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Idaho 5A High School Football Championship: Trojans Triumph
Rigby claims their third title in the last four years
Published: 11/21/2022 6:07:28 AM
Brandon Baney
Managing Editor/Broadcaster


The Rigby Trojans (11-2) earned their third state football championship in the last four years with a fourth quarter comeback that will be talked about for a long time in Rigby.  Trailing 21-7, Rigby rallied to score 21 points and earn the 28-21 win at Boise State University's Albertsons Stadium.

Meridian (11-1), seeking its first football championship since 2007, had their chances, and started fast, as linebacker Nathan Reynolds intercepted a Luke Flowers pass on the opening drive of the game.  The Warriors offense converted the turnover into six points, as Rylie Byington scored on a seven-yard touchdown run.

After leading 7-0 after one quarter of play, the Meridian defense again forced a takeaway, as Rigby wide receiver Kade Steffler fumbled after making a reception.  Mason Mayer recovered the fumble for the Warriors, and Meridian again took advantage when Marco Del Rio scored on a fourth-and-goal play from the two-yard line.

Trailing 14-0 midway through the second quarter, Rigby scored their first touchdown of the night on a 21-yard pass from Flowers to Steffler, and the score was 14-7 at halftime.

Meridian extended the lead to 21-7 in the third quarter when Byington scored on a five-yard run, setting the state for Rigby's dramatic comeback.

it started with a Sam Gamino six-yard touchdown run just 26 seconds into the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to 21-14 with 11:34 to play.

Sensing momentum, Rigby went for an onside kick and failed to recover.  But on the next play, Del Rio fumbled, giving the ball back to Rigby regardless.

The Trojans marched down the field in short order, and it appeared that Rigby would tie things up at 21-all when Flowers delivered a strike to Brady Packer.  But Reynolds jarred the ball loose, and Landon Eason recovered for the Warriors at their own four-yard line with 9:17 remaining.

But the Rigby defense held firm, forcing a Meridian punt that didn't travel far.  With a short field, the Trojans offense again moved the ball down the field, and scored with 2:23 to play on a five-yard scramble by Flowers.

Again, sensing momentum, Rigby coach Armando Gonzalez went for the two-point conversion and the potential lead, and Flowers found Packer on a screen pass for the 22-21 lead.

Meridian mounted an impressive drive in response, but as Zeke Martinez dropped back to pass at the Rigby 24-yard line, he was hit by Mason Burgess.  The pass floated and was intercepted by Jack Boudrero.  69 yards later, Boudrero was in the end zone and Rigby led 28-21 with 1:33 to play.  

Rigby's two-point conversion try, failed, leaving the door open for a potential Meridian comeback, but Del Rio fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and the Trojans ran out the clock from there.

Flowers completed 31-of-44 passes for 312 yards and a touchdown, and also came up with the game-winning rushing TD.  Flowers was named Player of the Game.

Kade Steffler caught nine passes for 101 yards and a score, while Jase Benedict also hauled in nine passes for 82 yards.  Gamino rushed for 40 yards and a score on nine carries.

For Meridian, Byington rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries, while Zeke Martinez completed 8-of-14 passes for 124 yards.

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