DIETRICH — Dietrich lost a thrilling, back-and-forth affair to Butte County in the first round of the 1A DII playoffs Friday night, 28-26.
The Blue Devils had the lead with 1:30 left in the game, after quarterback Jake Smith punched in a short touchdown, but Butte County marched right back down the field less than a minute later to score and regain the lead.
Dietrich’s final heave downfield was intercepted, ending Dietrich’s season with a record of 9-1.
Dietrich running back Garrett Astle, an all-state selection last year, played through a thigh bruise that he had suffered two weeks ago against Carey. After sitting out last week’s win over Clark County, he took the field Friday at what head coach Mike Torgerson described as about “60 percent.”
Without their star running back, Dietrich cranked up the passing game, throwing the ball 34 times for 218 yards.
Junior Kade Shaw was the main beneficiary, hauling in 11 passes for 136 yards and 3 touchdowns.
“Kade had a great game. We knew we were going to have to use him a lot, and he responded. We’re sure happy to have him back next year,” said Torgerson.
As it had been for all of the regular season, Dietrich’s defense was strong for most of the game.
Prior to the final minute of the game, the Blue Devils had given up just one touchdown in the second half. Dietrich’s offensive line put constant pressure on Butte County quarterback Landen Gamett, forcing him to take sacks and scramble out of the pocket.
“In previous years, we couldn’t stop anyone on defense. We spent all summer coaching the kids on it. It showed this year, and it showed tonight. It was all about defense for this team,” said Torgerson.
In consoling his team after the game, Torgerson said, “Life will go on. There will be another girl, another dance, and another game. But I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished this season.”
Dietrich came into the game as the top-ranked team in 1A DII, according to Idahosports.com’s power rankings, and had beaten Butte County 32-20 back in September.
Losing the team’s workhorse in Astle, who rushed for 812 yards and 22 total touchdowns in the regular season, proved to be too much to overcome Friday, however.
“These kids fought. Since these guys were in third grade, Garrett has been the leader of this team. They had to play without him tonight though, and they did. It’s hard to replace a kid like that though,” said Torgerson. “Hats off to Butte. They played great.”
Butte County 28, Dietrich 26
Butte County 6 8 8 6 —27
Dietrich 6 8 0 8 —23
B – Cummins 2 run (run failed)
D – Shaw 11 pass from Smith (run failed)
D – Shaw 14 pass from Smith (Robertson run)
B – Twitchell 26 run (Gamett run)
B – Cummins 77 run (Gamett run)
D – Shaw 52 pass from Smith (pass failed)
D – Smith 6 run (run failed)
B – Cummins 2 run (pass failed)
CAREY — Carey shook off a slow start to pull away from Camas County 34-6 in the first round of the 1A DII football playoffs at Carey High School Friday afternoon.
The Panthers trailed 6-0 after one quarter of play, as Camas County put together a long, deliberate, run-heavy drive on its first possession that ate almost eight minutes of clock on the Mushers’ first possession.
Senior running back Austin Burns finished off the drive, spinning off a defender for a 3-yard touchdown run up the middle.
After the touchdown, Carey’s defense tightened to bring the Mushers’ offense to a screeching halt.
The Panthers scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, two in the third, and one late in the fourth to put the game away.
Carey gained 285 yards from scrimmage, including 150 yards on the ground, while the defense held Camas County to just 151 total yards from scrimmage.
“It was a rough start. Our defense has always come through for us when the offense stalls, and they did that again tonight,” said Carey head coach Lane Kirkland.
In addition to Carey’s strong defensive play, several of Camas County’s drives were stalled by penalties at the line of scrimmage. Carey had a few costly penalties, but for most of the game, was able to keep drives moving forward.
“We didn’t have a lot of holdings and didn’t really jump off sides. You have to have that if you’re going to win in the playoffs. I’m proud of the kids for keeping those in check,” said Kirkland.
Junior Kaden Koudelka was a force on both sides of the ball for Carey. On offense, he rushed for 82 yards and caught two passes for 41 yards, and on defense, had two solo tackles for loss and an interception.
“Toby [Whitworth] had some great blocks for me out in the open field. He blocked so I only had one guy to beat. My front line does all of the work for me. They make it look easy,” said Koudelka.
In addition to several strong blocks, Whitworth, a junior, played through a sprained ankle to catch two passes, both of which were touchdowns.
“Once we get him back to full health, we’re going to be on fire. He caught some great passes when he got one-on-one looks, and most importantly, he didn’t reinjure that ankle,” said Kirkland.
With the win, Carey advances to the second round of the playoffs for the third straight year. The Panthers will take on the winner of Salmon River/Deary next weekend at Holt Arena in Pocatello.
Carey 34, Camas County 6
Carey 0 12 14 8 —34
Camas County 6 0 0 0 —6
CC – Burns 3 run (run failed) 2:12
C – Whitworth 40 pass from Hennefer (pass failed) 8:36
C – Koudelka 11 run (run failed) 6:20
C – Whitworth <> pass from Hennefer (Whitworth pass from Hennefer) 8:39
C – Baird 2 pass from Hennefer (run failed) 3:57
C – Mecham <> pass from Hennefer (Mecham pass from Hennefer) 1:21
Oakley 38, Lapwai 34
MOSCOW — Bridger Cranney had 250 yards rushing, and Oakley had 452 yards on the ground as a team as it held off Lapwai at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow.
“It was playoff football,” said Hornets head coach Kade Craner. “I am proud of our kids making football plays when they needed to be made. We had some guys step up, our offensive line blocked really well and Bridger Cranney stepped up really well, our line is undersized and we took the fight to them.”
Added Craner: “It was definitely worth the drive.”
Oakley will play Glenns Ferry in the semifinals.
Troy vs Raft River at Holt Arena (2 p.m.)
POCATELLO — After an undefeated regular season in which the Trojans outscored opponents by over 400 points, Raft River looks to advance in the state tournament Saturday as it plays Troy at Holt Arena.
“There is always that little doubt of ‘I don’t know good they are,” said Raft River head coach Brian Poole of Troy. “I think everybody felt all year that our conference was going to be deep and tough, I don’t think we are facing a team a lot better than anyone we’ve faced so far. There is a good possibility they are as a good, though. They look a lot like Oakley with some bigger skill players.”
“We know we have to play our best football to move on.”
The Trojans closest game was a 24 point victory against Glenns Ferry early in the year, a game in which Raft River lost one of its top players — Wacey Holtman — to injury.
Holtman is fully healthy this week, according to Poole.