POCATELLO — South Fremont quarterback Jace Neville said the "best of people" come out on the football field.
"Or the worst," Cougars running back Kyler Yancey quickly added with a smile.
During Thursday evening's opening round 35-28 win over Weiser at Holt Arena, the best of the Cougars came out by way of a balanced rushing attack that helped them advance to the 3A state playoff quarterfinals. With the win, South Fremont (6-3) plays next week at Timberlake.
Yancey was responsible for three first-half touchdowns against Weiser, finishing Thursday with 29 rushing yards and 73 receiving yards on 14 touches (10 carries and four catches).
His final 27-yard catch caused "MVP, MVP" chants to echo through Holt Arena.
The 27-yard catch by South Fremont's "MVP" eventually set up a three-yard touchdown run by quarterback Neville — icing Weiser with 2:18 left in regulation.
"We got up big but they gave us a dogfight. They're a tough team," Yancey said. "Our line played awesome. That's why I had my success tonight.
"Oh, I didn't hear (the MVP chants)," he added.
Don't get it twisted: Neville and Tristian Olson also had a major contributions during South Fremont's first playoff win since 2016.
Neville finished with 23 carries for 78 yards and a touchdown to go with 10-of-16 passing for 177 yards and an interception while Olson led all ball-carriers with 15 carries for 164 yards and a touchdown.
Olson's 41-yard and Neville's three-yard touchdown runs in the second half propelled the Cougars past the Wolverines and was a backbreaker for Weiser. Olson broke three tackles to give the Cougars the lead midway through the third.
South Fremont would never lose the lead, leaning on three ball carriers to accumulate 271 total rushing yards.
"We have a lot of upperclassmen on our line and we've just worked a lot all summer," center German Gonzalez said. "We're all really close and cohesive. So I think that really brings the team to another level when the line is all up and dominating the line of scrimmage."
Down 21-0 after 13 minutes of play, Weiser rallied during the second quarter and tied the game 21-21 by halftime after Logan Wood scored on a 10-yard run with 49 seconds left in the second quarter.
Wood was a thorn in the Cougars' whiskers Thursday, finishing with 66 rushing yards on seven carries and 91 receiving yards on three catches. All three of his touchdowns — a 56-yard catch; 51-yard run and his 10-yard rush — came during the second quarter.
But South Fremont hunkered down during the second half, holding Weiser to one drive during the third quarter and playing mostly ball control.
After its explosive second quarter, the Wolverines didn't score again until quarterback Body von Brethorst scored on a five-yard run with 49 seconds left in regulation.
By that point, the Cougars were celebrating a moment of a lifetime: winning a playoff game in front of hometown fans in a college arena.
"It's the best experience in my life," Neville said. "I loved it. It's so big, it's crazy. I like the win, but we got work to do after this. The season is not over. We still got another game next week."