Remaining in the driver’s seat. That’s what the Huskies are focused on this week after rolling past Caldwell 53-8 in a Homecoming affair last Friday and emerging alone at the top of the Southern Idaho Conference standings with three weeks remaining in the regular season.
“While we haven’t officially clinched a playoff berth, we are in position to do so next week and a win leaves us with our number-one goal right in front of us,” Emmett coach Rich Hargett told his team after the easy win over the winless Cougars.
“We have to work harder this week then we have all year long,” Hargitt told his team. “We put 50 plus on Middleton last year and they will be ready for us and then some. We will have to play our best game of the year to win on the road.”
The Vikings will be smarting not only from the loss last year to Emmett but the 51-42 loss on Friday at Bishop Kelly — their first conference loss. Middleton has perhaps the most prolific passing attack in Idaho high school football but it couldn’t keep up in a scoring throw down with the Knights.
The BK win puts the 4A SIC race in clear perspective, pending the Emmett-Middleton face off on Friday.
Emmett at 4-0 has a one-game lead on 3-1 BK and Middleton. The Huskies are two games clear of Nampa, Vallivue and Columbia. A win over Middleton would give Emmett the head to head edge to repeat its first-ever SIC Championship with two remaining home games against Columbia and Vallivue.
“We really do have control over our own destiny,” Hargitt said. “But a loss at Middleton would throw the league into the same mess we had last year going down the stretch and this year we only have four state playoff berths available to us.”
Emmett’s not interested in just any of those four slots. The Huskies want another league title and the number-one seed out of the conference.
Friday night’s exercise against Caldwell certainly met the goal of increased efficiency out of the offense.
Emmett scored on its first five possessions with quick strike accuracy. The first drive only covered 20 yards after Ry Fullerton intercepted a Caldwell pass deep in Cougar territory. A seven-yard Caden Young run set the tone.
After another Caldwell three-and-out Young hit Tanner Wilkerson with a 46-yard scoring strike. Caldwell gained a couple of first downs on its third possession and punted the Huskies back to their own 15. Three straight Young completions set up him up for a patented 57-yard scramble to make it 20-0 before the first quarter clock expired.
The fourth possession covered 70 yards in eight plays with Fullerton sprinting around the end for a 22-yard score. The next possession was a one-play 59-yard strike from Young to Caseyn Pearson.
Caldwell broke a big 60-yard run play on its next possession and was able to work it into the endzone to close the margin to 32-8 with less than three-minutes left before halftime. It only took Emmett 80 seconds to counter with three straight Fullerton runs, the final carry going for 17 yards and a 39-8 halftime lead.
Emmett didn’t attempt a pass in the second half going to the roster depth for a punishing rushing attack. Joe Loomis scored from seven yards out and then Stevie Howe picked off a Caldwell pass deep in Emmett territory and returned it 80-yards for the final score. With three-minutes left in the third quarter the running-clock rule came into play and Emmett’s only fourth quarter possession ended taking a knee inside the Cougar seven.
Young was the epitome of efficiency, rushing three times for 73 yards and two scores and connecting on all nine pass attempts for 195 yards and two additional scores. Fullerton led eight Huskie ball carries with 83 yards on seven carries for two scores. Emmett’s ground game gained 316 yards for a total offensive output of 511 yards.