Blocked field goal results in 35-32 Weiser victory

Weiser defenders go around, through, and over the Bulldogs to block a punt on Friday, Nov. 3 in Kimberly. The Wolverines, who are now 10-1 overall and 4-1 in conference play, will travel to Holt Arena in Pocatello this Friday to face Sugar-Salem in a semifinal game. Photo by Danika Ford

Senior Jayden Walker, center, runs up the middle of the Kimberly defense. He recorded 155 yards rushing, including a 75-yard touchdown in the first quarter of the quarterfinal matchup, and a touchdown. Good luck Wolverines. Photo by Danica Ford
Philip A. Janquart
Weiser emerged victorious in a close 35-32 quarterfinal matchup against the Bulldogs in Kimberly on Friday, the game ultimately won in the final seconds.
 Both teams traded blows throughout, but with only seconds left on the clock, Weiser junior defensive lineman Karston Walker broke through the Bulldog line, batting down a 34-yard field goal attempt that, if successful, would have tied the score, sending the game into overtime.
 Weiser (10-1, 4-1) now advances to the semi-final round of the 2023 3A State Football Championships and will travel to Pocatello on Friday to face perennial powerhouse Sugar-Salem at Holt Arena. 
 The game starts at 5:30 p.m. and will be streamed live via the NFHS Network, according to the Idaho High School Athletic Association’s (IHSAA) updated bracket posted on Saturday. 
 Tickets for the game can be purchased through the GoFan webpage. Visit the IHSAA website to find the link.
 A win on Friday would catapult Weiser to the 3A state championship game. The Wolverines would play the winner of the Homedale-Teton game to be played out this Saturday at 1 p.m. in Homedale. 
 The date, location, and time of the 2023 3A Milk Bowl will be determined following semi-final games this weekend.
 Sugar-Salem is 9-0 and 2-0 in the Mountain Rivers Conference, according to, beating Timberlake (6-5) 48-21 in the quarterfinals on Friday, Nov. 3. 
 Weiser last met up with the Diggers at Holt Arena in Pocatello for the 2021 3A State Football Championship game, the Wolverines claiming the title in a nail-biting 34-33 double-overtime victory.
 This season, the Diggers have amassed 406 points and allowed 89. In comparison, Weiser has scored a total of 416 points and allowed 143, according to MaxPreps.
Weiser v. Kimberly
 Weiser was forced to punt in its opening drive to start the game on Friday, with Kimberly acquiring excellent field position after a fumble that was recovered at the Wolverine 15-yard line. 
 The Bulldogs scored three plays later on a 15-yard touchdown run, Kimberly snatching the early 8-0 lead following a successful two-point conversion.
 Senior Jayden Walker, however, later broke the game open on a 75-yard touchdown run. Junior Ryndon Olsen’s point-after narrowed Kimberly’s lead to 8-7.
 On their next defensive series, the Wolverines were able to hold strong on a third-and-goal play from inside the five-yard line, forcing the Bulldogs to attempt a 22-yard field goal. The kick was good, pushing Kimberly’s lead to 11-7 early in the second quarter.
 The Weiser offense began marching down the field from its own 28-yard line on the ensuing series. Seemingly unphased after a 14-yard loss, junior quarterback Kolin Cook connected with senior Brock Spencer for a 29-yard pass completion for touchdown, giving the Wolverines the lead for the first time in the game.
 Olsen’s kick made it 14-11 Weiser in the second quarter, the score remaining unchanged through the end of the half.
 The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter, with senior Kaleb Grove scoring a two-yard touchdown and Spencer breaking out for an 80-yard kick return for touchdown, making it 28-25 Weiser.
 Grove would score next on a 5-yard touchdown run. Olsen’s point-after extended Weiser’s lead to 35-25.
 But Kimberly wasn’t through, hitting back with a 17-yard touchdown reception. The extra point made it 35-32, bringing the Bulldogs to within a field goal of a possible tie and justifying the two-point conversion play early in the game.
 Weiser then began chipping away on the ground, J. Walker ripping off a 45-yard run, but the Wolverines were ultimately forced to punt the ball away.
 With limited time remaining in the game, the Bulldog offense began popping off big plays, of 11, 17, and 13 yards, the Weiser defense finally stopping Kimberly’s drive at the 15-yard line, forcing the 34-yard field goal attempt, which was blocked by K. Walker.
 The Weiser offense had 312 total offensive yards, with 286 of them on the ground. J. Walker led all ball carriers with 155 yards rushing and 1 touchdown. Grove ended the night with 103 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns, according to official stats.
 Cook ended the night completing 3 of 6 passes for 41 yards. Spencer led in receptions with 29 yards on 3 catches. Olsen was 5 for 5 on point-after attempts.
 Junior Kash Cobb led the defense with 9 tackles, 7 of them solo, and 1 sack, followed by junior Luke Sarich who recorded 8 tackles, with 6 solos.
 The Signal American was unable to attend the game and head coach Tom Harrison was not immediately available for comment on Monday before deadline.


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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