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Idaho High School Football Playoffs Recap: Championships
We had thrilling finishes, back-and-forth, battles, dynasties being built, and emotional storylines.
Published: 11/20/2023 12:32:53 PM
Brandon Baney
Managing Editor/Broadcaster
brandon@idahosports.com
 

ORDER GAME PHOTOS

CLASS 5A CHAMPIONSHIP

Highland 35, Coeur d’Alene 28

Highland (11-1) won its 12th championship in school history by breaking a 28-all tie with less than five minutes to play in the fourth quarter of action on a 47-yard touchdown run from quarterback Drew Hymas.  It was a gut punch for Coeur d’Alene (9-3), who fought hard with the Rams in a back-and-forth affair.  The Vikings struck first on a wide receiver pass from Joe Hagel to Kai Wheeler.  The 84-yard TD strike put Coeur d’Alene ahead 7-0 in the first quarter, but Highland tied the game on their next possession as Hymas hit running back Jackson Riddle for an 18-yard touchdown.  In the second quarter, the Rams jumped ahead 14-7 on a 53-yard TD pass from Hymas to Rhidge Barela, but Coeur d’Alene scored with 1:03 to play before halftime on a five-yard run from Owen Harris.  Harris duplicated the five-yard score on Coeur d’Alene’s first possession of the third quarter, and the Vikings led again, 21-14.  Highland answered, though, on a three-yard run from Hymas, and a 14-yard run from Riddle, and the Rams led 28-21 going into the fourth quarter of play.  Harris scored his third touchdown of the contest on a 10-yard run with 7:28 to play, tying the game at 28-28, but Hymas broke free for the game-winning 47-yard score with just 4:28 remaining.  Hymas was named IdahoSports.com Player of the Game, and finished with 302 yards passing and two touchdowns, and added 113 yards rushing with two scores.

CLASS 4A CHAMPIONSHIP

Bishop Kelly 29, Hillcrest 26

Bishop Kelly (13-0) claimed their eighth championship in school history in epic fashion, surviving numerous punches from Hillcrest (12-1) and a potential game-tying field goal at the end of regulation.  Bishop Kelly scored on their opening drive of the game, as IdahoSports.com Player of the Game Peter Minnaert ran up the middle for a 20-yard touchdown run.  BK converted the two-point try, and led 8-0.  Hillcrest responded on a five-yard touchdown run from quarterback Peyton King, but the two-point try failed, leaving the score at 8-6 after one quarter of play.  In the second quarter, the Bishop Kelly defense had a pick-six for the second consecutive week, as Sam Knell returned an interception 23 yards for a score and a 15-6 halftime lead.  Hillcrest’s offense began to churn in the second half, as backup QB Tyson Sweetwood scored on a 12-yard run to trim the gap to 15-12.  But BK answered on a 27-yard TD run from Minnaert, and a 22-12 lead with 4:46 to play in the third.  Hillcrest again responded, as Sweetwood hit Jace Jeudy for a 13-yard touchdown to bring the gap to 22-19 at the end of three quarters.  Minnaert scored again for Bishop Kelly just five seconds into the fourth quarter, though, extending the BK lead to 29-19.  Hillcrest rallied furiously, though, cutting the gap to three points on a touchdown run from Sweetwood to make the score 29-26.  After another stop on defense, the Hillcrest offense put together one final drive that ended with a 27-yard field goal attempt from Rylan Borgmann.  A successful kick would have sent the game to overtime, but Borgmann’s kick missed wide right as time expired, preserving the win for Bishop Kelly.

CLASS 3A CHAMPIONSHIP

Sugar-Salem 63, Teton 27

The Diggers (11-0) won their fourth 3A title in the past five years by defeating district rival Teton (10-2) for the second time this season.  Five different championship game records were either tied or broken by the Diggers, including: Most Points Scored (63), Most Total Yards (582), Total Rushing Yards (418), Most Touchdowns (Tate Cutler with four), and Most Points Scored (Tate Cutler with 24).  Cutler’s records tied others from the past, while the team records are all newly set by the Diggers.  Cutler finished the contest with 155 yards and two touchdowns rushing, and 57 yards and two touchdowns receiving.  He shared IdahoSports.com Player of the Game honors with Carson Harris, who rushed for 193 yards and three TDs.  Dawson McInelly added 57 yards and a touchdown rushing, while James Chase threw for 137 yards and two scores.  Teton was led by Jack Joyce, who rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown, and Jack Nelson, who threw for 96 yards and two TDs (one to Kaiden Hastings, one to Ty Brown).  Thomas Heuseveldt also returned a kickoff 95 yards for a score.

CLASS 2A CHAMPIONSHIP

West Side 41, Declo 13

The Pirates (9-2) claimed their fourth title in five years by exacting revenge on Declo (11-1), after the Hornets had defeated West Side in the regular season, 27-26.  The West Side defense generated five turnovers in the win, including two interceptions from IdahoSports.com Player of the Game Crew Sage.  Garrett Robinson also came away with an interception, Ivan Campbell recovered a fumble, and Trayce Stone returned an interception 51-yards for the final touchdown of the game.  Offensively, Parker Moser rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns.  Lincoln Henderson scored on a five-yard run and caught a 46-yard TD from Eli Brown, as well.  Declo scored on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Will Garrard to Gavin Rasmussen and a two-yard run by Garrard.

CLASS 1AD1 CHAMPIONSHIP

Butte County 58, Oakley 44

Butte County (11-1) capped an incredible season with an emotional win over Oakley (9-2) in the 1AD1 state championship game.  The Pirates dedicated the win to injured teammate Dillon Waymire, who collapsed on the sidelines during a game earlier in the season.  Waymire was in attendance to witness the win.  As the Pirates were receiving their championship trophy, Waymire stood from his wheelchair, walked on to the field, and joined his teammates.  Brody Westergard was named the IdahoSports.com Player of the Game, as he finished with 144 yards and two touchdowns rushing, 127 yards and two touchdowns receiving, and eight tackles and a fumble recovery for a touchdown on defense.  Keaton Archibald also recovered an Oakley fumble, and Braxton Gamett and Rafe McAffee each collected interceptions.  Archibald threw for 135 yards and two scores, while Rawson Twitchell added 81 yards and two TDs.  Oakley’s Kyler Robinson threw for 356 yards and five touchdowns.

CLASS 1AD2 CHAMPIONSHIP

Kendrick 68, Camas County 0

The Kendrick Tigers (10-0) will be moving up a classification level next fall.  They’ll do so with a 25-game winning streak, and three consecutive 1AD2 championships under their belts.  Like so many times this season, Kendrick slowly and methodically pulled away from Camas County (9-2), tying the state record for points allowed in a championship game, and finishing four points shy of the record for most points scored in a title tilt.  IdahoSports.com Player of the Game Ty Koepp capped his career in fine fashion, completing 15-of-19 passes for 401 yards and four touchdowns, while also rushing for 13 yards and a pair of scores.  Nathan Tweit caught two passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns, Hunter Taylor caught three passes for 70 yards and a score, and returned a punt 67-yards for a touchdown, and Sawyer Hewett ran for 71 yards for a score and caught five passes for 79 yards and a TD. 





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