CALDWELL – The Vallivue High School football team’s offense is absolutely sizzling. Yet, head coach Lane Coffin was giddy about his guys on the other side of the ball.
“That was sweet. Nope, haven’t seen many like that,’’ the Falcons coach said following his teams’ 62-26 steamroll over Idaho Falls in a 4A playoff quarterfinal game Friday. “The kids did an amazing job out there tonight. Our defensive coaches prepared them exceptionally well, and it showed.’’
With the win the 8-3, the Falcons move into the state semifinals for the first time since 2000.
The Falcons’ defense came up with six turnovers, five of those interceptions, including two pick sixs from defensive lineman and kept Tigers running back Cameron Conrad in check all night. The 215-pound senior entered Friday’s game with 2,000 yards rushing and finished with 164 yards, most of that total after things had been determined.
“We tried to make him bounce,’’ Coffin said of trying to force the physical senior wide. “We wanted to take away the A, B gaps, stop him from running downhill like he can. We sold our soul to do that.’’
The final score would have looked far more lopsided if not for two Idaho Falls touchdowns off Vallivue kickoffs.
The Falcons exploded early, scoring on their first two possessions, surrounding a Braydon Ary pick-six for a 21-0 lead with 7:13 on the first quarter clock. And just 27 seconds left, Lan Larison was back in the end zone from 30 yards out after Tye Lehman’s interception for a 28-0 advantage.
And the onslaught continued, Vallivue putting 28 more on the board before half on yet another lineman pick-six from Daniel Sanchez, a 24-yard Larison dart to Jayden Moran and two Larison jaunts of 11 and 18 yards, the latter with :00 on the clock and a 56-20 runaway.
Larison went over the 2,000 mark rushing for the season, finishing with 179 yards and three touchdowns while throwing for 86 yards and one score.
“He’s fearless. He’s just got such a unique desire burning in him,” Coffin said. “He’s just so incredibly competitive and that has worn off on a lot of these guys. The blend is so good with these guys. We’ve got it going well.’’
“He’s a great athlete,’’ Idaho Falls coach Pete Molino said. “We couldn’t get him to the ground.’’
Vallivue (8-3) moves on to face conference foe Bishop Kelly (9-1) in next week’s 4A state semifinals while Idaho Falls’ season ends at 7-4.