November 14, 2011, 11:45 am
Eagle completely dominated Highland and jumped out to a 42-0 lead before the Rams scored three touchdowns in the 4th quarter against Eagles 2nd team defense. Tanner Mangum had an incredible night. He completed 21 of his 28 throws for 325 yards passing and four touchdowns, two of them to Junior WR Austin Diffey. Diffey caught an 88 yard touchdown pass on the Mustangs first possession of the 3rd quarter that put to rest any chances of Highland coming back. To me, that was the play of the game. Mangum used an incredible pump fake at the line of scrimmage and then unleashed a bomb down the field that Diffey caught and then he turned on the burners and went the rest of the way into the end zone. What also shouldn't go unnoticed is the incredible defensive effort of the Mustangs. They have shut out both of their opponents in the playoffs in the 1st half and if the starters finished out each game, it wouldn't have surprised me if they pitched two shutouts.
The other semifinal was even more of a shock. Coeur D'Alene jumped out to a 24-0 halftime lead on Capital before eventually winning 37-7. The Vikings made a statement after struggling in the 1st half against Mountain View in the 1st round of the playoffs. Viking QB Chad Chalich didn't have his best game as he only completed 11 passes, but the Vikings were effective on the ground behind 114 rushing yards from Carlos Martinez in route to the win. The final score was surprising considering Capital had won 8 straight games before their semifinal showdown. Nonetheless, this sets up a dream matchup that everyone has been talking about all year long. Coeur D'Alene will be traveling down to take on Eagle on the blue turf Friday night at 7.
In the 4A, the Middleton Vikings made a statement by beating Pocatello 53-22 and avenging a loss earlier in the season to the Indians. Victor Dias had 172 yards rushing and six touchdowns to lead the Vikings to a State Championship showdown with Blackfoot and their outstanding QB Trey Pilster.
The 3A showdown between Fruitland and Weiser did not disappoint. In a game with two evenly matched teams, it usually comes down to special teams and that's exactly what happened on Saturday. Sid Rangel, who played soccer for Fruitland all fall, joined the football team a few weeks ago and proved to be the difference in the ball game by kicking a 27 yard field goal in route to winning 10-7. Fruitland will now make their sixth straight State Championship appearance and will take on Snake River on Friday.
In the 2A, New Plymouth's magical postseason run came to a halt against Firth. Firth will take on Grangeville at the Kibbie Dome for the 2A title.
Hagerman will play Kendrick in the 1A Division 1 Championship and Carey will play Lighthouse Christian in the 1A Division 2 Championship. Both of those contests will be at Holt Arena.
Be sure the listen to 630 The Fan all week for wall to wall State Championship coverage from all divisions as we countdown to Friday.
November 11, 2011, 1:54 am
The other game will take place in Coeur D'Alene where the top ranked Vikings will host the Capital Eagles. Capital Head Coach Todd Simis elected to wait until today to make the long bus trip and we will see if his team is ready to go out of the gate. If you had to describe Capital's offense in one word, it would be balanced. They have a steady rushing attack behind TJ Clarke and Denis Popudnik, but QB Makena Simis has been just as effective through the air as he only had one incompletion last weekend against Skyline. Couer D'Alene struggled to figure out Mountain View's defense last weekend before they emerged in the 2nd half in route to winning 27-14. I am going to go out on a limb here, but I think Capital will limit what Vikings QB Chad Chalich can do on offense and the Eagles will use a heavy dose of TJ Clarke to pull off the upset setting up a classic SIC showdown next Friday at Bronco Stadium between Capital and Eagle.
630 The Fan is your source for High School Sports and you can hear both 5A games tonight on our two stations.
Capital vs. Coeur D'Alene will be available on 630 The Fan at 8:00 and you can listen to Highland vs. Eagle at 7:00 on 580 KIDO.
November 10, 2011, 11:18 am
The Middleton Vikings had the longest road trip of the three schools, but were the only one that came out on top defeating Lakeland 42-20 last weekend. The Vikings used a superior rushing attack that has been their strength all season long. Victor Dias scampered for 123 yards on the ground and Hyder Jessup added 132 more. Although the game was within one possession at halftime, Middleton put themselves ahead for good in the 3rd quarter. Their opponent this week will be the Pocatello Indians. Head Coach Tom Harrison has built a dynasty at Pocatello and it is no surprise they are sitting in the semifinals. What may turn out to be a sign of trouble for his squad is this will only be the third game all season where they will play away from Holt Arena. Kickoff is set for 7:00 at Middleton tomorrow night.
The other semifinal showdown is between two teams that are very familiar with each other. The top ranked Blackfoot Broncos were tested on the road at Skyview last weekend, but were victorious 35-25. The Hawks staged a comeback in the second half, but it wasn't enough to stop Blackfoot QB Trey Pilster from racking up 300 yards in the win. The other side of this semifinal matchup may come as a surprise to some, but not to Hillcrest head coach Darren Owens. Although his team took third in District 6, they beat previously unbeaten Minico on the road before dismantling Columbia last Friday in winter conditions. These two went toe-to-toe on October 21st and Blackfoot won 38-22. Expect this game to be a lot closer and I wouldn't be surprised if the Knights knock off the #1 team in the state.
November 9, 2011, 12:43 pm
When the 3A playoff bracket was finalized, the first thing I noticed was that these two schools would meet in the semifinals, not the state championship. Weiser hurdled over their two roadblocks to get this far and I am expecting a closer game than what happened 3 weeks ago. The Grizzlies offense is tough to prepare for, but when you see it consistently, it can make life easier on the opposing coach. After watching Fruitland last week in person, I now have a better understanding of the domination they have had on the rest of the 3A for the past decade and I expect that to continue on Saturday as Fruitland will roll on to the state championship.
The only team remaining from District 3 in the 2A Bracket is the ultimate surprise of the playoffs. Head Coach Porter Lacy and New Plymouth shocked the rest of the state scoring 43 points in the second half on their way to beating Nampa Christian and setting up a showdown with Firth for the right to go to the state championship. Even though the combined record between New Plymouth and Firth is under .500, these teams are finshing their groove at the right time.
Tune into the show today to hear from Coach Lacy and the Cinderella story of New Plymouth.
November 8, 2011, 11:37 am
Lets get this straight, Alabama had the opportunity to knock off LSU at home where they were a five point favorite and they couldn't get it done. That was their chance and they need to be satisfied with going to another BCS bowl game if they win out, not the National Championship. There are plenty of other teams that deserve their shot at the Tigers. First off, if Oklahoma State wins their remaining three games, they will be the team. There is such a wide margin in the standings between the top two squads and everyone else that there will be no controversy whatsoever.
Boise State fans can complain all they want about the newest edition of the BCS Standings, but the real team that got the shaft was Stanford. How can an undefeated team in the Pac-12 still be behind a one-loss Alabama squad? I hope that if the Cardinal can beat Oregon this Saturday that they will leapfrog the Crimson Tide in the newest edition of the BCS Standings.
If you haven't figured it out yet, the human polls will not allow Boise State to play in a National Championship. If Oklahoma State or Stanford wins out, BSU has no chance and I believe that if Oregon beats Stanford this weekend OR Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State on the first Saturday in December, the Sooners would jump Boise State as well. I said it after the 3rd week of play and I am sticking by it, Boise State can not make the BCS Championship, but going to the Sugar Bowl or Fiesta Bowl is a pretty good consolation prize if you ask me.