Weiser scores 21 unanswered points against South Fremont

Weiser’s No. 23 Tim Reed looks to catch a pass from quarterback Brody von Brethorst during Thursday’s play-in game against the South Fremont Cougars at Holt Arena on the ISU campus in Pocatello. Both teams were playing for the opportunity to go to the 3A state football championships. The Cougars ran over Weiser early in the game, running up the score to 21-0. Weiser mixed up the playbook to make something happen and it did. Logan Wood scored three touchdowns, two rushing and one on a pass reception, to put the Wolverines right back in it with a 21-21 tie at halftime. The Cougars dug deep and pulled out the win with a couple of touchdowns in the second half. Photo by Mandy Hoobery
Weiser fans rode a roller coaster of emotions as they watched their team fall behind by 21 points to South Fremont only to come back in Thursday’s play-in game and tie the score at halftime.
 Despite the tremendous comeback, the Wolverines could not hold off the Cougars and were eliminated from further competition in the 3A state football championships. 
 Weiser got the last score with less than a minute left in the game, but it was not enough and the Wolverines lost 35-28 in a thriller at Holt Arena on the Idaho State University campus. Still, Weiser and first-year head coach Tom Harrison ended the season with a winning record of 5-4.
 Things didn’t go Weiser’s way from the opening kickoff. The Wolverines were unable to get a drive going on their first possession and went three-and-out. Facing fourth down and five yards, Weiser punted the ball to the Cougars.
 During the Cougars’ first possession of the game, quarterback Jace Neville connected with receiver Daylin Duncan, who was all alone behind the Weiser secondary, for a 55-yard pass play that gave South Fremont the ball with first and goal inside the Wolverines’ 10 yard line. 
 The Cougars had their first score of the game when Kyler Yancey ran it in from a yard out with 7:10 left in the first quarter. The sure-handed Yancey had three touchdowns in the game for South Fremont. 
 Weiser’s second possession of the first quarter saw the beginning of a drive as the Wolverines tried to run the ball. Running back Braden Bumgarner got a couple of carries for a few yards. Logan Wood caught a ball for eight yards and a first down for Weiser. 
 Just as Weiser looked to be moving the ball, an aggressive South Fremont defense picked off a Brody von Brethorst pass to turn the ball over at the 48 yard line. A QB keeper by Neville picked up 15 yards for the Cougars, who were again on the march. 
 South Fremont was able to run and pass the ball at will against Weiser early in the game. Neville handed the ball to Tristan Olson, who exploded through a hole in the line to rip off a run of 28 yards up the middle. Yancey got the call and weaved his way into the endzone for South Fremont’s second TD of the first quarter. With 3:45 left in the first quarter, the Cougars were up 14-0.
 Weiser still couldn’t find the answer on offense with a swarming South Fremont defense putting on the pressure. After von Brethorst was sacked for a 10 yard loss, Weiser had to punt away the ball again as the first quarter was winding down.
 The Cougars were on the move again down the field. Neville kept the ball and picked up a first down to Weiser’s 46 yard line. Olsen got the carry, found another big hole in the Weiser defense and scampered for 43 yards.  
 The Cougars found themselves looking at first down and goal as the first quarter ended.
 South Fremont finished the drive early in the second quarter with another give to Yancey, who ran the ball in for his third touchdown with 11:19 left in the second quarter. South Fremont was threatening a blowout with the score 21-0 over Weiser.
 Down by three touchdowns, Weiser’s coaching staff tried to get something going on offense before the game was out of reach.  
 The Wolverines almost pulled off a trick play with von Brethorst passing to Paul Crawford, who threw it down the field but didn’t connect with a receiver.
 Weiser finally found a short passing play that worked well, really well. Von Brethorst hit speedster Logan Wood on a short slant pass pattern in front of the South Fremont secondary. Wood turned on the jets and ran 56 yards for Weiser’s first score of the game with 10:06 left in the second quarter.
 Weiser’s defense stepped up and was able to shut down the South Fremont offense on their next possession. Weiser freshman Brett Spencer was everywhere putting on the pressure and making tackles. 
 After moving the ball, the Cougars were looking at fourth down and three yards to go. A false start by the offense moved the ball back and it was fourth and eight yards for the Cougars. South Fremont’s QB tried to get the first down with a pass that was picked off by Weiser’s Bumgarner. 
 On their next possession, Weiser was hit with a couple of penalties that pushed the ball back. Spencer caught a ball for Weiser on the sideline that moved the sticks and the Wolverines had a first down. 
 Another trick play, a reverse, put the ball in Wood’s arms again and he tip-toed down the sideline for another big 50-yard run and a touchdown. With 3:50 left in the first half, Weiser narrowed the score to 21-14.
 Weiser’s defense stiffened up and there was a perceptible shift in momentum on the artificial turf of Holt Arena. The Wolverines forced South Fremont to punt the ball on their next possession. Spencer, a standout on offense and defense, ran the put return into Cougar territory.
 Weiser Coach Tom Harrison found another trick play to use and it worked. In a double reverse, Crawford passed to Logan who ran the ball down to the 10 yard line. With second and goal, Wood got the carry and ran 10 yards into the endzone for his third touchdown. 
 The game was tied at 21-21 at halftime and Weiser had scored 21 unanswered points on three successive possessions in the biggest comeback for the Wolverines this year.
 The Cougars were not going to roll over with a ticket to round one of the 3A state football championships on the line. With 6:59 left in the third quarter, Olson found a big hole, broke some tackles and ran for 41 yards and a Cougar touchdown. The third quarter ended with South Fremont back in front 28-21.
 With 2:18 left in the fourth quarter, South Fremont’s Neville, on a quarterback option, kept the ball and ran it in for three yards and a touchdown to increase the Cougars lead to 35-21.
 Weiser picked up one more score with 49 seconds left in the game. After moving the ball down the field, Bumgarner got the call and danced six yards into the endzone. The game ended with Weiser on the short end of the score 35-28.
 Weiser put up a respectable 341 yards of offense. Von Brethorst completed 11 of 20 pass attempts for 208 yards and one touchdown. The offense collected 133 yards on the ground rushing against a South Fremont defense that was tough to run against.
 Bumgarner had 10 carries for 30 yards rushing and 35 yards receiving. Wood had seven carries for 71 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns. He had another 65 yards of receiving yards and one touchdown for a total of 136 yards of offense. Crawford caught four passes for 54 yards.  Caleb Harris caught one pass for 40 yards and Tim Reed caught one pass for 13 yards.
 South Fremont had 442 yards of offense. The Cougars had 169 passing yards and 273 yards picked up on the ground, along with five touchdowns. 


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Weiser, ID 83672
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