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.
“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.