GOODING — Though Kimberly entered Friday’s SCIC football contest at Gooding unbeaten and the Senators sub-.500, there seemed to be more questions about the Bulldogs than their hosts.
Not anymore, after Kimberly edged Gooding 33-26 in a close contest twice interrupted by lightning.
“We really wanted this one and it feels amazing,” said Kimberly quarterback Zach Wright, who ran for two touchdowns and threw for another. “We really tried to ignore all the talk (questioning the team’s ability) and focus on playing our game and we were able to do that.”
Kimberly (5-0, 1-0) had Gooding’s defense on its heels early on, connecting on a fourth-and-24 for a 38-yard touchdown pass from Zach Wright to Braden Coronado to open the scoring. The Bulldogs traded two touchdowns in total with Gooding and looked poised for a third straight score midway through the second quarter, but Wright’s end-zone toss for Coronado was picked off by Tyler Visser at the Gooding 3 with 4:28 left in the first half.
Then came the lightning, and an initial delay of a just more than an hour. When the teams got back out on the field at long last, Gooding (2-4, 0-1) was forced to punt and Kimberly put another TD on the board to go up 19-13 at the break.
Gooding tied the score on its first possession on a 28-yard Visser pass to Bryson Comstock to tie the game. But Kimberly raced down field to go ahead on an 11-yard Mason Egbert end-around, then the Bulldogs forced a fumble at the Gooding 17 which they converted into a two-score lead when Wright scampered in from 7 yards out.
Gooding had just fielded the ensuing kickoff when a second lightning delay was declared.
The Senators rallies after the break but couldn’t overcome two costly fumbles and now find themselves somewhere they haven’t been since rejoining the SCIC in 2012: dealing with a conference loss.
“We didn’t get a lot to our way tonight but Kimberly made plays,” said Gooding coach Cameron Andersen. “We can be not happy about the situation, but we keep telling our guys that when things get bad, men get up and go to work, and we are trying to make them into men. So we have to go to work.”
Comstock caught nine passes for 201 yards. Visser threw for 243 yards and four touchdowns, adding in 104 rushing yards.
Josiah Schroeder ran for 70 yards and a touchdown for the Bulldogs.
Kimberly 33, Gooding 26
K – Coronado 38 pass from Wright (pass failed) 6:48
G – Comstock 57 pass from Visser (kick failed) 5:11
K – Wright 2 run (kick failed) 2:08
G – Pamplona 19 pass from Visser (Comstock kick) 10:34
K – Schroeder 6 run (Wright kick) 1:21
G – Comstock 28 pass from Visser (run failed) 9:50
K – Egbert 11 run (Wright kick) 8:13
K – Wright 7 run (Wright kick) 4:34
G – Comstock 39 pass from Visser (Comstock kick) 9:50