Friday was a difficult night of football for the Wood River Wolverines, and a sweet Homecoming success for the Gooding Senators on their gridiron.
Gooding (3-0, 40.7 ppg) ruled the scrimmage line with a 55-6 rout of Wood River (1-2) at Keller Field. Piling up 258 rushing yards at 12.3 yards per carry, the Senators amassed eight touchdowns on a series of long scoring gainers covering 58, 44, 19, 64, 34, 20 and 23 yards.
Playing its first road game, coach Kevin Stilling’s Wolver-ines were staggered by injuries to two important players.
Juniors Hayden Thayer and Jackson Toothman left the game with first-half knee injuries—Thayer on punt coverage and Toothman during a kickoff return. Toothman is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Gooding capitalized on excellent field position to score 27 points in a six-minute span between the end of the first quarter and midway through the second period.
Leading 41-0, the Senators were driving again when the lights flickered out on one of four light standards with 4:18 left in the half, darkening the field and making it unplayable.
The teams went to the locker room and didn’t finish those four-plus minutes. With all the lights burning brightly again in the second half, Wood River re-grouped and out-rushed Good-ing 124-42 on offense.
Wood River finally got on the scoreboard with 1:12 left on an eight-yard Cooper Bailey run to cap a well-executed 10-play, 83-yard drive. The big plays on the drive were a 48-yard Champe Kotara run from scrimmage and a 14-yard first-down scamper by Bailey.
A bright spot for Wood River was the running of junior full-back Zach Swanson (21 carries, 60 yards). Because of the pene-tration of the Gooding defense, Wood River couldn’t muster much offense (210 yards total) and ended up punting eight times, Alec Nordsieck averaging 32.5 yards a kick.
Scoring two TDs each were Gooding seniors Kaden Barrus (a game-high 96 rushing yards) and Hank Boeger (4 receptions for 112 yards), junior Josh Finley (a team-best 12 tackles) and sophomore quarterback Wyatt Williams.
Since Wood River won 20-6 on its last visit to Gooding in 2011, coach Cameron Andersen’s Senators boast a combined 18-3 winning record.
Wood River coach Kevin Stilling said, “I didn’t feel like we had to be perfect to beat Gooding but we had to play well and limit the mistakes that cost us against Buhl, and that didn't happen. We didn’t tackle well and we didn’t block well.
“Gooding is a very good football team and when you don’t come out ready to play this is the type of outcome to expect. They didn’t do anything differently than we had prepared for or anything we didn’t expect. Their ball carriers ran the ball hard and their line kicked our butt up front.
“Offensively we lost a lot of identity when Jackson Tooth-man went down, he is our field general on the line and his play and leadership will be deeply missed going forward. That being said, we know we are capable of much better than we showed the past two Fridays.”
Wood River travels to Kimberly (1-2) Friday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. for its final non-conference game before heading into Great Basin Conference play.
The Bulldogs have lost 47-21 at Declo and 21-6 at home to Val-ley after their 21-7 season-opening win at American Falls.
Last year, the final one for 19th-year Kimberly coach Kirby
Bright, the Bulldogs won 17-7 at the Hailey Homecoming in a battle of the defenses. It was the first meeting of the two teams since 2008. Kimberly leads the 29-game series 17-12.
The last time Wood River won at Kimberly was 20 years ago in 1993. In that game, Hoss Schmidt rushed 22 times for 117 yards as the Wolverines out-rushed the ‘Dawgs 223-71 and got two touchdown passes from quarterback Bryan Burrell.
Stilling said, “Kimberly will present a similar offensive scheme (as Gooding) this Friday. They have switched from their single-wing offense to a shotgun spread style offense. (New head coach) Rich Bishop is a longtime Kimberly assis-tant. They will be physical and will play good defense.”
In the Great Basin, visiting Twin Falls (2-1, 1-0, 29.3 ppg of-fense) walloped Minico (2-2, 1-1) by a 40-19 score last Friday and Jerome (2-2, 1-0) won 19-10 at home over Canyon Ridge (0-3, 0-1). Burley had a bye.
Coming Friday: Burley hosts Canyon Ridge, Twin Falls en-tertains Jerome and Minico makes the long trip north to play Coeur d’Alene.
Check today’s Express Web site for WRHS-Gooding stats.
The Wood River freshmen host Kimberly Thursday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Hailey’s Phil Homer Field.
WRHS LINE SCORE
Gooding 55, Wood River 6
wood river 0 0 0 6 6
GOODING 28 13 14 0 55
Gooding—Kaden Barrus, 58-yard run (Justin Childers kick); 11:37 1st (7-0 G).
Gooding—Wyatt Williams, 44-yard run (Justin Childers kick); 4:39 1st (14-0 G).
Gooding—Wyatt Williams, 3-yard run (Williams kick); 0:27 1st (21-0 G).
Gooding—Josh Finley, 19-yard run (Justin Childers kick); 0:15 1st (28-0 G).
Gooding—Hank Boeger, 64-yard pass from Josh Finley (kick failed); 8:51 2nd (34-0 G).
Gooding—Josh Finley, 34-yard run (Justin Childers kick); 6:00 2nd (41-0 G).
Gooding—Kaden Barrus, 20-yard run (Justin Childers kick); 8:12 3rd (48-0 G).
Gooding—Hank Boeger, 23-yard pass from Wyatt Williams (Justin Childers kick); 4:04 3rd (55-0 G).
Wood River—Cooper Bailey, 8-yard run (run failed); 1:12 4th (55-6 G).
KEY STATS WOOD RIVER GOODING
Offensive plays 69 42
Time of possession 31:42 13:00
1st downs, rush 5 1
1st downs, pass 1 1
1st downs, penalty 0 1
1st downs, total 6 13
Rushes, yards 46-139 21-258
Yards per carry 3.0 12.3
Fumbles lost 0 1
Completions, passes 1-9 4-8
Completion percentage 11% 50%
Passing yards 143 112
Yards per completion 13.0 28.0
Intercepted by 0 1
Sacks by, yards 0-0 1-16
Returns, yards 5-77 7-75
Total yards gained 210 445
Third down efficiency 1-14 0-4
Fourth down efficiency 2-5 1-2
Penalties 5-34 3-20
Punts, yardage 8-260 2-74
Yards per punt 32.5 37.0
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS—Wood River
Rushing—Zach Swanson 21-60, 2 1sts; Champe Kotara 10-39, 1 1st; Cooper Bai-ley 10-37, 1st , 1 TD; Izaac Easterday 1-3; Hayden Thayer 1-2; Christopher Lentz 2-2.
Passing—Alec Nordsieck 1-9, 10 yards, 1 1st, 1 interception.
Receiving—Zach Swanson 1-10, 1 1st.
Kickoff returns—Zach Swanson 2-28; Cooper Bailey 1-25; Hayden Thayer 1-16; Champe Kotara 1-8.
All-purpose yardage—Zach Swanson 98.
Fumble recoveries (1)—Hagan Barsch 1.
Tackles (33)—Cooper Bailey 5, Izaac Easterday 5, Zach Swanson 4, Jackson Toothman 3, Hayden Thayer 3, Christopher Lentz 2, Champe Kotara 2, Alec Nordsieck 2, Hagan Barsch 2, Parker Bingham 2, Dee Jay McMurdo 1, Austin Krenz 1, Cody Richmond 1.
Rushing—Kaden Barrus 6-96, 2 TD; Wyatt Williams 4-77, 1 1st, 2 TD; Josh Finley 4-61, 2 TD; Hank Boeger 1-9; Torre Sliman 1-7; Wayde Gazafy 3-7; Clancy Cocker-ham 2-1.
Passing—Wyatt Williams 2-2, 44 yards, 1 1st, 1 TD; Josh Finley 1-1, 64 yards, 1 TD; Clancy Cockerham 1-5, 4 yards.
Receiving—Hank Boeger 4-112, 1 1st, 2 TD.
Kickoff returns—Wyatt Williams 1-27.
Punt returns—Kaden Barrus 3-33; Josh Finley 2-10.
Interceptions (1)—Kris Scott 1 with a 5-yard return.
Tackle leaders—Josh Finley 12, Kris Scott 8, Hank Boeger 5, Jake Sluder 4, Wayde Gazafy 3, Jed Pierson 3, Derek Higson 3, Zack Beard 2, Joe Arkoosh 2, Landunn Koyle 2, Wyatt Williams 2, Kaden Barrus 2, Cole McGinnis 2, Colton Reed 2, Karl Danielson 2.