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  Idaho HS Football: Week 3 Rewind

Breaking down some of the noteworthy happenings in week three of high school football in Idaho.

By: Sven Alskog
Published: 9/11/2017 9:04:01 AM
Smoke from fires throughout the region caused mass schedule changes in week three. Plenty of action still took place on the field though, with lots to break down in each classification. 

-Hillcrest continued an outstanding start to the 2017 season, improving to 3-0 with a 34-13 rivalry game victory over Bonneville in the annual Civil War. It all starts with stingy defense and a strong running game for the Knights, as for the second week in a row Jeff Marshall's group held an opponent to 13 points or less. Jordan Neuerberg imposed his will on the ground with 149 yards on 20 carries, reaching the end zone twice. 

-Rigby's Braden Youngstrom is as explosive as it gets throughout the state on the ground, as the senior back has ran through, around and over defenses on a weekly basis so far this year. That continued against Kuna in week three, with Youngstrom rushing for 299 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries. He also had three receptions for 44 yards.

-While it may have been in a loss, Kuna continued to prove that each of the games the team plays in are going to have offensive fireworks. Jerome Miller had 11 receptions for 248 yards and two touchdowns. Rigby and the Kavemen combined to put up 98 points on Friday in a 58-40 Trojan win.

-The battle between Post Falls and Couer d'Alene in the Inland Empire is going to be as exciting as any conference race state-wide to follow. The Vikings beat a quality football team from Washington in Mead by a 62-43 final, while Post Falls knocked off University (WA) 37-27 to improve to 3-0. The Trojans have also defeated Mead and Sandpoint to begin the season. The head-to-head matchup between the two is slated for October 20 at Coeur d'Alene. 

-Rocky Mountain is really, really good. In a 64-23 thumping of Meridian, the Grizzlies held the Warriors to just 114 total yards, while putting up 507 of their own. The continued improvement from a season ago in the pass game is adding a whole new element to the offense, as between Will McMullin and Colby Jackson the team threw for 274 yards and four touchdowns. With an already dominant run game led by Carter Kuehl in place, 5A defensive coordinators throughout the SIC are scratching their heads on how to slow this attack down. The task is not a whole lot easier for opposing offensive coordinators either. Rocky Mountain is as good as ever.

-Travis Hobson has Century looking like one of the favorites in district 5-6 this season, as the Diamondbacks opened some more eyes with a 35-20 defeat of Blackfoot. Under Stan Buck you can always count on Blackfoot being one of the more physical teams in the state with the ability to compete with anyone on a weekly basis. For a Century program that won just a single game a year ago, the 2-1 start is a huge step in the right direction, as the team now looks ahead to a battle for Pocatello contest with Highland this week. Cole McKinlay was impressive for the Diamondbacks in the win, finishing an efficient 14-20 for 164 yards through the air and rushing for 81 yards on the ground, tallying three total touchdowns. McKinlay will hope to cut down on turnovers following a three interception night.

-Middleton knocking off Vallivue 27-13 was a must-win game for the Vikings. After starting 0-2 with losses to Kuna and Fruitland, Bill Brock's squad rebounded nicely with the victory over the previously unbeaten Falcons. The win came at just the right time for Middleton being the conference opener, a game in which the Vikings jumped ahead 27-0 and never looked back. Quarterback Darin Post had 227 passing yards and three total touchdowns. Middleton running back Jake Tuckett also had 102 rushing yards to pave the way for the first win of the season.

-Minico and Twin Falls each had nice wins out of district four in week three, showing why the two appear to be favorites to take the top two spots in the conference this year. The Spartans shut-out Burley 42-0 and the Bruins did the same 36-0 to Wood River. Other conference foes Canyon Ridge and Jerome had tough losses against Shelley and Idaho Falls, respectively. 

-Emmett has now put up 151 points through the first three weeks (50.3 PPG). The competition level will increase exponentially moving forward for the Huskies, starting this week with a big conference matchup at Middleton. After losing head coach Mike Schroeder one day prior to the season opener against Timberline, the program has responded well under Zane Hines to start 3-0. Games the next three weeks against Middleton, Skyview and Bishop Kelly will tell the tale of how good this team can be this year.

-The 4A Inland Empire is wide-open this year. Sandpoint has started the season 0-3, Lakeland got its first win of the campaign 34-18 over East Valley (WA) in week three and Moscow has jumped out to a 2-1 start, with wins coming against 2A Grangeville and 3A Timberlake and a loss to Clarkston (WA). Moscow battled tough in a lot of close losses in 2016. Head coach Phil Helbling is hoping to see that change this time around after the second consecutive 2-1 start to the year for the program. The Bears could be a real threat to surprise Lakeland and Sandpoint atop the conference this season.

-By coming away with a hard-fought 33-22 road victory at Gooding, defending state champion Fruitland continued to put on display why there could very well be a repeat this time around. At one point late in the third quarter the Senators led 20-19, but 14 consecutive points for the Grizzlies changed the complexion of the game. The clear difference was 367 yards on the ground from Fruitland, a number which will get the job done just about every week against any opponent.

-Fruitland is not the only SRV team that has started the season well, with Homedale blowing out Vale (OR) 55-12 to improve to 3-0 and Parma coming away victorious at always tough Nampa Christian 34-20. The Panthers are now 2-1, with head coach Jake Walgamott's group looking like it will be right in the hunt with Fruitland, Homedale and Weiser for playoff spots this year.

-If the excitement surrounding teams in the SRV is not enough for you, the Mountain Rivers Conference has a great three-way battle brewing at the top between Shelley, South Fremont and Sugar-Salem. All three have started 2-1 in 2017, including week three victories for the Russets over Canyon Ridge, South Fremont over Bear Lake and Sugar-Salem over Snake River. Teton can't be slept on either, although it will take some defensive improvement to get into the conversation after the Redskins allowed 63 points to 2A West Jefferson this week. 

-Sugar-Salem held Snake River to just 12 points on Friday. In the 21-12 win for the Diggers it continued to be abundantly clear that defense is going to carry the team this year. The Panthers could only muster 207 total yards, while turning the ball over three times. Against high-octane offenses in conference play moving forward, the Sugar-Salem defense could very well be the difference in how everything plays out. 

-Filer's Josh Hughes had a monster game in a 32-14 victory over American Falls. The lead back for the Wildcats had 261 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries to pilot Filer into the win column for the first time this season. 

-Keegan Duncan of Declo is a machine for the Hornets, as the bruising runner piled up four total touchdowns in a 40-20 doubling-up of the Kimberly Bulldogs. Duncan's efforts were highlighted by a 105-yard interception return as Declo improved to 3-0 on the year, including impressive wins over Sugar-Salem and now Kimberly.

-After putting up a goose egg in a season opening loss at West Side, Firth has responded with back-to-back 40-plus point performances against Soda Springs and Malad, including a 46-0 blanking of the Dragons this week. Running back Victor Burkhart paced the Cougars in the win against Malad, running for 81 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Gunner Vasquez also saw success, completing five passes for 168 yards and a touchdown. 

-Nuclear Conference foe West Jefferson erupted offensively as well, lighting up the scoreboard in Terreton in a 63-47 fireworks show win over Teton. The Nuke should be as fun as ever in 2017, with North Fremont, Firth, West Jefferson and Ririe all off to good starts.

-It's a fun time to be a Ririe Bulldog fan. After a clean sweep of winter sport championships last year, the question was how improved the football program would be. A 3-0 start to the season has spirits high, with a huge litmus test this Friday against Aberdeen at home. That game can be watched live and free on with Lucas Gebhart and Chris Cardona on the call.

-Moving away from the Nuclear Conference, Aberdeen and West Side remained unbeaten with wins over North Fremont and Marsh Valley. The three touchdown defeat of a tough North Fremont football team was especially impressive for the Tigers, as Aberdeen looks to yet again be one of the teams right in the mix for a 2A title.

-Speaking of titles, defending state champion St. Maries has lost consecutive games for the first time since October of 2014. The Lumberjacks lost a ton of talent from a year ago, but should still be able to remain competitive with Orofino and Grangeville in conference action moving forward. In the meantime, expect head coach Craig Tefft to place heavy emphasis into figuring out how to get some points on the board after tallying just 12 combined in the last two weeks, including being blanked against the Deer Park Stags, who have arguably the most fitting mascot name on the west coast.

-Perhaps lost in the shuffle during all of the schedule changes due to to poor air quality throughout the state last week was the impact on the Genesee football schedule. After starting 2-0 with big wins over Kendrick and Prairie, the Bulldogs will now play no games for three weeks, as the next contest for the #1 ranked team in the state will not come until September 22 at home against Troy. That game will be broadcast live and free on 

-The team that received the second most first place votes in the state media poll last week, Raft River, came out and followed up a big win over previous number one Oakley by handing it to Glenns Ferry 40-6. 

-Lapwai lost a quality senior class from a year ago, but is still a tough out. The Wildcats proved that with a 30-16 win over Troy at the Kibbie Dome. First year coach Josh Leighton should have Lapwai angling for another playoff appearance this year.

-Wallace and Clearwater Valley squared off with each other in week two and a week later both teams saw big performances against new opponents. The Miners defeated Potlatch 50-30 and the Rams blew out rival Kamiah 54-6. Individual performances from Bubba Summers (250 yards rushing and five touchdowns) for Clearwater Valley and Layton Gallagher (four touchdowns) for Wallace were among the best in the state for week three.

-Bob Johnson has his Tri-Valley Titans clicking on all cylinders through two games. In wins over Wilder and Notus, the Titans have erupted for 136 combined points, allowing only 22 to opponents. Neither the Wildcats or the Pirates are pushovers from the 1AD1 ranks, so to see a 68-11 scoring average is a good sign for Tri-Valley's chances at taking home a Long Pin crown in 2017.

-Butte County and Rockland each had wins in week three, setting up a huge matchup this Friday in Arco. Both teams are expected favorites in conference action this season, so the early season battle should shape how things eventually turn out as far as playoff seeding goes. This game can be viewed live and free on with Matt Harris and Levi Gribas on the call.

-Quarterback Bryar Sanchez at Lakeside may very well be one of the most important players to his team at the 1AD2 ranks. After missing the season opening 88-14 loss at home to Kendrick, the Knights responded well with Sanchez returning against Clark Fork, coming away with a 36-20 win. Sanchez accounted for all but eight of the Lakeside points, as the senior leader elevated the play of those around him.

-Murtaugh is a much better football team than in recent history. This should go without saying for a team that has lost its last 28 games and had three different coaches in the last three years, but to hang tough with Dietrich and Camas County, both playoff teams from a year ago, speaks volumes for the job new coach Todd Jensen is doing there. The Red Devils will go for the first win of the new era on Friday hosting Richfield.

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