KIMBERLY — If you didn’t park close enough, you probably missed it.
The Kimberly, American Falls football game that is, or at least the competitive portion of it.
The Bulldogs scored 22 points in less than six minutes to open the 2016 campaign, as their re-imagined defense forced two early turnovers, and the ever-explosive Bulldogs offense quickly chalked up three scores.
“As a coach, you always go into first game never knowing what to expect and we have been beating on each other for three weeks,” Kimberly head coach Rich Bishop said. “....I was pleased.”
Kimberly ended up scoring 36 points in the first quarter, with two long Zach Wright touchdown passes, a 70-yard Wright run, and two Canyon Olsen runs accounting for the points.
Wright would toss his third touchdown to Braden Coronado midway in the second, and the defense would put a veritable exclamation point just before the second half with a goal-line stand as time expired.
“Defensively, we changed some things philosophically,” Bishop said of a more blitz-heavy approach. “We wanted to challenge our kids going into the season. They accepted it.”
The Bulldogs sacked American Falls quarterbacks three times, but even that was not indicative of the regularity with which they were in the Beavers backfield.
“We came out with intensity for sure,” said Mason Egbert, who led the defense with seven tackles and had 69 receiving yards and a score. “Blitzing really changes the pace for us, get the ball back on offense.”
“Our coaches have always told us that we have the potential, we want to show them that we are more than potential.”
There is much to be learned about the Bulldogs — as their speed and playmaking has impressed before — but it’s hard to imagine a sharper start.
“Last year we started the season thinking about state,”said Egbert. “Not this year. We’re thinking about next week.”
Kimberly 43, American Falls 14
American Falls 0 0 8 6—14
Kimberly 36 7 0 0—43
Kimberly: Wright 70 run (conversion failed) 10:54
K: Egbert 44 reception from Wright (Coronado from Wright) 8:43
K: Olsen 2 run (Egbert from Mason) 6:19
K: Cummines 69 reception from Wright (Wright kick) 2:11
K: Olsen 44 run (Wright kick) :14
K: Coronado 36 from Wright (Wright kick) 4:24
American Falls: Cervantes 1 run (Cervantes run) 4:45
AF: Adkins 4 run (conversion failed)