By MARK HIGH
BLACKFOOT — With the sixth district All-Stars clinging to a 24-17 lead with :02.2 showing on the clock the fifth district squad drew up their best play from the five yard line.
With a five receiver set Snake River signal caller C.J. Toulouse scanned the defense when the ball was snapped wide leading to a wild scramble for the ball. Toulouse got to the ball first, rolled to the right and lofted the ball towards an open receiver in the north end zone, only to see the ball batted away at the last second as the game ended with the sixth district victorious.
"The play was supposed to be a flood and I was going to roll out and the snap just came a count early," Toulouse said. "I picked it up and tried to do something with it and I thought that we were going to get it but the defender made a good play. It was so much fun playing with all these great players though."
The game was close throughout the contest with neither team leading by more than a touchdown.
The sixth district drew first blood with a 29 yard field goal from Skylines Colter Yde.
After a pair of punts, the fifth district then took the lead with a nice drive to begin the second quarter. Aberdeen quarterback Jaiden Beck turned in a huge play early in the drive when he scrambled and converted on a fourth and seven just over the midfield stripe.
Five plays later Toulouse connected with Highland product Tyler Underwood for a five yard touchdown strike and after an Austin Lewis point after kick the fifth district led 7-3.
"These kids, I think it took them about thirty minutes and they had both the offense and the defense down," Snake River head coach Jeff Dalley said. "It was a lot of fun to coach these guys. It was back and forth and it was fun to see both offenses moving the ball which made it an exciting game to watch."
The sixth district wasted little time regaining the lead however as they drove the length of the field in just 5 plays. The big blow a 38-yard touchdown strike from Bonnevilles Parker Buck to Blackfoot's Dalla Bitton. The PAT from Yde was true and the sixth district led 10-7.
The fifth district retied the game with a Lewis 29-yard field goal with 1:11 remaining but that left plenty of time on the clock for the sixth district and they took advantage, eventually scoring on an 11-yard touchdown strike from Buck to Idaho Falls tight end Derek Despot for a 17-10 half time advantage.
Out of the break the sixth district looked as if they were going to put some distance between them and the fifth district but Highlands Devan Ferro picked off a pass on his own 38-yard line, thwarting the opening drive of the second half.
On the ensuing drive the fifth district methodically moved the ball down the field and with 5:59 remaining in the third quarter Jaiden Beck connected with Century's Mathias Ravsten for a 30-yard pitch and catch and heading to the fourth quarter the game was deadlocked 17-17.
Defense was the name of the game from then on as both teams stiffened, thwarting drives by each districts offensive units. The sixth eventually took the game as Shelley's all-everything back, Aaron Adams simply would not be denied, powering his way in from 2-yards out for the eventual game winner with 1:18 remaining.
"This feels really good it was a great way to end the year," Adams said. "It was really cool. I thought that there would be a lot of rivalries both in practice and in the game but everybody was real nice and it was just a really great experience, just a really good way to end the year."
All told there were ten Bingham County kids on the fifth district team while the sixth district team was represented by six players, three each from Blackfoot and Shelley.
"The game was stressful for the coaches and players but the excitement was there and it was a really good game," Blackfoot head coach Stan Buck said. "There were a lot of great plays on both sides of the ball and that's what people came to watch is kids making plays like they did tonight."
Bingham County Athletes playing:
C.J. Toulouse Snake River
Jaiden Beck Aberdeen
Mike Duff Snake River
Greg Bartholoma Aberdeen
Pete Bravo Aberdeen
Telson Jake ShoBan
Cullen Fightsover ShoBan
Jared Smith Snake River
Layne Harper Snake River
Zayvin Dawson Snake River
Beau Hoskins Blackfoot
Dallas Bitton Blackfoot
Corey Walker Shelley
Garrett Buck Blackfoot
Aaron Adams Shelley
Clark Huntsman Shelley