Payette football coach Kip Crofts stuttered as he recalled the final moments of Friday’s game. The excitement of the night made his memory hazy.
After giving up a 21-6 halftime lead, the Pirates trailed visiting Parma 28-21 with just minutes remaining in the game. Payette was able to tie the game up at 28-28, as the Panthers looked ready for a game-winning drive.
But junior safety Zander Allen pulled down an interception, setting up Martin Ceballos for a game-winning 40 yard field goal as the final horn sounded in Payette.
The Pirates pulled off the upset 31-28 win over Parma, their first Snake River Valley win since 2014.
The Pirates are now 3-1, their best mark since 2012 (they finished that season 5-5 and made the state tournament.
Abe Rodriguez finished the game with four passing touchdowns. Allen had two touchdowns receptions and the interception on defense. Ty Waynetska had two touchdown receptions.
Ceballos was four-for-four on PAT kicks and had the game-winning field goal.
The Payette football coaches lined the sidelines wearing matching black hoodies. On the front, they say “Payette football” with the Pirate logo. On the back, in big bold letters, reads “ROCK BOTTOM.”
Payette coach Kip Crofts, now in his fifth year of the program, said the lettering on the back is the team’s motto. Two years ago, the Pirates ended the season with an 0-9 record, forfeiting the final four games of the season due to a lack of healthy or eligible players.
“We’ve hit rock bottom,” Crofts said. “And we don’t want to be there any more. But from rock bottom, now you build that foundation.”
And with a 3-1 record so far on the season, Crofts said he’s going to continue wearing those words on his back.
“I will always wear this,” Crofts said. “This is kind of our deal… It makes some of what we’ve been through worth while.”