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Idaho High School Football Playoffs: Semifinals Recap
Which teams advanced to the state championship game?
Published: 11/12/2022 8:54:59 AM
Brandon Baney
Managing Editor/Broadcaster



Meridian 34, Mountain View 10

The Warriors (11-0) defeated their conference rival for the second time this season, as Meridian advanced to the championship game for the first time since 2007.  

Meridian's rushing attack was on display, as the Warriors piled up 316 yards on the ground. Player of the Game Rylie Byington led the way with 126 yard and three touchdowns.  Marco Del Rio added 100 yards and a score.

Meridian held a 14-3 halftime lead, as Byington found the end zone from five and 11 yards away.  Mountain View (7-5) responded with a 33-yard field goal from Martin Connington.

The Warriors turned on the afterburners in the second half, as Del Rio scored on a one-yard run and a 20-3 lead after three quarters of play.  Luke St. Mitchell plunged ahead for a one-yard TD run and Byington scored from eight yards away to build the lead up to 34-3.

Mountain View's Will Asbury returned a fumble 55 yards for a touchdown to conclude the scoring.

Rigby 34, Rocky Mountain 27

Rigby (10-2) rallied late, scoring with 3:40 to play in the contest before forcing a Rocky Mountain (10-2) turnover to seal the win on the ensuing drive.

Sam Gamino started the scoring with a two-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 Rigby lead after one quarter of play.

Rocky Mountain responded with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Tegan Sweaney to Jaryn Ikebe and a one-yard plunge from Art Williams.

Trailing 14-7, Rigby tied the contest with just 52 seconds to play before halftime on a 3-yard touchdown run from Lucas Mikkola.

The two sides traded scores in the third quarter, as Williams scored on a 7-yard run for Rocky Mountain, while Rigby quarterback Luke Flowers found the end zone from a yard away.

The Grizzlies scored with 5:40 to play in the third when Sweaney found Luke Luchini for an eight-yard connection.  It was the last time Rocky Mountain found the end zone.

Trailing 27-21, Rigby began their fourth quarter comeback when Flowers scored on another one-yard run to tie the game at 27-27 with 9:25 to play.

After the Trojans defense picked up a stop, Flowers and company took over at their own 39-yard line with 4:36 remaining.  Flowers marched Rigby down the field in short order, and delivered a six-yard strike to Brady Packer for a 34-27 lead with 3:40 to play.

The Grizzlies mounted one final drive, advancing all the way to Rigby's nine-yard line, but a fumble by Sweaney was recovered by the Trojans.  From there, Rigby ran out the clock.

Flowers was 24-of-32 passing for 326 yards and a touchdown, and added 18 yards and two scores on the ground. Player of the Game Brady Packer hauled in seven receptions for 152 yards and the game-winning touchdown.

Williams rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns for Rocky Mountain.  Sweaney was 17-of-25 for 277 yards and two TDs, as well.


Bishop Kelly 33, Minico 15

In a battle of ground-oriented offenses, a fast start by Bishop Kelly (12-0) propelled the Knights into the 4A championship game.

Peter Minnaert scored on a pair of four-yard runs in the first quarter, pushing BK out to a 14-0 lead after a quarter of play.  

Midway through the second quarter, Hadley Smith found Noah Bornes for a 73-yard connection, and the Knights led at halftime 21-0.

Smith threw two more touchdowns in the third quarter.  Both went to Christian Welp and gave Bishop Kelly a 33-0 lead.

Minico (10-2) tried to rally late, as Jafeth Bendele scored on an 11-yard run and Carson Wayment threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Ryker Stimpson, but the Spartans simply ran out of time.

Smith earned Player of the Game honors after finishing 10-of-17 for 155 yards and three touchdowns for the Knights.

Wayment was 19-of-27 for 171 yards and a touchdown for Minico.

Skyline 42, Sandpoint 28

The Skyline (9-3) combination of Lachlan Haacke and Kenyon Sadiq proved to be too much to handle for Sandpoint (6-4) in a semifinal game that was closer than the final score indicates.

Haacke found Sadiq for a 36-yard score on the opening drive of the game, and Skyline led 7-0.

Sandpoint's opening drive fizzled out on an unsuccessful fake field goal try from the Skyline 25-yard line.

Just 13 seconds later. Haacke threw a screen pass to Sadiq.  Sadiq took the screen 75 yards for the score and Skyline led 14-0 after one quarter of play.

Sandpoint finally broke through on a 13-yard touchdown run from Max Frank early in the second quarter to close the gap to 14-7.

But Skyline answered with another big connection, as Haacke hit Sadiq for a 72-yard score and a 21-7 advantage.

Again, Sandpoint responded, as Frank hauled in a 24-yard TD pass from Parker Pettit to close the deficit to 21-14.

Down seven, the Bulldogs defense stopped Skyline and forced a punt, but Joseph Bohanek muffed the punt at his own 25-yard line and the Grizzlies recovered.

Two plays later, Haacke again found Sadiq for a 25-yard score, and Skyline led at halftime 28-14.

The Bulldogs refused to quit, as they took the ball on the opening drive of the third quarter, as Joseph Hughes scored on an 11-yard run to bring Sandpoint to within 28-21.

Again, the Sandpoint defense held, forcing a Skyline field goal try that was blocked by Jack Zimmerman.  But the Bulldogs were flagged for a facemask penalty, and Skyline was penalized for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.  The two fouls offset, and the 4th down play was held again.

Except this time, Skyline went for it instead of trying another field goal.  Sadiq ran a drag route that occupied multiple defenders, which left freshman Amani Morel wide open for his only reception of the night: a 25-yard touchdown catch from Haacke.  Once again, momentum had been snatched from Sandpoint as Skyline led 35-21.

The Bulldogs never closed the gap from there, as the sides traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter.  Frank scored on a three-yard run for Sandpoint, while Haacke found Sadiq for a 12-yard score to close out the contest.

Haacke threw for 307 yards and six touchdowns.  Five of those touchdowns went to Player of the Game Sadiq, who caught six passes for 246 yards.

Sandpoint was led by Frank, who rushed for 122 yards and two scores on just 12 carries.


Sugar-Salem 60, Teton 21

For a half, the semifinal matchup between District 6 foes Sugar-Salem (10-0) and Teton (8-3) was tight.  But the Diggers exploded past the Timberwolves in the second half, advancing to their fifth consecutive state championship game.

Teton opened the scoring just 31 seconds into the contest, as quarterback Jack Nelson ripped off a 74-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead.

The Diggers answered with a quarterback sneak from Danny Neal and tied the game at 7-7.

After a defensive stop, Josiah Bosco scored on a 13-yard touchdown run, and the Diggers led 13-7 with 2:34 to play in the first quarter.  Sugar-Salem would never trail again, as Carson Harris extended the lead to 20-7 on a two-yard touchdown run.

Teton answered, as Nelson threw a seven-yard screen pass to Thomas Heuseveldt.  The score brought the Timberwolves to within 20-14 with 10:16 to play in the 2nd quarter.

From there, the two sides traded scores.  Carson Harris scored on an 11-yard touchdown run for Sugar-Salem, while Nelson threw a jump ball touchdown to Ty Brown on a fourth-and-goal play from the 5-yard line.

That made the score 27-21 at halftime in favor of the Diggers.  Two key turnovers by Teton (a fumble and an interception) early in the third quarter allowed Sugar-Salem to extend the lead, and from there, the Diggers pitched the second-half shutout to earn the win. Player of the Game Carson Harris rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns, and also hauled in three passes for 110 yards.  Neal was 9-of-19 passing for 213 yards, and added 95 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.  Bosco scored twice on the ground, while Luke Aldrich and Cach Harris also found the end zone.

Homedale 35, Weiser 7

The Trojans (10-1) knocked out the defending 3A champs from Weiser (10-2) and in the process advanced to the state championship game for the fourth time in the past five seasons.

Homedale struck first on a three-yard touchdown run from Trenton Fisher.  It was a preview of Fisher's big day, as he found the end zone four times.

After Weiser's defense stopped Homedale on fourth down, the Wolverines knotted the score at 7-7 on a three-yard TD run by Brock Spencer.

Homedale answered on a fourth-and-goal play from the one-yard line, as Jaxon Dines threw a dart to Dillon Fine.  The fourth down score game Homedale a 14-7 lead at halftime.

The Trojans put the game away over a 33-second stretch in the third quarter.  Fisher scored on a one-yard run, Sigmund Goode intercepted a pass on the next play from scrimmage, and Fisher scored again from 26 yards out.  That sequence ballooned the lead to 28-7.

Fisher capped the scoring with a four-yard run.

Fisher rushed for 201 yards and four touchdowns, picking up Player of the Game honors along the way.  Jaxon Dines was 8-of-13 passing for 110 yards and a score, and Mason Strong hauled in two passes for 38 yards.

Weiser quarterback Andrew Enders threw for 50 yards and added 70 yards rushing.


Bear Lake 28, West Side 27 (OT)

After earning an identical 28-27 overtime triumph over West Side (9-2) in the regular season, Bear Lake (9-1) turned back the Pirates again, denying West Side the opportunity to compete for a fourth consecutive 2A state championship.

Bear Lake started hot, cashing in on three of their five first half possessions on their way to a 21-7 halftime lead.  West Side, conversely, only scored on one of their five first half possessions.

Tayson Neal threw three touchdown passes in the opening half.  Two went to Toby Flake, covering 43 and 36 yards, respectively.  The third TD toss went to Bryson Crane on a 55-yard bomb.

West Side's lone first-half score came on a 22-yard run by Parker Moser.

But the Pirates never panicked, and calmly began their second half comeback late in the third quarter.  A lengthy drive extended into the beginning of the fourth quarter, and was capped off by a three-yard plunge from fullback Easton Shurtliff. 

West Side's extra point try doinked off the right upright, however, leaving the Pirates' deficit at 21-13.

The two sides traded three-and-outs, giving Bear Lake the ball midway through the final period.  But the West Side defense again earned a key stop, and got the ball back at their own 24-yard line with 5:18 to play.

West Side quarterback Eli Brown then orchestrated a drive for the ages, marching the Pirates 76 yards for the game-tying score. 

Along the way, West Side faced a fourth-and-10 from their own 37-yard line with 3:16 to play.  After the Pirates burned two consecutive timeouts to talk things over, Brown hit Colby Bowles for a 31-yard gain to the Bear Lake 35-yard line.  

Fast forward to another fourth down situation: this time, West Side faced a fourth-and-1 at the Bear Lake 11 with 50 seconds to play.  Shurtliff plunged ahead for exactly one yard to establish a first-and-goal situation from the 10-yard line with 38 seconds remaining.

After a spike on first down to stop the clock, Brown threw a three-yard pass to Shurtliff to set up third-and-goal from the 7.  But with no timeouts remaining, Brown had to spike the ball again on third down to stop the clock.

So the game hinged on a fourth-and-goal play from the 7 with just 16 seconds remaining.  With their season on the line, Brown found Garrett Robinson in the front corner of the end zone for the touchdown.

But the Pirates still needed the two-point conversion to tie the contest.  Shurtliff delivered, plunging right through the middle of the defense for the two-point conversion run, and for the second time this year, the two sides headed to overtime.

In overtime, West Side had the ball first.  And on the first play from scrimmage, Moser easily scored on a ten-yard run.

Sensing momentum was on his side, Pirates coach Tyson Moser went for the two-point conversion.  Parker Moser was stopped at the one-yard line by Crane, though, and the Pirates held a tenuous 26-21 lead.

Bear Lake's overtime possession wasn't as smooth.  The Bears fumbled on a third down play from the 7-yard line but recovered, setting up fourth down from the 8-yard line.  Neal never wavered, throwing a back shoulder fade route to Crane in the right corner of the end zone.  Two West Side defenders were draped all over Crane, drawing a pass interference penalty, but Crane made the catch anyway.

Flake drilled the extra point, and the Bear Lake sideline erupted in jubilation.

Crane was named Player of the Game.  He finished with five catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns, had the game-winning tackle in overtime on West Side's two-point try, and also caught the game-winning touchdown for the Bears on their OT possession.

Firth 34, Aberdeen 20

Aberdeen (7-4) started hot, as quarterback Brody Beck scored on a 62-yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage.

Then, as Firth (8-2) was moving the ball down the field on their opening drive, quarterback Gage Vasquez fumbled.  Juan Hernandez picked up the live ball and returned the fumble 62 yards for another Aberdeen touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

From there, the Cougars defense stiffened, and Vasquez found his footing.  Kyle Jacobsen scored on a pair of short runs to tie the game at 14-14, and then Vasquez found Burton Park for a 14-yard score and a 21-14 advantage.

Firth would never relinquish the lead, as Vasquez scored on runs of six and 50 yards to put the game away.

Aberdeen fought valiantly, as Beck scored on a 10-yard run to make things interesting, but the Tigers ultimately ran out of time.

Vasquez was named Player of the Game after rushing for 116 yards and two touchdowns and throwing for 96 yards and a score.  He added four extra point kicks for good measure.

Beck threw for 90 yards for Aberdeen.


Oakley 26, Carey 18

The Hornets rallied past Carey by scoring on two long touchdowns late in the second half to erase an 18-12 deficit and advance to their third consecutive 1AD1 state championship game. 

Before they trailed 18-12, Oakley (9-1) actually led 12-0 early as Porter Pickett found Bridger Duncan for a nine-yard touchdown and Houston Bingham scored on a 34-yard run. 

Carey (8-3) proceeded to tie the game at 12-12 at halftime on a pair of Preston Wood touchdown passes; an 11-yard strike to Colton Larna and a 21-yard connection to Conner Simpson.

The Panthers extended the lead in the third quarter on a 24-yard pass from Wood to Simpson, and the Carey defense held that lead for a long time.

But Oakley struck on a 72-yard bomb from Pickett to Bridger Duncan, tying the game at 18-18 with just 2:30 to play.

On Carey's ensuing possession, the Panthers ran as much time off the clock as they could, but ultimately turned the ball over on downs after just four plays.

Oakley needed just one play to grab the lead for good, as Pickett hit Ethan Toribau for a 37-yard touchdown pass.  Pickett also found Toribau for the only successful two-point conversion of the night, and the Hornets led 26-18 with 1:22 to play.

Carey refused to quit, though.  Wood launched a deep pass that was tipped by an Oakley defender right into the hands of Simpson, who hauled in the reception at the Oakley 20-yard line.  A roughing the passer penalty moved the ball to the 10, but Wood threw an incomplete pass as time expired.

Pickett finished 12-of-21 for 188 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.  He added 24 yards rushing on 11 carries, and was named Player of the Game.  Duncan caught four passes for 103 yards and a score.

Carey was led by Simpson, who rushed for 91 yards and caught eight balls for 120 yards and two TDs.   Wood completed 18-of-30 passes for 216 yards and three scores.

Grace 38, Kamiah 12

The two sides traded blows in an extremely competitive first half, but Grace (9-1) pitched a second half shutout to pull away and advance to the state title game.

The Grizzlies opened the scoring with a six-yard touchdown run from quarterback Tytan Anderson.

Kamiah (9-2) then scored 12 unanswered points.  David Kludt hit Kaden DeGroot for a 22-yard score, the Kubs defense forced a turnover on downs, and Colton Ocain scored on a 16-yard scamper.

Trailing 12-6, Anderson and company mounted a late second quarter drive that culminated in an 18-yard touchdown pass to Dallon Draper.  Anderson also found Draper for the two-point conversion and a 14-12 halftime lead.

Grace then outscored Kamiah 24-0 the rest of the way.  Anderson scored on runs of 11 and six yards, and threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Draper and a 36-yard touchdown pass to William Mickelson.

Anderson, the Player of the Game, had a hand in all five of Grace's touchdowns, as threw for 119 yards and three touchdowns, and added the two rushing scores as well.


Kendrick 38, Castleford 8

Kendrick (11-0) struck big on the opening play from scrimmage, as Ty Koepp connected with Jagger Hewett for a 56 yard touchdown pass and an 8-0 lead.

Castleford (9-2) answered on their opening drive when Jayme Ramos hit Santi Alvarado for a 36-yard touchdown, but from there, Kendrick put the clamps on defensively and pitched a shutout the rest of the way.

Koepp scored on a two-yard run and found Hewett again for a 55-yard touchdown, and the Tigers led 20-8 after one quarter of play.

Two more touchdown passes from Koepp to Hewett covering 14 and five yards, respectively, extended Kendrick's lead to 32-8 at halftime.

Koepp concluded the scoring with a one-yard run in the third quarter.

Koepp completed 15-of-22 passes for 297 yards and four touchdowns, and rushed for 52 yards and two scores.  He was named Player of the Game.  Hewett hauled in eight passes for 172 yards and all four scores.

Ramos was 13-of-16 for 148 yards and a touchdown for Castleford.  Ethan Roland caught six passes for 74 yards.

Dietrich 72, Garden Valley 20

The Blue Devils (11-0) raced past Garden Valley (9-2), accumulating 512 yards of total offense, and nine touchdowns from quarterback Cody Power.

Power, the Player of the Game, completed 12-of-19 passes for 215 yards and four touchdowns.  Power also rushed for 213 yards and five scores.

Payten Sneddon rushed for 41 yards and a touchdown, and caught three passes for 93 yards and two TDs.  Conner Perkins added five catches for 92 yards and two scores.

Among the highlights for Garden Valley were a 61-yard touchdown run by Tim Larsen and an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Tacoma Kelly.

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