Media Day/Football

From left, Murtaugh’s Austin Smith, Gio Zavala, Garden Dimond and have their photos taken with head coach Todd Jensen during media day Thursday, July 27, 2017, at the Times-News studio in downtown Twin Falls.

DREW NASH, TIMES-NEWS FILE PHOTO

GOODING — In its first solo season since 2012, the Murtaugh High School football team reached the 1A Division II state playoffs.

The Red Devils overcame Castleford and Camas County in a Kansas City playoff Monday at Gooding High School. The win advanced Murtaugh to its first state tournament since 2013, its first of four seasons as a cooperative with Hansen (the co-op played at the 1A Division I level).

Murtaugh forced the Kansas City playoff with a 61-20 win over Castleford on Friday. That plus a Camas County win over Hansen left the Red Devils, the Wolves and the Mushers with records of 3-5 overall and 3-4 in the Sawtooth West Conference.

During the season, Murtaugh lost to Camas County, which lost to Castleford, so the head-to-head state tiebreaker couldn’t apply. The three had to play a Kansas City playoff to determine the conference’s fourth seed at state.

Castleford beat Murtaugh and Murtaugh beat Camas County in the first round Monday. The Wolves could have clinched a state berth with a win over Camas County, but the Mushers won, setting up a second round.

This time around, Murtaugh beat Castleford, and the Red Devils edged Camas County to clinch the state appearance.

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“I believe we made strides in the right direction,” Castleford coach Brian Lowry said. “Three wins in a season, that’s not enough for me, so we’ll keep working.”

Murtaugh will face Butte County at Holt Arena on Thursday in the first round of the 1A-DII playoffs.

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