September 12, 2011 • Trent Madsen, Sports Editor
Filed under Activities and Athletics
It had been a long time since Woods Cross High School had faced an out of state opponent in football, the third longest streak in the state to be exact. Friday night the Cats travelled up to Pocatello, Idaho to face Highland, Idaho, a football powerhouse in the state.
The Cats were just coming off an emotional win at Mountain Crest, and were hoping to bring that momentum into their showdown in the Holt Arena, where Idaho State plays their football games. Highland, Idaho had already played one Utah team this year beating Sky View 32-14.
The opening kick-off went to the Rams, but the Woods Cross coaches pulled a trick out of their sleeve and opted to kick an onside kick. Justin Ward put the ball into their second line and the Cats covered up the ball.
On the first drive of the game the offense looked as strong as they have all season, with Skyler Farnes throwing the ball with accuracy, while being protected by the offensive line. The drive was capped off by Sean Barton running five yards for his third rushing touchdown of the year.
The 156 mile ride didn’t seem to faze the cats as they jumped out to an early lead. After strong defensive holds deep in their territory, the Cats drove down the field again to set up another rushing touchdown for the junior running back, Barton. The defense held strong on two 4th and short plays in their red zone to keep Highland off the board in the first quarter.
Barton continued his excellence in the secondary by picking off Joel Jewll for a pick-six. The game seemed to slipping away from Highland, who too many are considered one of the top 5 teams in Idaho. Woods Cross had dominated on the offensive side all game, but the even bigger stat than scoring three touchdowns was holding a dangerous passing offense to only 3 points through the first quarter and a half.
Things started going downhill as Highland scored a touchdown to end the half being down 21-9.
Farnes had been dominating in the pocket all year, but Highland exposed a weakness in the second half that caused Farnes to lose his touch on the ball. The offensive line for the Cats couldn’t seem to keep the defensive line from getting to Skyler, causing him to force throws.
Just as the Vikings had done in the season opener, pressure caused the offensive to stumble. The team needed the defense to step up but in the third quarter couldn’t keep the Rams out of the end zone.
Being down nine with the clocking ticking down late in the fourth quarter, the Cats had one last gasp. Farnes found Jake Brown, who had been quite all game, for a 37 yard touchdown to close the gap to less than a field goal.
The fans that made the trip started to feel something special about to happen and were making a lot of noise. The students started their chant of “I believe that we will win”, hoping to give the Cats that little energy to win the game.
It wasn’t enough and the Cats fell to Highland 30-28.
This game concluded the non-region games, as Woods Cross faces fifth ranked East High School. East is undefeated 4 games into the season, and are recognized as being the best team in the 4a classification. Woods Cross has to prepare themselves for a different type of opponent this week, as East is unlike highland in that they are a heavy run team. Jason Cook has scored six touchdowns for Leopards this season. East’s secondary is strong and have intercepted the opposing quarterback seven times through four games.
Woods Cross has started off all four of their games this season strong, but seem to fall apart in the third quarter. Staying strong all game is necessary to win a football game. In their two losses this season, the part of their game that lacked was the protection of the quarterback in the pocket. If the Cats can protect the quarterback, and play strong defense all game, Woods Cross has the potential of upsetting East on Friday.
The team really needs the support of the student body. It really does make a difference for the players. Let’s help our Cats upset East on Friday by showing up in force to cheer on the team. Let’s get everybody there, and let’s go for a white out. Come ready to lose your voice, and watch our Cats pull off the huge win.
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