It was a welcome first victory for the Carey High School eight-man football team.
Trailing 27-22 at halftime to the visiting North Gem Cowboys, Carey came up with a big defensive stop in the third quarter of Friday’s eight-man football game and drove 90 yards for the go-ahead score at Derrick Parke Memorial Field.
Carey (1-1) added a fourth-quarter touchdown and held the Cowboys scoreless in the second half for a 38-27 win. During the back-and-forth game Carey out-rushed North Gem (0-2) by a 407-292 margin and found a new quarterback.
It was junior Nate Adamson, who moved over from receiving the ball on offense to passing and running the ball.
The change from Carey’s alignment in the 30-6 loss at Notus Aug. 30 was a big success. Adamson rushed 17 times for 174 yards and completed 7-of-17 passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
Coach Lane Kirkland said about the week of practices leading up to the North Gem game, “For the first time we had Nate at quarterback and things clicked real well. The kids stuck together and really seemed to figure out our 3-4 defense in the second half. It was a great win for us at home.”
Senior running back Christian Zarate (21 rushes for 165 yards) scored two touchdowns. Senior Tori Alvarez (21 rushes for 68 yards) led the defense with 8 tackles and 2 assists. Sophomore Joe Parke, who played quarterback at Notus, switched to catching the ball and scored the final TD on an Adamson pass, plus two conversion passes.
The Carey defensive effort after half was a big factor. “We were able to contain North Gem and had lots of good penetration. We learned more of how to read from our 3-4 defense.”
Sparked by the running of senior Caston Holbrook (20 rushes, 166 yards), North Gem took the second-half kickoff and pushed all the way to the Panther 10-yard-line before Carey’s defense came up with a fourth-down stop.
Quarterback Adamson proceeded to lead the Panthers on a 90-yard scoring drive that turned the game around. He finished the drive with a three-yard scoring run and a conversion pass to Parke that put Carey ahead for good, 30-27.
Kirkland said, “It was a long drive with a mixture of things—dives and drives and bootlegs plus quick outs. We had lots of third-down conversions. I think we burned seven or eight minutes. It gave us confidence and motivation.
“I thought we really started to hit well on both sides of the ball in the second half. And we wore them down. Really, I think it all started with our 50-0 win in the junior varsity game right before the varsity game. We really lit them up.”
Carey didn’t play the Cowboys last year, but earned its ninth straight win over North Gem since 2006 by a combined 408-87 score.
Next up: Another traditional Sawtooth Conference West-East match-up when Carey travels to Rockland for a 2 p.m. matinee on Friday, Sept. 13. It is Rockland’s Homecoming game.
Rockland (0-1) lost 67-18 at Hagerman Aug. 30 and had a bye last week. The Bulldogs (4-4 last fall, 20-14 the last 4 years) fell 52-14 at home to Carey last year and lost to the Panthers 46-0 in a first-round playoff game in 2010.
“They’re big, they’re always big,” said Kirkland about Rockland. “Rockland threw the ball a ton in their game against Hagerman and they have a player similar to Holbrook of North Gem. We’ll have to play good pass defense.”
In other games last week:
Teams in Carey’s Sawtooth West Conference continued to play well in early-season match-ups. Dietrich (2-0, 57.0 ppg) defeated Calvary Chapel of Idaho Falls (0-2) 60-38; Richfield (2-0, 57.0 ppg) won 54-6 at home over Shoshone; and Lighthouse Christian (2-0, 51.0 ppg) piled up a 66-20 triumph at Grace.
Castleford (0-2) lost 54-8 to Hagerman, Mackay (0-2) fell 64-22 to Butte County, and defending State 1A Division 2 champion Salmon River of Riggins scored three times in the second half to win on the road over Prairie 36-32. Salmon River senior quarterback Leighton Vander Esch ran for 147 yards, passed for 92 more and scored all three second-half TDs—four in all.
Statistics follow from Friday’s game:
Carey 38, North Gem 27
CAREY—Nate Adamson, 4-yard run (Collin Whitby, pass from Adamson); (8-0 C)
NORTH GEM—Caston Holbrook, 7-yard run (kick good); (8-7 C)
NORTH GEM—Caston Holbrook, 6-yard run (no conversion); (13-8 NG)
CAREY—Christian Zarate, 23-yard pass from Nate Adamson (Joe Parke, pass from Adamson); (16-13 C)
NORTH GEM—Caston Holbrook, 20-yard run (no conversion); (19-16 NG)
NORTH GEM—Caleb Williams, 15-yard run (Williams run); (27-16 NG)
CAREY—Christian Zarate, 1-yard run (pass failed); (27-22 NG)
CAREY—Nate Adamson, 3-yard run (Joe Parke, pass from Adamson); (30-27 C)
CAREY—Joe Parke, 6-yard pass from Nate Adamson (Christian Zarate run); (38-27 C)
|Yards per carry
|Yards per completion
|Total yards gained
|3rd down efficiency
|4th down efficiency
|Yards per punt
Rushing—Christian Zarate 21-165, 1 TD, 1 conv.; Nate Adamson 17-174, 2 TD; Tori Alvarez 21-68.
Passing—Nate Adamson 7-17, 80 yards, 2 TD, 3 conv.
Receiving—Joe Parke 2-27, 1 TD, 2 conv.; Collin Whitby 2-17, 1 conv.; Tori Alvarez 1-11; Christian Zarate 1-23, 1 TD.
Fumble recoveries (1)—Collin Whitby 1.
Tackles/assists—Tori Alvarez 8/2, Joe Parke 5/3, Nate Adamson 6/1, Dallin Dilworth 4/1, Collin Whitby 3/2, Christian Zarate 4/1, Alex Durtschi 4/0, Chris Peck 3/0, Zach Olsen 3/0, Parker Gamino 1/0, Keith Andrews 1/0.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS—North Gem
Rushing—Caston Holbrook 20-166; Caleb Williams 11-92; Tucker Lish 8-30.
Passing—Tucker Lish 2-7, 37 yards.
Tackles leaders—Caston Holbrook 18, Caleb Williams 7, Colby Hatch 7.