Improving its running attack, the Wood River High School football team couldn’t make the big plays at opportune times and lost 41-13 to the host Twin Falls Bruins Friday in a Great Basin Conference league clash at Bruin Stadium.
Wood River out-rushed Twin Falls 301-189 and got a second straight 100-yard-plus rushing effort from senior Ian Keys (20 carries for 120 yards). In addition, senior KJ Savaria (15 carries, 105 yards) contributed to an offense that out-gained Twin Falls 378 to 349 for the game.
In its previous 46-13 loss at Minico, Wood River had managed only 178 rushing yards.
But, as Wood River coach Kevin Stilling said afterward, “We couldn’t sustain drives and have that continuity to take it all the way down the field like we did last year. We just need kids to step up and make big plays—a big tackle, a big pick or a big block.”
In contrast, Twin Falls (2-4, 1-1 league) in capturing its first league victory scored touchdowns on six of its first seven possessions and was efficient when needed—converting 4-of-8 third down attempts on offense and 2-of-2 on fourth downs.
Twin Falls senior quarterback Thomas Corr (209 all-purpose yards) shredded the Hailey secondary for 9 completions in 11 attempts for 143 yards. His Bruins scored TDs on drives of 52, 77, 85 and 51 yards. They tallied the other two of their six touchdowns after Wood River turnovers.
In building a 20-0 lead despite an early 129-61 Wolverine advantage in rushing yardage, Corr was 6-for-6 for 115 yards. “We gave up some touchdowns on big plays,” said Stilling.
Both Keys (a 34-yard scoring run) and Savaria (his team-leading 4th TD from 8 yards) punched it home against the Bruins second unit in the fourth period—after Twin Falls finished building its 41-0 lead. Keys has 235 rushing yards and two TDs his last two games.
It was a frustrating night for Wood River (1-4, 0-2), which continued losing players to injury and had a rash of 15-yard penalties whistled against them. The Wolverines haven’t scored a point in the first three quarters for four games now.
Stilling voiced his opinion early and often to the officiating crew about the imbalance in infractions—110 yards including five 15-yarders and one ejection for Wood River, to only 50 yards, one 15-yarder and one ejection for Twin Falls.
He was particularly upset about late hits, one that knocked out starting junior linebacker Quinn Guthrie with five minutes left in the second quarter. Guthrie was hit away from the main play—which was a good, gang-tackle stick by Savaria and Cooper Bailey along the sideline that stopped a Bruins’ punt return cold.
Guthrie regained consciousness while being assisted on the field by trainers and emergency personnel during a 25-minute game delay. He was braced and transported to the hospital. “Quinn had some headaches the next day, but no neck pain,” said Stilling.
One of Wood River’s most active defenders in the first half with several terrific open-field tackles on Bruins’ end runs was sophomore Champe Kotara. But Kotara suffered a concussion during the second Twin Falls scoring drive and was sidelined afterward.
“That was a big loss,” said Stilling. “He did a good job.”
Wood River continued to play without senior linebacker/tight end Drew Barsch (tweaked knee) and senior center Buck Horn, who missed his fourth game with a concussion.
By the end of Friday’s game, Stilling and defensive coordinator Boomer Gibson were using junior varsity and untested players in key positions. Stilling said, “I said at the beginning of the season that we’d be as competitive as our depth and injuries would allow us to be.”
It’s been a balancing act, he said, to calculate how many sophomores to play in the week’s JV game and how many quarters of eligibility they would have left to play varsity.
Hayden Thayer (9 tackles) and Jackson Toothman (8) led the Hailey defense. The offense had 14 rushing first downs.
Burley arrives Friday
Wood River plays host to the Burley Bobcats (3-3, 0-2 league) on Friday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. at Phil Homer Field in Hailey. Although the ‘Cats are winless in league, they could be unbeaten, having lost on the road 26-20 at Minico (4-2, 2-0) and 7-6 at Canyon Ridge (2-4, 1-1).
Burley (6-45 from 2006-11) hasn’t won three or more games since its 4-5 season of 2005. The ‘Cats won 26-14 at Kimberly (1-5) last Friday. They are led by the passing of quarterback Zander Cook, who has put up 30 passes a game, but didn’t manage much running yardage against Kimberly.
Stilling said, “Burley has a pretty talented sophomore quarterback. They haven’t had much success running the ball, and we’ll try to continue their struggles in running the ball.”
Wood River has won straight games over Burley, 27-6 at home last year and 27-20 at Burley in 2010. The grid series has been dead even since 2004, both teams winning four times.
WOLVERINE NOTES—Friday’s big league game matches Minico and visiting Jerome (3-3, 2-0). The winner will likely take the GBC title, while the loser will have the inside track to the league’s second berth in the State 4A playoffs next month.
Wood River’s junior varsity, a 24-12 home winner over Twin Falls Oct. 4, travels to Burley today, Wednesday for a 6:30 p.m. contest. The Hailey JV has its home finale Thursday, Oct. 18 against Jerome. The final JV game is Oct. 25 against Canyon Ridge in Twin Falls.
Coach Kevin Stilling is hopeful that freshman player Illiah Pfau can join the varsity on the sideline this coming Friday to watch the Burley game. Pfau suffered a neck injury during the Sept. 26 home JV game against Minico and was life-flighted to Boise, where he has been rehabilitating since his injury happened.
WRHS Line Score
Twin Falls 41, Wood River 13
Twin Falls—Jacob Johnson, 7-yard run (run failed); 4:13 1st (6-0 TF)
Twin Falls—Jason Byce, 49-yard pass from Thomas Corr (John Hohnhorst, pass from Corr); 6:47 2nd (14-0 TF)
Twin Falls—Jason Byce, 30-yard pass from Thomas Corr (pass failed); 1:02 2nd (20-0 TF)
Twin Falls—Jacob Johnson, 8-yard run (Ben Worst kick); 8:10 3rd (27-0 TF)
Twin Falls—Thomas Corr, 4-yard run (Ben Worst kick); 8:18 4th (34-0 TF)
Twin Falls—Hunter Waters, 10-yard run (Ben Worst kick); 6:23 4th (41-0 TF)
Wood River—KJ Savaria, 9-yard run (Trevor Brand kick); 4:06 4th (41-7 TF)
Wood River—Ian Keys, 34-yard run (kick blocked); 0:50 4th (41-13 TF)
|Time of possession
|1st downs, rush
|1st downs, pass
|1st downs, penalty
|1st downs, total
|Yards per carry
|Yards per completion
|Sacks by, yards
|Total yards gained
|Third down efficiency
|Fourth down efficiency
|Yards per punt
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS—Wood River
Rushing—Ian Keys 20-120, 4 1sts, 1 TD; KJ Savaria 15-105, 5 1sts, 1 TD; Tommy Bailey 8-33, 3 1sts; Gus Conrad 3-22, 1 1st; Hayden Thayer 3-21, 1 1st.
Passing—Tommy Bailey 3-7, 8 yards, 1 1st, 1 interception.
Receiving—Ian Keys 2-8; Hayden Thayer 1-0.
Kickoff returns—Ian Keys 3-62; Gus Conrad 2-21.
Punt returns—Gus Conrad 1-0.
All-purpose yardage—Ian Keys 190.
Tackles (65)—Hayden Thayer 9, Jackson Toothman 8, Cody Richmond 6, Gus Conrad 6, KJ Savaria 6, Cooper Bailey 6, Champe Kotara 5, Nick Schell 3, Adrian Medina 3, Wyatt Griffith 3, Karel Kaiser 2, Jon Reigle 1, Ian Keys 1, Parker Bingham 1, Joe McGonigal 1, Jared Anderson 1, Trevor Brand 1, Chris Carnes 1, Quinn Guthrie 1.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS—Twin Falls
Rushing leaders—Jacob Johnson 25-98, 4 1sts, 2 TD; Thomas Corr 6-66, 4 1sts, 1 TD; Hunter Waters 4-13, 1 TD.
Passing—Thomas Corr 9-11, 143 yards, 4 1sts; John Hohnhorst 0-1.
Receiving—John Hohnhorst 5-45, 3 1sts, 1 conv.; Jason Byce 2-79, 2 TD; Jason Bride 1-13, 1 1st; David Leon 1-6.
Kickoff returns—Jacob Johnson 2-14.
Punt returns—Jason Byce 1-3.
Punt returns—Gus Conrad 1-0.
All-purpose yardage—Thomas Corr 209.
Fumble recoveries (1)—John Hohnhorst 1.
Interceptions (1)—John Hohnhorst 1 with 31-yard return.
Sacks (1)—Chance Connell 1-14.
Tackle leaders—Chance Connell 8, Garrett Pirtle 8, Chris Patterson 8, Steven McClure 11, Tyler Bernhisel 5, Garret Allen 4, Jason Byce 4, Joey Hobson 4, Lee Johnson-Harris 3, Trell Dowd 3, Dakota Miller 3, Michael Roberts 2, Tim Arno 2.