TWIN FALLS — As class of District IV football stars bade the gridiron farewell at the All-State games at Canyon Ridge High School Saturday, another announced its arrival.
If the eighth-grade game, which featured incoming freshmen, was anything to go by, the district is in good hands.
Players representing five District IV schools suited up for Team Idaho, which beat Team Treasure Valley 35-6 to wrap up the all-state tripleheader. Each school represented had something to cheer about, and some of the headliners were happy with their first taste of what itâ€™ll be like at the high school level.
â€œAt the high school level itâ€™s more sophisticated that at the middle school, with the terms and things like that,â€ said lineman Jason Sims, who hopes to force his way into Canyon Ridgeâ€™s varsity thinking sooner rather than later. â€œItâ€™s a little bit of an advantage for the guys who were invited to this, so we can know what to expect.â€
One glance at the height and weight for players on both rosters, and it could have easily been confused for a varsity high school game. It looked the part on-field too, with the feel of an early-season high school game â€” turnovers, the odd miscommunication, and players trying to find chemistry with teammates.
A lot of that cohesiveness was formed during the week, when players stayed in the College of Southern Idaho dorms for three nights and built camaraderie. It also helped to know some possible future playoff opponents â€” team Idaho put Minico, Twin Falls and Canyon Ridge kids with Hillcrest kids, and Gooding kids with Shelley and Teton kids.
â€œThis is a great experience. I wish we could do it more,â€ said running back Peyton Bailey, the gameâ€™s offensive MVP whoâ€™s hopeful of joining the recent line of studs in Minicoâ€™s backfield. â€œItâ€™s nice to get to know a lot of these guys, and of course I want to see these other guys because we could play against them someday.â€
Whether it was Jose Sandoval (Twin Falls) playing center field and picking off a pass, or Clancy Cockerham (Gooding) making a heady downfield read on the speed option and knowing he still had his pitchman open for an easy touchdown, there was little doubt that the players featured Saturday are some of District IVâ€™s potential stars of the future.
The players already know what they need to get there, too.
TWIN FALLS — District IV ruled the 8-man football polls in the 2011 regular season.
It ruled the postseason as Hagerman (Division I) and Lighthouse Christian (Division II) won state titles.
And several of its players ruled Saturday’s 8-man all-state game at Canyon Ridge High School, with the East team thoroughly dominating the West on both sides of the ball in a 40-6 victory.
“We knew that we had really good guys on both sides,” Carey’s Dillon Cenarrusa said. “On defense, we knew we were stacked and could get the job done, and that we had it in us to do it.”
Shoshone’s Gage Roberts was a little more blunt.
“We planned on whuppin’ them,” Roberts said. “We were looking forward to it. We had to represent.”
The East’s dominance becomes more pronounced when realizing that it won with a backup quarter-back. Dietrich’s Brody Astle is still recovering from injuries suffered in a car accident shortly after basket-ball season, so North Gem’s Tyler Mclain, who was listed on the roster as a defensive back, stepped in for Astle and threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns on 13 of 20 passing in earning game Offensive MVP honors. He also rushed for a 10-yard touchdown with 7 minutes, 21 seconds remaining in the first quarter to open the game’s scoring.
The East’s front line of Roberts, Cenarrusa and Rockland’s Cody Hidalgo, who won Defensive MVP honors, quickly established control in the trenches. Cenarrusa and Hidalgo teamed for a sack and forced the West into a holding penalty that caused its opening drive to fizzle, and Roberts tackled Potlach’s James Amos for a 4-yard loss on 2nd and 1 on the West’s second drive, which ended with a 9-yard punt by Tri-Valley’s Alex Loveland.
Given outstanding field position — a recurring theme for the East squad — Roberts capped a four-play, 41-yard drive by grabbing the back end of the football for a 28-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
“I was in triple coverage and reached out and barely snagged it,” said Roberts, who is going to the Col-lege of Southern Idaho before pursuing an engineering degree at Boise State.
Other outgoing District IV players who shined included Oakley’s Stephan Ortiz, who scored on a 14-yard reception and 20-yard run; Dietrich’s Gray Weber, who did a little bit of everything with 67 yards total offense and several tackles from his linebacker spot, and Lighthouse Christian’s Dylan Van Esch, who had six catches for 110 yards.
Another defensive star was Shoshone’s Tyral Furgason, who had three sacks, two coming on back-to-back plays late in the first half.
“I missed it for quite a while. I talk about it all the time, I miss (playing) so much,” Furgason said about his last high school football game before enrolling at Idaho State in the fall.
The West’s defense nearly pitched a shutout — a feat almost unheard of for an all-star game. However, Cascade’s Josh Vandenburg caught a 14-yard screen pass from Wallace’s Casey McKinnon with 3:18 re-maining in the game to shatter the goose egg.
East 40, West 6
West 0 0 0 6 —6
East 14 6 12 8 —40
East – Mclain 10 run (run failed)
E – Roberts 28 pass from Mclain (Mclain run)
E – Hidalgo 11 run (pass failed)
E – Simonson 19 pass from Mclain (run failed)
E – Ortiz 14 pass from Mclain (run failed)
E – Ortiz 20 run (Owsley run)
West – Vandenburg 14 pass from McKinnon (run failed)
The All State Game
This is the oldest event that is organized by the Elite Gridiron Games. The All State Game started in 2005 as one game for the top outgoing seniors in the entire state of Idaho. The first game was fittingly played on the blue at Boise State University. This is a Treasure Valley (district 3) vs. the rest of Idaho (districts 1,2,4,5,6).
The first four games were all close but all won by Team Treasure Valley. In year five, The All State Game added two games. The first addition was the top 8th graders in the state. The other was dividing the Treasure Valley and Team Idaho into a large division and a small division. So it became a 1a-3a game and a 4a-5a game. That wasn’t the right fit as both team Idaho’s rolled Team Treasure Valley.
In Year six the formula all came together. The All State Game kept the 8th grade game but added an 8 man game (East vs. West) and a 2a-5a game. This worked out perfectly as all the games were close.
After seven years here are the won loss records for The All State Game. Treasure Valley 11 man leads 5-3. The 8 man game is tied one to one for the East/West game. Team Idaho leads 2-1 in the 8th grade game.
If you are a coach or parent and have a nomination for the 2012 games please email Matt Williams at email@example.com