WHS FB State Champs

The Weiser Wolverines football team, coaches, and community celebrates the Wolverines, double overtime, state championship victory over the three time defending state champions, Sugar-Salem, on Nov. 19.

POCATELLO — Recently, on Nov. 19, the Weiser Wolverines football team traveled to Pocatello, Idaho, to compete against the three time defending state champions, the Sugar-Salem Diggers, in the 2021 3A Idaho Milk Bowl State Championship. The championship game was held at Holt Arena on the Idaho State Bengals turf football field. The Wolverines entered the state championship coming off of a 49-27 victory over No. 2 Gooding to advance to the Milk Bowl, whereas Sugar-Salem defeated Homedale 16-7 in order to advance.

In the game, the Wolverines were able to jump out to a quick lead in the first quarter. It began with a rushing touchdown scored by senior QB/S Brett Spencer (2)—PAT was no good 6-0. After holding the Diggers offense, the Wolverines regained possession of the ball, and was able to find their way to the endzone with around seven minutes left in the first quarter. Spencer (2) was able to find his teammate, junior RB/LB Michael Youngberg (20), open down field to complete a 55-yard touchdown pass to further increase their lead—PAT was good 13-0.

With nearly three minutes left in the first quarter, the Diggers were able to move the ball down the field in order to score on a 20-yard touchdown pass—PAT was good 13-7. Additionally, the Diggers found themselves in scoring position another time during the first half, but were unable to convert on third down as the Wolverines forced Sugar-Salem to attempt a field goal, the Diggers’ kicker missed the field goal as the score remained 13-7.

In the second half, the Wolverines started with possession of the ball, and held on to the ball for nearly half of the quarter as they marched the ball down the field yard by yard. The offensive drive resulted in a rushing touchdown, when senior RB/DL Willy Shirts (40) took the ball into the endzone to start the second half for the Wolverines—PAT was good 20-7.

Sugar-Salem answered back, when their quarterback was able to complete a 12-yard touchdown pass to the Diggers’ wide receiver with only one second left in the third quarter—PAT was good 20-14.

The Wolverines took over possession to start the fourth quarter. It appeared that the Wolverines were attempting to march the ball down the field in order to score the touchdown that would seal their victory. However, with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Sugar-Salem defense intercepted the Wolverines’ pass in order to regain possession with the opportunity to win the game.

With seven and half minutes left in the game, the Wolverines forced the Diggers into a fourth-and-1 situation. The Diggers came out to line up for the play, and attempted to draw the Wolverines offsides. However, when the Wolverines didn’t budge, the Diggers called a timeout. After the timeout, Sugar-Salem ran the ball to the left side of the field, and were able to get the first down by the tip of the football in order to keep their offensive drive alive.

Following the fourth down conversion, the Diggers continued to move the ball down the field until Wolverines’ senior OL/LB Rylee Willet (54) intercepted the ball, halting the Diggers momentum. However, when Willet (54) attempted to return the interception, the Diggers’ offense knocked the ball out of Willet’s (54) hands, forcing a fumble. As a result, Sugar-Salem recovered the fumble, retaining possession of the ball.

Sugar-Salem was able to waste a lot of time in the fourth quarter as they attempted to take the lead while leaving the Wolverines as little time to respond as possible. As a result, with nearly two minutes left in the game, Sugar-Salem found the endzone on a rushing touchdown to tie the game 20-20.

With the game revolving around the ensuing extra point, both teams approached the line of scrimmage. Sugar-Salem attempted to end the game with the extra point kick. However, the Wolverines were able to bust through the offensive line to block the extra point. Although, the result of the play was not final, due to the Wolverines being penalized for offsides. Therefore, the two teams would have to line up for another extra point. As the Diggers snapped the ball for their second opportunity to end the game, the Wolverines found another gap in the offensive line, and busted through to block the Diggers’ second attempt at the extra point to keep the score tied 20-20.

The Wolverines took over possession of the ball with a little under 2 minutes left in regulation time. As the Wolverines chipped at the Sugar-Salem defense, time began to become an issue for the Wolverines. However, Spencer (2) completed back-to-back passes to get the Wolverines within the redzone with only 30 secs left in the game. The Wolverines were unable to find the endzone, but were able to set the team up for an opportunity to win the game on a field goal. However, the Wolverines kick barely missed the crossbar wide left.

As a result, the 3A Idaho Milk Bowl State Championship went into overtime.

In the first overtime period, the Wolverines started on the defensive side of the ball. They weren’t able to hold the Diggers, resulting in Sugar-Salem taking the lead 27-20. When the Wolverines took over possession, the Diggers’ defense forced the Wolverines into a fourth-and-11 situation. On the Wolverines fourth down conversion, Spencer (2) attempted to find his wide receiver in the corner of the endzone, but the pass fell incomplete. However, the referees conversed before determining that the flag on the play was defensive pass interference. Therefore, the Wolverines advanced to the first and goal from the 7-yard line. Following the penalty, Spencer (2) found his little brother, and teammate, sophomore RB/DB Brock Spencer in the middle of the endzone for a touchdown pass—PAT was good, tying the score 27-27.

As a result, the game continued as the two teams prepared for double overtime.

In the second overtime period, the Wolverines started with the ball, and were able to charge the ball into the endzone, when Shirts (40) scored a 6-yard touchdown run to take the lead—PAT was good 34-27. When Sugar-Salem took over possession, the Diggers were able to score on the first play on a rollout pass. However, the Diggers’ took their time to decide, but eventually left the kicking team on the sideline, in order to go for the win on a 2-point conversion.

The Diggers’ quarterback began the play by faking the handoff to the left side of the field before rolling out to the right side of the field to find his open wide receiver on the 1-yard line. The pass was completed as the Diggers wide receiver turned to step into the endzone. However, the Diggers’ wide receiver was met at the 1/2-yard line by Brett Spencer (2). Spencer brought the power with his hit, completely halting the Sugar-Salem receiver’s forward momentum. As a result, the Wolverines were able to hold Sugar-Salem on the 2-point conversion to win the 2021 3A Idaho Milk Bowl State Championship 34-33.

Load comments