It had all the makings of a heavyweight boxing match. Every time it appeared that Emmett was about to come-up short against perennial football power Bishop Kelly on Friday night, the Huskies counter-punched. In the end, three dramatic 70-yard plus drives in the fourth quarter, complete with three fourth-down conversions, put the Knights on the canvas as Emmett walked out of Boise with a 40-34 Southern Idaho Conference win.
The Knights entered the game ranked third in Idaho High School 4A football polls and displayed their traditional ground control attach to grab an early lead but while never giving up the lead, they couldn’t get any breathing room either. With junior quarterback Caden Young refusing to be ruffled by a game-opening possession fumble, he rallied his troops to eventually take the air out of sparse crowd in Boise.
“That was about as good a football game as I have every seen,” EHS coach Rick Hargitt said after the game. “I was so proud of our kids for not getting down after the early mistake and never allowing BK to dictate the game. I thought they did an excellent shot at responding to whatever BK threw at us and refused to give in down the stretch.”
Epitomizing the “never give up” mentality was Young. After Emmett held BK on the opening possession, Young fumbled on the Huskies first offensive snap deep in their own territory. The Knights scored quickly on a handful of power runs and never trailed until the final minute of the game.
Jack Maxwell made BK wary immediately after its first score, returning the ensuing kickoff 86 yards to tie it at 7-all. The Knights got good field position on the next kickoff and drove 59 yards to retake the lead.
Emmett countered with a 73-yard 11-play drive to tie it on an eight-yard pass connection from Young to Westyn Smith late in the first quarter.
BK went 60 yards on its next drive to keep the upper hand and a failed conversion after a four-yard Young scramble for a score left the Huskies down 20-19 at the half.
Late in the third quarter BK again found the end-zone, this time on rare pass connection to move the advantage to eight. But Young countered with an 84-yard drive finished off with a 28 yard dime dropped into the hands of Maxwell. The two-point attempt to tie, however, came up inches short and BK took advantage of a penalty and out of bounds kickoff to go only 45 yards to move the margin to two possessions at 34-25 with seven minutes left.
Enter the caped Huskies. It took 15 plays and two four-down conversions by inches but Emmett scored with 3:15 left on a Young 21-yard scamper and the QB converted for two to pull his team within one. The Huskie defense arose to force BK to a quick three-and-out and with 2:47 remaining on the clock, there was still life on the visiting side of the field.
Starting at its own 19, Emmett quickly moved down the field on quick slant passes from Young to Smith and Caseyn Pearson. A 25-yard strike to Smith at the BK two set up the game-winning Young drive with 33 seconds left.
Young ended the evening connecting on 12 of 17 pass attempts for 163 yards and two scores. He added another 163 yards rushing and three scores. Smith plowed his way to 120 yards on the ground but also grabbed 4 passes for 59 yards including a receiving score.
With the win Emmett not only took down BK, but picked up a target on its own jersey. Homecoming opponent Ridgevue will have every motivation this Friday night to do to the Huskies what Emmett did to the Knights. At 1-0 in the SIC, Emmett has its conference destiny in its own hands, but that can disappear with any slip-up along the way.
Despite a league opening 41-14 loss to Vallivue on Friday evening, Hargitt sees the Warhawks as a threat with enough talent and motivation coming into Emmett to keep his team on its toes.
“They are a well coached team and have the weapons to score,” Hargitt said.
The win over BK was the first in a decade for Emmett. It sets the stage for a wide-open race for four playoff spots in late October and the Huskies at least have an early leg-up.