TWIN FALLS — Thursday may have been Halloween, but Lighthouse Christian’s football team avoided any resemblance of a holiday scare in the first round of the playoffs. They handled Camas County with a score of 63-16 to advance to the state quarterfinals.
The Lions got off to a fast start and never slowed down, leading 29-0 after the first quarter and 55-0 at halftime.
Head coach Cory Holloway said he was proud of how his team focused throughout the week in preparation for the game. Lighthouse beat the Mushers 48-8 in the opening game of the season, but the team didn’t want to underestimate its opponent.
“We knew they were going to come play us hard,” Holloway said. “The thing you want to do in this situation is to never take anyone lightly. We just wanted to stay focused and do what we do.”
The Lions were dialed in right from the beginning. The defense forced a three-and-out on Camas County’s first possession, then quarterback Collin Holloway threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Clay Silva on his team’s first offensive play. Tyler Munsee recovered a fumble by Camas in the end zone for another touchdown, and the score was 14-0 just minutes into the game.
Camas appeared ready to close the gap when they recovered a muffed punt at Lighthouse’s two-yard line. But Parker Hills intercepted Trey Smith’s pass in the end zone, and the Lions drove 80 yards on a six-play scoring drive that Holloway capped off with a five-yard touchdown pass to Casper Block.
Collin Holloway, a junior, said that his offensive unit took advantage of how the Mushers played defense early on and made some adjustments.
“They were blitzing a lot, so we were just running,” he said. “The run worked, then a couple of passes worked down the road.”
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When Holloway did put the ball in the air, he found plenty of success. He tossed four touchdowns in the game, all of which came in the first half. Brady Bennett and Brandon Houser also rushed for one touchdown each.
Camas found the end zone early in the third quarter on a 19-yard pass from Trey Smith to Xyler Niehaw. Smith also threw another touchdown late in the game to Alex Robles. The senior quarterback had 166 yards passing.
Coach Holloway said he knows the road through the playoffs is only going to get tougher with each successive team Lighthouse faces.
“From this point on, they’re all there for a reason,” he said. “They know what they’re doing, they’re a good ball club, and this is crunch time where you go home if you lose.”
The Lions (8-0) will host Dietrich next week in the state quarterfinals. Dietrich beat Rockland 40-0 in its first round game Thursday.
Coach Holloway said one of his biggest positives from his team’s win Thursday was that everyone stayed healthy.
“We don’t have that many guys that can replace at the same skill level,” he said. “You literally have to change your entire game plan, so staying healthy is the name of the game right now.”