Firth New Plymouth

Gougars' Remington Chapman runs the ball down-field as Firth High School takes on New Plymouth High School during 2A state playoffs semifinal round at Holt Arena, Friday, November 10, 2017. The Cougars defeated the Pilgrims 33-16. John Roark/

FIRTH — Like their opposite positions on the color wheel, there is just something about blue and orange that clash.

The blue (Firth) and orange (Salmon) clashed once again Friday night in Nuclear Conference play, with the Cougars routing the Savages 51-6 in one of the most unlikely of rivalries.

“We knew it was going to be tough, but we always get hyped to play these guys,” Salmon senior lineman Jesse Bellamy said.

The two schools don’t have a long history, with Salmon dropping down to 2A in 2012 to join the Nuke.

And they don’t have a regional rivalry, separated by more than four hours of state highway.

And they don’t have a long history of competitive games, with Firth winning every contest since the Savages joined the conference.

So what is it?

“All I know is it’s basically a tough game, and a lot of times, people get hurt,” Firth senior lineman Hunter Trent said. “I don’t know what it is exactly, but I know the Salmon game is serious.”

Firth senior Clayton Gain was also serious on Friday night running behind Trent and teammates for three first half touchdowns and a 24-0 halftime lead.

Salmon went for 34 yards on its first play from scrimmage, but managed just eight yards from there, closing the first half with just 42 yards.

Firth flat crushed the Salmon offense, allowing 119 total yards including minus-43 rushing yards.

Salmon stuffed Firth on the Cougars’ first offensive possession, but surrendered short fields and Gain TDs on each of the next two.

Firth added second half touchdowns from Stockton Giles, Grayson Nelson, Teague Shook and Canon Carpenter.

Salmon saved some face with a touchdown on its final possession when Dillon Pilkerton found Dakota McIntosh for a 38-yard score — breaking a three-game scoreless streak dating back to their season opener in Montana.

“That was a huge moment for our team,” Bellamy said. “We’ve had some injuries, and its been tough, but I hope that gets us in gear.”

Salmon dressed just 19 for the game after losing starting quarterback Brax Kauffman and starters Kelton Dockery, Wyatt Huston and Ryder Wood.

Firth took advantage, but coach Keith Drake called off the dogs for the entire fourth quarter, getting most of his 25 reserves some time on the varsity field.

Following a bye week, Firth (3-2, 2-0) will continue its march through the Nuclear Conference schedule when it faces conference favorite North Fremont in Ashton on Oct. 12.

Salmon (1-4, 0-2) gets right back to work next week with a Friday night road game at Ririe.

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