As of Saturday morning, Rigby High School owned 10 state titles in boys basketball and 10 state titles combined between girls and boys track, but had never a state title in football.
That changed Saturday afternoon when Brigham Youngstrom ran in a 2-point conversion to give the Trojans a 57-56 win over Coeur d'Alene in double overtime in an epic 5A state championship game at the Kibbie Dome. The victory concluded a 10-1 season, which included wins over defending 5A state runner-up Highland and previously undefeated defending 5A state champion Rocky Mountain, and gives Armando Gonzalez a state title in his third season as head coach and the Trojans a title in their fourth season in 5A. Rigby's lone loss? Week one versus Coeur d'Alene.
"This group of seniors and this team refused to lose," Gonzalez said by phone.
A 29-point second half effort by Rigby set the Trojans up for the win in the barnburner game. The Trojans trailed the Vikings 21-13 at halftime, 28-13 with 4:41 left in the third quarter, 35-20 with 10:54 left in the fourth quarter and 42-27 with 3:19 left in the fourth quarter. Consecutive touchdown passes from Rigby quarterback Keegan Thompson to Christian Fredericksen and a two-point conversion pass from Thompson to Brycen Uffens tied the game at 42-42 to prompt overtime.
One overtime was not enough to determine the champion. After Rigby went up 49-42 with a 13-yard pass from Thompson to Fredericksen, Coeur d'Alene answered with a 10-yard pass from Jack Prka to Cameren Cope. It was Cope who scored first in second overtime, running in from two yards out for his seventh touchdown of the game to put the Vikings up 56-49. Youngstrom also scored from two yards out and, following a Coeur d'Alene timeout, he ran in the game-winning two-point conversion.
Gonzalez said they considered running a fake kick play, but then decided to power through with Youngstrom.
The contest between the Vikings (9-3) and Trojans (10-1) was full of staggering numbers. Thompson ended the day rushing for 122 yards on 24 carries and completing 20 of 32 passes for 289 yards and six touchdowns. Fredericksen caught 10 passes for 175 yards and four touchdowns, Youngstrom rushed for 130 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns and Uffens caught five passes for 65 yards and two touchdowns. For the Vikings, Prka completed 24 of 29 passes for 323 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 48 yards on 28 carries for two touchdowns and Colbey Nosworthy caught nine passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns.
Rigby's 10-1 record is its best since finishing with the same record in 1999, a season that ended with a semifinal loss, and culminates a program turnaround that started six years ago. The 1999 season was Rigby's last winning season until 2013, when the Trojans made their first of five consecutive playoff appearances. Rigby lost in the first round and in back-to-back semifinals in their last three seasons in 4A, fell in the first round and quarterfinals in their first two seasons in 5A and did not reach the playoffs last season.
The Trojans are the first District 6 team to win a 5A football state title since Madison completed an undefeated season in 2012. Those two teams are the lone District 6 schools to win football state titles in 5A since the current classification system was created by the Idaho High School Activities Association in 2001.
"The kids could have tossed in the towel and they didn’t," Gonzalez said. "We said the most mentally tough team would be state champions and we are."
RIGBY 57, COEUR D'ALENE 56 (2 OT)
Rigby 6 7 7 22 7 8 — 57
Coeur d’Alene 7 14 7 14 7 7 — 56
CDA — Colbey Nosworthy 71 pass from Jack Prka (Eli Jolly kick), 9:46
R — Brycen Uffens 24 pass from Keegan Thompson (run failed), 5:26
R — Brigham Youngstrom 4 run (Brendan Behunin kick), 11:55
CDA — Nosworthy 15 pass from Prka (Jolly kick), 9:00
CDA — Jake Brown 16 pass from Prka (Jolly kick), :46
CDA — Gunner Giuliio 24 run (Jolly kick), 10:06
R — Christian Fredericksen 14 pass from Thompson (Behunin kick), 3:40.
CDA — Prka 1 run (Jolly kick), 10:54
R — Uffens 20 pass from Thompson (Behunin kick), 4:29
CDA — Nosworthy 65 pass from Prka (Jolly kick), 4:17
R — Fredericksen 30 pass from Thompson (Behunin kick), 2:39
R — Fredericksen 20 pass from Thompson (Uffens pass from Thompson), :00
R — Fredericksen 13 pass from Thompson (Behunin kick)
CDA — Cameren Cope 10 pass from Prka (Jolly kick)
CDA — Prka 2 run (Jolly kick)
R — Youngstrom 2 run (Youngstrom run)
RUSHING — Rig, Youngstrom 22-130, Thompson 24-122, Falevai 3-5, McKinlay 1-1. Cd’A, Crawford 2-(minus 6), Prka 12-48, Elstad 2-20, Giulio 5-38.
PASSING — Rig, Thompson 20-32-0-289. Cd’A, Prka 24-29-0-323.
RECEIVING — Rig, Uffens 5-65, Fredericksen 10-175, Larsen 5-49. Cd’A, Nosworthy 9-226, Elstad 2-(minus 1), Giulio 4-13, Brown 4-45, Potenser 1-9, Crawford 2-14, Johnson 1-7, Cope 1-10.