Pirates edged by Salmon River 32-36
The Prairie Pirates gave the defending 1-A Division 2 state champion Salmon River Savages a tough battle but came up short in a 32-36 loss Friday, Sept. 6 at Cottonwood.Casey Danly returns an interception that helped set up Prairieís 2nd touchdown of the game.
It was the season opener for the Pirates while the Savages had drubbed defending 1A-Division 1 champion Kamiah a week earlier.
It looked like Prairie might win it late in the game when a controversial penalty was called on what would have been a first down play that would have allowed the Pirates to run out the clock.
Prairie had just stopped a long Salmon River drive at their 12 yard line that let them hang on to their 32-30 lead. On a third down and 12 play the Pirates ran a screen play with quarterback Jake Bruner passing to Calvin Hinkelman. The ball tipped off Hinkelmanís hands right to lead blocker Dakota Wilson, who caught the ball and carried out to about the 25 for what would have been a first down. Once the ball is tipped by a legal receiver itís okay for a lineman to catch the ball. What the call was though was a lineman downfield. Wilson was across the line, which is okay if the pass is made to a receiver behind the line of scrimmage. The referee maintained that Hinkelman was also across the line, making for the penalty. A screen pass is intended to be completed behind the line of scrimmage with blockers clearing the way for a possible big gain.
The penalty set Prairie back to the 5 yard line and Brunerís third and 13 pass was intercepted at the 45.
Salmon River took over with a little more than 2 minutes left and drove down for the go-ahead score, which came with 55 seconds remaining.
Prairie had one more chance but came up a yard short on a fourth down pass play and Salmon River then ran out the clock.
It was a tough ending to what was a great game.
Salmon River started the scoring off after a 35 yard punt return set them up at the Prairie 28. 6 plays later Salmon Riverís do-everything quarterback, Leighton VanderEsch went in from the 1 and then added the 2-pointer to make it 0-8.
Prairie answered right back with a 14-play 80-yard drive that featured runs of 15 yards by Lucas Arnzen and 20 yards by Hunter McWilliams. 
Prairie scored on a fourth down play from the 4 yard line as Bruner found Isaiah Shears wide open in the end zone. Bruner then passed to Rhett Schlader for the 2-pointer to tie the score at 8-8.
Rhett Schlader jukes away from the defender on the ground and was able to get to the end zone before #11 could make a play on the 1st of his 2 TDís on the night.Prairie stopped Salmon Riverís next possession when Casey Danly intercepted VanderEschís pass at the 50 and returned it to the 35.
Two plays later Bruner underthrew a pass to Schlader who came back for double coverage to make the catch at the 7 and then managed to get past the defenders into the end zone for the score. The 2-point try failed but Prairie had taken a 14-8 lead.
Salmon River went almost exclusively to the pass on their next possession with VanderEsch passing on 7 of 8 plays. A pass interference penalty on Prairie also contributed as the Savages took the ball 65 yards for the tying score then went ahead when they converted the 2-point try.
Prairie had to take over at their own 9 on their next possession after an illegal block was called on the kickoff return. 
A 12 yard run and 2 plays later a 14 yard reception, both by Arnzen, moved Prairie out to the 38.
At that point a holding penalty 9 yards deep in the backfield set them back to the 19. Prairie overcame that in one play as Bruner connected with Shears over the middle for 32 yards.
Two plays later Bruner again connected with Shears who was wide open along the left sideline. Shears was able to take the ball the distance for a 49 yard scoring play. The 2-point try had again failed but Prairie had retaken the lead at 20-16.
On the ensuing kickoff VanderEsch fumbled the ball at the 31 with kicker Jake Rowland recovering for Prairie.
After 2 plays netted just 1 yard Bruner rolled out to the left then got rushed by the defense and rolled back to the right. The defenders all pulled up to the line anticipating him having to run. Meanwhile Schlader was all alone 25 yards downfield. Bruner spotted him and threw him the ball for a 30-yard touchdown pass. The 2-point try again failed but Prairie led 26-16 with 1:05 left in the half.
On Salmon Riverís ensuing possession a high snap led to a 23 yard pass as Danly sacked VanderEsch on the play.
The end of the half probably couldnít have come at a worse time for the Pirates who had all the momentum on their side. The halftime break allowed the Savages to regroup and they came out strong in the third quarter.
The Savages received the second half kickoff and took just 3 plays to score with VanderEsch breaking free for a 55 yard scoring run. With the 2-point conversion Salmon River quickly cut the lead to 26-24.
Prairie was forced to punt and the punt attempt was shanked out of bounds after going only 7 yards downfield.
Salmon River took over at the Prairie 41 and sticking solely to the ground game out of a deep single wing formation where the tailback sets up 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage, the Savages needed 9 plays to score and retake the lead. For the first time their 2-point try failed but they still led 26-30.Isaiah Shears was wide open on the left side after catching a pass and wound up taking it 49 yards for a touchdown. At right is Matthew Schwartz.
Prairie answered back with a 75 yard drive where they alternated running and passing plays. All out of the shotgun spread formation. Bruner completed 5 of 7 passes in the drive with the last completion being a 22 yarder to Arnzen that set up first and goal at the 2. McWilliams went up the middle on the next play for the go-ahead touchdown. The 2-point try again failed but Prairie had a 32-30 lead.
Prairie tried an onside kick but Salmon River recovered at their 49. 
Sticking to the single wing with VanderEsch as the deep back, Salmon River moved down to the 10 yard line where a holding penalty set them back. An 8 yard run and 3 incomplete passes later Prairie took over on downs at the 12 setting up the events detailed earlier.
Prairie wound up outgaining Salmon River 363 to 315 in total yards. The scoring difference came down to the success on 2-point conversions as each team had the same number of touchdowns.
Prairie had 98 yards rushing on 31 attempts with Hinkelman gaining 42 yards on 10 carries. McWilliams had 39 yards on 9 carries and Arnzen had 25 yards on 8 carries.
Bruner was 17 for 26 passing with 1 interception for 265 yards.
Shears caught 7 passes for 121 yards while Schlader caught 5 for 85, Arnzen 4 for 60 and Hinkelman 1 for Ė1 yard.
VanderEsch gained 137 yards rushing on 26 attempts as Salmon River had 187 yards rushing on 40 attempts. 
VanderEash completed 8 of 17 passes with 1 interception for 98 yards. Jimmy Shepherd was 1 for 1 for 30 yards.
Leading tacklers for Prairie were Mason Dalgliesh and Joseph Halligan with 4 each with Tanner Ross adding 3 tackles. Danly had an interception and a sack.
With the loss Priarie is 0-1 on the season. This week they host Genesee in their league opener Friday night at 7 p.m. 
Salmon River   8   8 14 6 -36
Prairie             0 26   0 6 -32
S-VanderEsch 1 run (VanderEsch run) 5:21 1st
P-Shears 4 pass from Bruner (Schlader pass from Bruner) 11:11 2nd
P-Schlader 34 pass from Bruner (run failed) 7:24 2nd
S-Hale 12 pass from VanderEsch (Shepherd pass from VanderEsch) 4:49 2nd
P-Shears 49 pass from Bruner (pass failed) 2:06 2nd
P-Schlader 30 pass from Bruner (pass failed) 1:05 2nd
S-VanderEsch 55 run (Hale pass from Shepherd) 10:37 3rd
S-VanderEsch 1 run (run failed) 3:47 3rd
P-McWilliams 2 run (pass failed) 10:01 4th
S-VanderEsch  run (pass failed) 0:55 4th
Calvin Hinkelman gains yardage against Salmon River. Blocking behind him is Isaiah Shears, #4.
Jake Bruner gets a pass off early in the Salmon River game. #6 is Dakota Wilson.
Lucas Arnzen carries the ball early in the Salmon River game.

All games  at 7 p.m. 
  6-Salmon River, here, lost 32-36
13-Genesee*, here
20-Kendrick, here, Homecoming
27-Lapwai*, there
  4-C.V.*, there
11-Kamiah*, there
18-Lakeside, there
25-Troy*, there
  1-Potlatch*, here
  8-Kibbie Dome, TBA
15-Kibbie Dome, TBA
22or 23-Championship, TBA
*League game
If youíre wondering about the 5 straight road games on the football schedule, the CV game wouldíve been a home game this year but it will be there since last yearís game was moved to Cottonwood due to heavy smoke in the Kooskia area.

16-C.V., here, 6 p.m.
23-Lapwai, there, 6 p.m.
30-C.V., there, 6 p.m.
  7-Kamiah, there, 6 p.m.
14-Salmon River, there, 6 p.m.
21-Troy, there, 6 p.m.
28-Kamiah, 6 p.m.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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