that tonight,” Almgren said.
One of those athletes, senior quarterback Brayden Remer, had to watch his brothers battle from the sidelines after he was lost last week to a knee hyperextension/bone bruise.
Remer’s understudy, sophomore Jrew Plocher, honored his injured mentor behind center.
Plocher helped the Warriors close the door with a 60-yard quick-kick punt, followed by an interception from his safety position on the final play of the game.
“Jrew’s doing good out there. He didn’t have to come up and ask me anything,” Remer said with a smirk. “It was a terrible game to be out, but it was a great game for us.”
Rockland, which fell into a 20-0 hole after Almgren’s first three touchdowns, fought back on defense in the second half, limiting Watersprings to just 59 second half yards and no offensive scores.
In all, the Warriors got all but three of their 295 total yards on the ground.
In addition to its two second half touchdowns, Rockland had five second-half turnovers, including fumbles on each of its first three possessions of the half.
The Bulldogs' fourth fumble of the half came deep in Watersprings territory with Rockland trailing 26-20 with less than two minutes to play. Cody Woodworth lost the ball, which found its way into the hungry mitts of junior Gabe Smith.
Playing in his first — and last — year with the Warriors, senior lineman Robert Canfield said the battle never let up in the trenches.
“Man, we knew they outnumbered us and it was going to be a battle all game, but our game plan was to run the ball down their throats,” Canfield said. “I think we did that today.”
Watersprings (2-2, 1-0) jumps back out of conference play this coming Friday, hosting the Challis Vikings.
Rockland (3-2, 0-2) will have a bye week before its next game, a road trip to Shoshone on Oct. 9.
WATERSPRINGS 26, ROCKLAND 20
W – Matt Almgren 7 run (pass failed) 3:47
W – Almgren 47 run (Peyton West run) 5:41
W – Almgren 31 run (run failed) 3:04
R – Levi Farr 5 pass from Braden Permann (Teague Matthews pass from Permann) :58
W – Almgren 39 fumble recovery (run failed) 2:39
R – Permann 13 run (pass failed) 11:52
R – Permann 8 run (pass failed) 3:24