A team with nine wins in a season, no matter what the sport, is a rarity for a Wood River team.
After coming off Phil Homer Field in Hailey on Thursday, the Wood River freshmen football team (9-0) became one of those rare teams.
Their 20-0 win over Canyon Ridge of Twin Falls (0-9) marked Wood River’s ninth win this season. It made the freshman group 22-0 since their seventh-grade season.
“The last game is always important to close out a season” said freshman head coach Rhett Jones. “It was a struggle to keep focus this week in practice knowing that we would be playing a team that hadn’t won. It is easy for a team to reflect on what they had done before but we needed to stay focused”.
Defense has always been the freshman team’s “bread and butter” and the final win against Canyon Ridge was no different.
By only giving up 49 yards rushing and 0 yards passing and hard hits provided by Jubal Toothman, Jens Blackman, and Travis Swanson, the defense gave their offense the time it needed to wear down the Canyon Ridge defense.
Wood River ran the ball for 241 yards and passed for 80 yards. The offensive line made up of Brendan Bingham, Jens Blackman, Caleb Morgan, Evan Telford and Jubal Toothman was a big reason why they had as much success in not just this game but the whole season.
Running for the freshmen since seventh grade were Owen Gifford, Ashton Owens, and Travis Swanson. They have downed a lot of yards for this offense over the years.
Quarterback Cade Schott had a good game going 4 for 9 with two touchdown passes thrown to Owen Gifford. Schott’s passing has provided a change of pace for an offense that is mostly run dominated.
Wood River’s third touchdown came from an interception by Jubal Toothman to put the Wolverines up 20-0 and put the game out of reach.
The Wolverines will be known as one of the most successful seventh through ninth grade teams to ever play for Wood River. All they can hope for now is to translate all that success to varsity next season.
A team that, in the eyes of coach Jones, “Never gives up and comes out firing every play” has been a bright spot in a struggling Wood River football program and hopes to continue to stay that way.
Matt Nelson, assistant coach, said, “We had a really solid group of kids that came together to win football games. They played without 14 players from the year before and still put together one of the best football winning streaks ever. I had a great time coaching these boys.”