The Idaho 8-Man Football 3 Stars Awards (Week 4)
A defensive player highlights this week's 3 Stars list.
Published: 9/18/2023 4:35:22 PM

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Here are the top performers from this weekend's slate of Idaho 8-Man action. 

1. Porter Whipple, Kamiah

One of the top players in the state, regardless of position, authored a signature game on Friday against Council.  The senior tallied ten tackles, four sacks, and returned an interception for a touchdown to help the Kubs improve their record to 2-1 overall, 1-1 in Whitepine play with a big rivalry matchup looming on Friday against Clearwater Valley.

2. Ahlius Yearout, Lapwai

Speaking of overwhelming defensive performances, the Wildcat senior put on a show of his own.  Against Clearwater Valley, Yearout had 14 tackles and six sacks on defense.  And b the way, he had five receptions for 100 yards and a score, six rushes for 86 yards and a score, and returned a blocked punt for a score as well.  Lapwai (2-1, 1-1) will face unbeaten Logos on Friday.

3. Kaelun Jones, Horseshoe Bend

The Mustangs' final tuneup for the stretch drive in the Long Pin Conference was dominated by the versatile senior.  He totaled 322 yards from the line of scrimmage and scored six touchdowns (three rushing, two receiving, one kickoff return) in a win over Rimrock.  Horseshoe Bend (3-2, 0-1) plays at Salmon River on Friday.

Honorable Mention:

Brody Westergard (Butte County)
Bass Myers (Clearwater Valley)
Dawson Bovard (Deary)
Braden Kimball (Grace)
Nathan Tweit (Kendrick)
Jemari Peone (Lakeside)
Case van Leeuwen (Lighthouse Christian)
Lucius Comis (Logos)
John Pruitt (Mullan/St. Regis)
Jr Benites (Murtaugh)
Evan O'Brian (North Gem)
Bry Severe (Oakley)
Jay Marshall (Potlatch)
Noah Behler (Prairie)
McCoy Spencer (Raft River)
Justin Telford (Richfield)
Ronaldo Gomez (Rimrock)
Teague Matthews (Rockland)
Darrin Bonner (Timberline)
Josh Hardy (Valley)

The Problem With Three

The inherent flaw in a feature called "3 Stars" is that you're painted into the corner of only picking three.  It would have been hard to be upset if Teague Matthews was a 3-Star for the second week in a row; after all, he accounted for over 500 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns in Rockland's win over Castleford.  Likewise, could you see Murtaugh's Jr Benites' 383 all-purpose yards, 16 tackles, and four total touchdowns being star-worthy?  Of course.  So yes, we agree there are other extremely-worthy candidates every single week.

Rivals to Teammates

Wilder and Greenleaf Friends were scheduled to play last Thursday but the game was canceled due to a lack of numbers for Greenleaf.  When Wilder coach Jeremy Bailey and Greenleaf coach Jeremy Perkins got back to the field to begin this week, they were on the same sideline.  The IHSAA approved a petition to allow the two programs to combine for the rest of this season.  There were kinks to iron out, like the schedule.  Greenleaf Friends' roster includes student-athletes from Gem State Academy, which is a Seventh-Day Adventist school.  For religious reasons, they do not compete athletically on Fridays, so Wilder had to tinker with its schedule to move its remaining games up to Thursdays.  The new-look Wilder/Greenleaf co-op will remain in the 1A Division 1 Western Idaho Conference and plays at Idaho City on Thursday evening.

Looking Ahead

Butte County and Grace make up two-thirds of the 1A Division 1 High Desert Conference.  The two teams have combined to win eight of their nine games so far with Butte County (4-0) outscoring its opposition 222-78 and Grace (4-1) outscoring its foes 190-57.  One appears a lock to win the conference and earn an automatic berth in the 1A Division 1 playoffs and the other should be in terrific shape to get a strong, at-large berth as well.  Which will be which?  We'll probably find out on October 20th, when Grace hosts Butte County.

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