POCATELLO — The Malad Dragons came into their opening round match up with the Firth Cougars breathing fire, roasting the Cougars and eliminating them from the state tournament on Thursday evening.
The night started out wrong from the get go for the Cougars as they had their kick off with the Dragons pushed back nearly 50 minutes in Holt Arena due to the South Fremont-American Falls game not finishing until 9 P.M.
After the late start Malad erupted from the chutes like a house on fire, taking the opening kick off and promptly driving the ball down the field for a touchdown pass and a quick 7-0 lead.
That was just the tip of the iceberg for the Dragons however, as they turned in one of the more impressive defensive efforts in the first half, holding Firth to a combined -10 total yards offense in the first half while yielding just one first down, that coming on a Mitch Orme scramble late in the second quarter of play.
Meanwhile the Dragons took advantage of great field position for the entirety of the first half, tallying 6 touchdowns and a 37-yard field goal for a commanding 41-0 half time advantage.
That total could have been worse if not for a pair of interceptions by the Cougar defense, the first a nice pick down the far sideline early in the second quarter when Austin Leslie out leapt the Malad receiver for the pick on the Cougar 20 yard line.
Logan Wynn got the second pick of the half in the end zone as Malad was trying a last second pass but still heading into the locker room a frustrated and none to happy Firth squad trudged.
After the break Firth opened the second half with a score, getting on the board and making the score 41-6.
Malad pushed back, tallying three more touchdowns in the third quarter and heading into the final stanza Malad led 61-6.
Firth was able to get a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns, but that was far too little and much too late as the Cougars season came to a close with a 61-20 final.