GOODING — Top-ranked, defending 3A state champion Fruitland visited second-ranked Gooding Friday night for a rematch of the 2016 semifinal game between the two teams. At the end of the night it was Fruitland holding on to the number one ranking, as it beat Gooding 33-22.
“I think that you are definitely looking at the one and two teams in the state in 3A right now,” said Gooding head coach Cameron Anderson. “Right now we’re second. The good news is it’s week three, I think it’s okay to be second in week three.”
The second quarter saw a flurry of scoring with the teams combining for 33 points in the period. The game was a defensive struggle for nearly fourteen minutes to start, but that all changed when Fruitland’s senior running back Jordan Eggars took a handoff 58 yards to set the Grizzlies up with first and goal from the two yard line.
“A game like that, the first quarter is about feeling each other out,” Anderson said. “It’s really about making adjustments and I think both teams adjusted really well offensively.”
Trailing 19-6, Gooding took possession on their own 20 with 1:40 left in the second quarter. The Senators drove 80 yards in just over one minute before sophomore quarterback Shane Jennings connected with junior receiver Cayden Loveland for the pair’s second of three touchdowns on the night. The score brought the Senators within five points of the Grizzlies to end the first half.
Gooding scored the game’s only points of the third quarter to a take a 22-19 lead into the final period.
“We played them twice last year,” said coach Anderson, “And we had the lead going into the 4th quarter in both of those games by the exact same margin. We were up by three in both of those games and lost by a couple scores in the end.”
A dropped pass in the end zone that would have given the Senators a 10-point lead instead turned into a stalled drive and change in momentum. Fruitland finished strong with two fourth-quarter touchdowns, including an 80-yard run with three minutes remaining to secure the win.
Gooding hosts Jerome next week, while Fruitland hosts Wood River.
Fruitland 33, Gooding 22
Gooding 0 14 8 0 — 22
Fruitland 0 19 0 14 — 33
F — Alex Becerril 2 run (Noah Hattrup kick) 10:17
F — Jonathon Fagen 20 run (kick failed) 8:10
G — Cayden Loveland 88 pass from Shane Jennings (kick failed) 6:22
F — Ethan Villalobos 3 run (run failed) 1:43
G — Lovland 20 pass from S. Jennings (Ruger Jennings pass from S. Jennings) 0:38
G — Loveland 25 pass from S. Jennings (S. Jennings run) 9:41
F — Cole Eiguren 1 run (pass failed) 7:08
F — Becerril 80 run (Hattrup run) 3:04