"Scoring fast is good with me," Carey head football coach Lane Kirkland said. "We’ve always tried to be a quick-strike team, putting people on their heels and in doubt."
The Panthers scored twice inside the first 51 seconds and the outcome was never in doubt with a 70-6 victory over visiting Idaho City in the play-in portion of the 1AD1 playoffs on Derrick Parke Memorial Field on Oct. 28.
"You want to make a statement and prove your position, where we’re ranked," Kirkland said. "We want to prove we’re a good team—and we did."
No. 5 Carey (7-2) visits No. 4 Notus (7-1) at 6 p.m. on Nov. 4. Notus has won seven in a row since a 36-0 loss to Kendrick in the opener.
"The sense of urgency has already started," Kirkland said. "Every game matters. You lose you’re done. We know that. We’re looking forward to going to play a District 3 team and showing them what we’ve got."
Carey averaged 17.28 yards per play, 13 yards per run.
"The best thing our running backs do is congratulate our linemen on our blocks every time we run down the field," senior receiver Riley Morey said. "They’re very grateful. That kind of helps us keep going."
Senior Conner Simpson ran the ball three times for 80 yards, and all were touchdowns on runs of 9, 61, and 10 yards.
"It feels good because I know I was a part of that," senior offensive lineman Franco Ocampo said. "I opened the hole. He does his moves and does his thing. They always tell us the game’s won on the line. If the linemen don’t show up, then the team is done."
The Panthers ran the ball 15 times for 195 yards and five scores. The other two were 24 yards each, by seniors Colton Larna and senior Ellis Jensen.
"It’s fun to flat-back people when you’re on the line," senior center Teegan Kirkland said. "Running the ball has always been something Carey has done very well."
Everything has been rolling for Carey on both sides of the ball. But the running game is key to its success.
"Communication. We talk on the line a lot more," Ocampo said, explaining why things have been better in the run game. "Before we break the huddle, if anyone has any questions, we answer them. Talk to each other. You have to call out blocks if it’s necessary—in their face sometimes. Just, ‘I have this guy. You have that guy.’ Let’s just roll."
Morey set up the second score after recovering a fumble on the kickoff. He scored on passes of 22- and 63-yards from sophomore quarterback Preston Wood. He completed four passes, all for touchdowns, for 168 yards.
Carey's offense did not touch the ball on offense in the third quarter. But the hosts scored when Morey picked off a fourth-down pass on the goal line and raced 100 yards to the house.
"We have to be more disciplined on the line. No more offsides," Morey said of the next opponent. "That’s gotta go away completely. We have to focus on one play and not what happened in the past."
The Panthers are averaging 65.6 points per game in their five-game winning streak.
"I see it as a badge of honor because when you score that much other teams look at you and think, ‘What are we getting ourselves into’ when they see scores like that," Kirkland said.
Notus is averaging 65 points per game after getting shutout in its opener.
"They’re a good team," coach Kirkland said. "There are some big kids on that team. We’re going to deal with a little bit more speed. We have to show up with our A game.
"From here on out its who makes the fewest mistakes and who wants it most. That’s what we’re striving for."