An unfortunate first-quarter injury turned Friday’s Great Basin Conference football game between the host Minico Spartans and Wood River Wolverines into a rarely-seen prep duel between freshman quarterbacks.
The Minico Spartans (1-1) won the game 55-0 at Rupert, behind freshman quarterback Brevin Trenkle, the grandson of former Wood River boys’ basketball coach Fred Trenkle and son of Minico athletic director Brady Trenkle.
Quarterback Brevin Trenkle (3-for-4 passing, 115 yards, 2 touchdowns) steered the Spartans 302-yard rushing attack that built a 46-0 halftime lead, piled up 556 yards and scored eight touchdowns punctuated by celebratory cannon blasts.
Wood River, in contrast, went back to the drawing board at quarterback after junior starter Matt Meyers suffered a knee injury while completing a 29-yard first-down pass to Connor May late in the first quarter Friday.
Coach Shane Carden immediately inserted last year’s starting quarterback and this year’s wide receiver Andrew Nelson in Meyers’ place. But senior Nelson couldn’t continue in that role and was sidelined for the rest of the game because of an injury to this throwing shoulder.
So, on the first play of the second quarter, Carden summoned freshman Sawyer Grafft, who had played in Thursday’s home junior varsity loss to Minico. Grafft played the rest of the game and showed poise from the time he stepped onto the field.
Carden said Monday, “I couldn’t be more proud of Sawyer Grafft’s composure on the field for his first-ever varsity reps as a freshman.”
Grafft completed 3-of-13 passes for 34 yards and guided the Wolverines on their best drive in the fourth period.
With Wolverine junior fullback Eli Trevino rushing for 42 of his team-high 53 yards on the 13-play, 65-yard drive, Wood River moved to the Spartan 15-yard-line before running out of steam on a fourth-down incompletion.
Doing an excellent job blocking on the drive was Wood River’s offensive line of Johnny Servin, Brendon Cox, center Adan Moya, Garrett Doub and Owen Robb.
Servin was the Wood River defensive star as well, leading the visitors with 13 tackles.
Minico, winning its 13th straight home game, showed depth with seven different players scoring its eight touchdowns. Senior running back Rylan Chandler (91 rushing yards, 147 total yards) topped the list for coach Keelan McCaffrey’s Spartans (1-1).
It was Minico’s first shutout since the 48-0 Spartan home win over Wood River during Minico’s State 4A runner-up campaign of 2017.
Fred Trenkle and his wife Juanita were in the Minico grandstand for Friday’s game, the 185th Wolverine game for Hailey equipment manager Dale Martin. Also sidelined for Hailey on Friday was senior co-captain Crow Macdonald, who broke a bone in his foot at Mountain Home Aug. 30.
Wood River (0-2) is looking forward to its first home game Friday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. against the Jerome Tigers (1-1) at Phil Homer Field. It is part of Wounded Warrior Project week in the 4th District. Donation jars will be available for spectators to consider.
Jerome (3-6 last year, 14-31 in 5 seasons since 2014) walloped Burley 41-0 at home Aug. 30 but lost 24-14 at Preston (1-1) last Friday.
Carden said about his injured players, “Matt is day-to-day now, luckily no ligaments were injured. Andrew looks like he will be good-to-go this week. It was an injury on his throwing shoulder. If we need to go with him this week at quarterback, we will coach him up. I feel confident with him under center.”
He added, “Our biggest problem right now is not taking what we are doing on the practice field to the game field. We’re making mistakes we haven’t made all week. As a team we need to take more time in the film room and studying our plays.”
About the four-game homestand that begins Friday with Jerome, Carden said, “All of us are very excited to be at home this week! We hope everyone comes out and gives us that home field advantage.”