Pirates shut out in second half, fall to Oakley 20-28
For the second straight year the defending champion riding a 23-game winning streak was beaten in the 1-A Division 1 State championship game as Oakley defeated the Prairie Pirates 20-28 at Pocatello Saturday, Nov. 21.Branden Waller tackles an Oakley runner for a loss as Kyler Shumway and Andrew Gabica move in.
Prairie started the game like it was going to be one of their usual runaways as it took just 2 plays to score.
On the second play of the game David Sigler lined up at quarterback in a play package installed just for this game. He took the snap in shotgun formation and went around right end for 68 yards and a touchdown. The 2-point try was stopped but Prairie led 6-0 just 58 seconds into the game.
Andrew Gabica’s ensuing kickoff took a backwards hop at the 10 yard line off of the artificial turf in Holt Arena and bounced away from the Oakley players with Sigler recovering the ball at the Oakley 18.
If Prairie had been able to score there it might have been a totally different game but Tyrell Langston fumbled on the next play and Oakley recovered.
Oakley was able to move the ball downfield, picking up a pair of first downs, one on a screen pass that went for 31 yards.
The drive stalled at the Prairie 25 when the defense held on downs as half the defense ganged up to tackle Junior Tellez after a 3 yard gain on 4th and 6.
On the second play of their possession Kyle Holthaus connected with Sigler on a swing pass out to the left that Sigler took for 27 yards before being forced out of bounds.
Four plays later Holthaus connected with Conner Rieman for 22 yards on the left side that set up a first and goal at the 7.
On the next play Langston went up the middle for 1 yard but came out of the game with a sprained ankle.
Devin Schmidt then carried for the first time in the game and ran a sweep around left end for a touchdown. Schmidt then ran in the 2-pointer on a sweep to the right side to give Prairie a 14-0 lead with 2:47 left in the first quarter.
Oakley answered back with gains of 20 and 22 yards but then the defense rose up. Oakley quarterback Brady Manning was sacked by Derek Schaeffer, Gabica and Rieman for a 9 yard loss and on the next play Stephan Ortiz came in at quarterback and was sack by Kyler Shumway for a 10 yard loss to give Prairie the ball on downs at their own 39.
Devin Schmidt cuts back inside of two Oakley defenders as Branden Waller comes in to help block. Schmidt scored on the play and then added the 2-pointer to put Prairie ahead 14-0.Schmidt gained 6 yards on a sweep after an incomplete pass to set up third down and 4. On the next play Holthaus tried to hit Branden Waller on a pass similar to the one that went for 73 yards against Wallace. The pass was overthrown and Oakley’s Hunter Wadsworth intercepted at the Oakley 24.
Two plays later Wadsworth made another big play as he caught a pass from Ortiz deep down the right side and went 80 yards for a touchdown. The pass was thrown to what would’ve been Langston’s side of the field but he was out getting his ankle retaped and Sigler was on the other side and couldn’t run down the speedy Wadsworth. That was the first score against Prairie’s first team defense all season.
After two false starts set them back to the 13 yard line, Oakley threw an incomplete pass on the 2-point try.
On Prairie’s next series Schmidt gained 15 yards on a sweep then went up the middle for 6 yards but reinjured his bad ankle on the play.
Prairie tried Sigler at the tailback spot but he couldn’t gain any yardage and Prairie turned the ball over on downs at their own 46.
Oakley then got a 39 yard gain from Tellez and a 17 yard gain from Ortiz to set up first and goal at the 1. Rhyan Greenwell went in on the next play and Ortiz added the 2-pointer to tie the score at 14 with 5:59 left in the half.
Oakley’s kickoff went out of bounds and Prairie took over at their own 35.
On third and 12 Sigler ran another sweep from the same formation that he scored the game’s first touchdown and picked up 37 yards to the Oakley 30.
Holthaus then hit Sigler over the middle for 13 more yards.
After a 3-yard run by Waller, Holthaus tossed a short pass out to the right to Sigler and he beat Wadsworth to the pylon for a 14 yard scoring play. The 2-point try was intercepted leaving Prairie with a 20-14 lead with 3:36 left in the half.
Oakley was able to move the ball out to midfield on their next possession but consecutive sacks of Ortiz, the first by Shumway for a loss of 12 and the second by Schaeffer for a loss of 15 forced a long fourth down play with Ortiz coming up short at the Oakley 46.
Prairie tried a “Hail Mary” pass but Oakley intercepted to end the half.
The second half, except for 2 big plays by Oakley, was dominated by the two defenses.
Oakley’s first possession was 3 and out as was Prairie’s. Prairie gained a bunch in field position though thanks to a 65 yard punt by Sigler that went out of bounds at the Oakley 10 yard line.
Oakley was 3 and out again and Prairie took over at their 49.
Prairie kept the ball on the ground and picked up a couple of first downs. Langston and Schmidt were both able to play although both had noticeable limps.
Langston gained 3 to pick up a first down at the Oakley 27. On the next play Sigler ran a reverse to the left for about 15 yards but it was called back on a holding penalty.
After an incomplete pass downfield to Sigler, Sigler ran another play from the quarterback spot and picked up 14 yards to the Oakley 21.
Langston gained just 1 on the next play to set up fourth and 3. 
Prairie tried a halfback pass from Waller to Sigler on the next play but it was batted away and Oakley took over. That was as close as Prairie would come to scoring in the second half.
The third quarter ended with Prairie still on top 20-14.
Prairie had to punt again to open the fourth quarter and Sigler had another boomer that went 57 yards to the Oakley 10. It was returned to the 21 but a clipping penalty set Oakley back to the 11.Kyler Shumway got a fistful of jersey of Oakley quarterback Stephan Ortiz and sacked the elusive runner for a big loss. Conner Rieman is at left.
Oakley picked up a first down out to the 26 then on second and 10 Manning connected up with Wadsworth deep downfield and Wadsworth scored his second long touchdown of the game, this time it went 74 yards to tie the score at 20 with 7:25 left to play. Prairie stopped the 2-point try to keep Oakley from taking the lead.
Prairie took over after the kickoff at their own 20 and Schmidt went around right end for 26 yards.
On third and 6 though Holthaus had the ball knocked loose and Langston wound up covering the ball back at the 36 for a 16 yard loss. 
Sigler punted again and Greenwell took the ball at the Oakley 23 and returned it 67 yards to the Prairie 10 yard line where it was first and goal.
Paxton Robinson scored the go-ahead touchdown on fourth and goal at the 2 and Prairie trailed for the first time since they lost to Kendrick to end the 2007 season. Manning passed to Wadsworth for the 2-pointer to make it 20-28 with 3:04 left to play.
Prairie took over after the kickoff at their own 35 after a 20 yard return by Schmidt.
Two running plays gained 4 yards.
On third down Holthaus’ arm was hit as he was throwing and the pass fell incomplete.
On fourth down he rolled out to the right and tried to connect with Waller downfield but the pass fell several yards short.
Oakley took over and tried to run as much clock as they could before punting the ball on fourth down. The punt went into the end zone for a touchback giving Prairie one last shot from their 20.
They put Sigler back at quarterback and he tried to throw it deep downfield to Waller but Oakley had him double covered and the pass went incomplete as the clock ran out.
For the game Holthaus completed 5 of his first 8 passes in the game with 1 interception but was 0 for his last 6 attempts with another interception including 0 for 5 in the second half.
Sigler led the rushing attack with 123 yards and a touchdown on 9 carries while Schmidt added 73 yards and a touchdown on 9 carries and Langston 33 on 10 carries. Prairie had 221 yards rushing on 36 attempts.
Holthaus was 5 for 14 passing with 2 interceptions for 90 yards and a touchdown. Sigler and Waller were each 0 for 1 passing.
Oakley gained 138 yards rushing on 47 attempts led by Tellez who had 62 yards on 7 carries and Robinson who had 40 yards on 9 carries.
Ortiz was 3 for 6 passing for 133 yards and a touchdown and Manning was 2 for 3 for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Oakley outgained Prairie 351 to 311. Prairie had just 66 yards in the second half while Oakley had 133.
Waller led the defense with 15 tackles while Rieman had 6½ tackles and ½ a sack. Schaeffer had 6 tackles and 1½ sacks. Shumway had 6 tackles and 2 sacks. Sigler had 6 tackles and a fumble recovery. Gabica had 4½ tackles and 2 sacks. Langston had 3 tackles and Holthaus had 2½ tackles.
The high scoring Pirates finally ran into a team with the combination of size and speed on defense to be able to shut them down.
The class of 2010 finished their football careers with a 35-7 record and a first and second place trophy at state. This after a 15 year stretch of non-winning seasons for the Pirates.
Prairie     14   6 0   0 -20
Oakley      0 14 0 14 -28
P-Sigler 68 run (run failed) 11:02 1st
P-Schmidt 6 run (Schmidt run) 2:47 1st
O-Wadsworth 80 pass from Ortiz (pass failed) 10:16 2nd
O-Greenwell 1 run (Ortiz run) 5:59 2nd
P-Sigler 14 pass from Holthaus (pass failed) 3:36 2nd
O-Wadsworth 74 pass from Manning (run failed) 7:25 4th
O-Robinson 2 run (Wadsworth pass from Manning) 3:04 4th
David Sigler makes a catch in the first half.
Derek Schaeffer hangs on to the Oakley QB until he can get help with the sack from Andrew Gabica.
This was the play Devin Schmidt reinjured his ankle.
This was about the only positive offensive play of the second half as Devin Schmidt gained over 20 yards on this sweep.
Kyle Holthaus hands off to Branden Waller. Conner Rieman is at left.

Most of the team looks on as Oakley receives the state championship trophy while several of the starters couldn't hide their disappointment.

Parents' letters
Below are a couple of letters to the editor submitted by parents of football players:

Dear Editor,
Wow!  To say that the Prairie Pirate football team had quite a ride is an understatement.  These coaches and this team have done what no others have done in the history of the program.  To go undefeated in 23 games is astounding and to be in the playoffs for two state titles in a row is amazing.  To know the commitment, dedication and talent that all involved had to offer, is itself a testament to what the football program has become.  We have coaches who are dedicated to each and every player on that team.  We have coaches who have dedicated (at minimum) the last 10 years to a group of kids who began playing together in Pee Wee Football and who have remained influential and dedicated to these kids, for years and years, and have led them to become the team they are today.  Coming from a program, who for some years weren’t sure if they would have enough athletes to man the field, to a team that boasts approximately 40 athletes per season is phenomenal in its own right.  The coaches have dedicated hours upon hours of personal time to see that these kids learned to play the game and to be so successful that they were unable to even play a full game in the White Pine League.  We all know they dominated their league which unfortunately meant that the varsity players often had less playing time because the coaches didn’t want to run up the score, just because they could.  That itself, speaks volumes about our coaches.  As hard as it was for the starting line to be pulled out of the game because “they were just too good” also shows the character of the kids involved because they didn’t complain.  They supported the 2nd and 3rd lines knowing that they are the kids who will become the “starters” down the road.  We know that winning teams can often become “full of themselves” but not this team.  They played with dignity, confidence and pride.  They were as sure of their skills as the coaches were of them.  This team has a camaraderie often lacking in teams of this caliber.  They played together knowing that each one of them had a purpose and a job on the team.  They have respect for each other that is deeply embedded, just as we the community, have respect for the coaches and players.
I followed the team to Pocatello with absolute confidence that they would be returning with their second state title.  They’ve learned much, worked hard, and deserved to bring the title home again.  Unfortunately, we know what the ending brought.  You could read it on every face in our crowd; from the coaches, the players and the parents who just watched a dream go down the tubes.  Are we disappointed to have lost the game?  Certainly!  Are we disappointed in the team or the coaches?  Absolutely not!!  They played their hearts out and went down fighting.  My son is 18 years old and I have never seen that much sadness, tears and disappointment on his face until now.  As parents and coaches our hearts break for this team.  Putting aside the “State Title and Trophy” they would have brought home, we wanted this win for them because they deserved the win.   This is a team with many seniors and finishing the year with the trophy would have been the cherry on top of all their successes and literally years of hard work.  We also know that talented athletes remain on the team and will continue to join the team and they too, will be supported like these kids have been supported.  With that said, I guess we can all imagine how Oakley must have felt last year.  We all know that one side comes in first and one side comes in second.  But in our minds and hearts our 2009 Prairie Football Team will always be first.  In our eyes they didn’t “lose” the title.  They played the game.  To think how this team has brought so much pride to our small community is incredible.  Unless you live in our town you can never imagine what this journey has meant to all of us.  Boys and coaches, we are so proud to have had you represent us the way you did. 
As my husband and I were driving home from Pocatello the song “The Dance” (by Garth Brooks) came on the radio.  No truer words could have been spoken at that exact moment and so I will end this with the verse that says it all:
“And now I'm glad I didn't know, 
The way it all would end, the way it all would go.
Our lives are better left to chance, 
I could have missed the pain, 
But I'd have had to miss the dance.”
Well, Prairie Football Coaches, Players, Parents and Fans, we felt the pain but no one would have wanted to miss the dance.  Good luck to the future teams of Pirate Football and to those graduating this year.  We’ve watched you since you were little boys playing in every game on many teams, in many different sports.  You are a group that will be spoken of and remembered for many, many years to come.  You can hold your heads up high and be very proud of your accomplishments.  I know I am so proud of everyone who has built this program from the coaches to the players; parents to the fans, and anyone who has been a part of the program’s success.
Hold your heads up high boys and know that by “missing the pain you would have had to miss the dance” and not one of us would have wanted to miss that dance. You are champions in every sense of the word. 
I am so proud of you!!
Thanks for the ride!!
Cindy Schumacher

Dear Editor,
We would like to let the young men of our beloved football team know how proud we are of them.  Even though the outcome of the game on Saturday was not what we all hoped for, the boys should remember to hold their heads high.  The Prairie football team is an inspiration to not only our community, they are inspiration to many of the surrounding communities.  After all of the years of adversity they faced, to have their current record is a stellar accomplishment. 
We would like to wish our Senior boys all of the best in their future endeavors.  You have done a terrific job over the span of your high school careers.  Each and every one of you will be remembered for years to come for ALL of your accomplishments.  We will miss seeing you out on the field next year.
Thank you to our wonderful coaching staff for all the work you put in each day.  Your dedication to these young men shows at each and every game.  We are fortunate to have such devoted and caring coaches.
The 2009 Prairie Pirate football team will always remain champions in our hearts, as well as the hearts of our community.  Stand proud boys and remember, you are all winners!
AJ and Jackye Roeper

Night shoot final week results
The season has drawn to a close.  We had some of the best shooting a club could ask for this year.  We had a great turnout of teams and great attitudes of shooters. 
We ended up with some clear skies that made for extreme temperatures for all who stood on the line.  Although the wind was brisk and the cold was to the bone, the shooters kept blasting. 
With perfect 25's this week, we had Dan Thompson of NezPerce Construction, Rod Behler of Riener's Grocery, Cole Riggers of Winchester Gun Club and Steve Kaschmitter (sub) for 3 Ol' Farts & 2 Pups. 
The team 3 Ol' Farts & 2 Pups came out on top this year with a 1249.  Closely behind in 2nd place was NezPerce Construction with a 1240.  We had an overall "Top Gun" this year, NezPerce Construction's Dan Thompson with 270 dead birds.  Gary Riener of Riener's Grocery and Kurtis Braun of NezPerce Construction tied for "Runner Up" with 259 dead birds. 
Thanks to all for making this year a great success.  We will see you all next year!

All games  at 7 p.m.  Unless indicated.
  4-Lewis County, there (at Craigmont), won 46-0
11-C.V., there, won 58-8
18-Potlatch, here, won 59-8
25-Timberline, there, won 54-6
  2-Lapwai, here, Homecoming, won 46-0
  9-Genesee, there, won 55-6
16-Troy, here, won 48-0
23-Deary, there, won 48-0
30-Kendrick, here, won 52-6
NOVEMBER (State games)
  6-vs Raft River, won 40-8
13-vs. Wallace, won 54-6
21-Championship vs. Oakley, lost 20-28, finish season 11-1, second in state

JV games start at 6 p.m., varsity to follow unless indicated
*indicates league game
  4-Grangeville, here, Idaho County Shootout, JV 5:00, V 8:00
  8-Lapwai, here
11-Nezperce, here
12-Timberline, there, 4 p.m.*
17-Summit, here
19-Genesee, here, 4 p.m.
22-Potlatch, there, 4 p.m.*
29 & 30-Kamiah Tournament, TBA
  7-Genesee, there*
  9-Culdesac (V only), here 7:30 p.m.
15-Nezperce, there
16-C.V. there, 4 p.m.*
21-Highland, there, JV, C only
22-Kamiah, here, 6 p.m.
23-Lapwai, there*
28-Grangeville, there
29-Deary, there*
  4-Kendrick, here*
  9-Troy, there*
12-Kamiah, there
15, 20, 23 & 25-District at LCSC
March 4-6-State at Boise

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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