Wolverines blank Badgers 62-6 in first home game of 2023


Senior running back, Kaleb Grove, with ball, scored two touchdowns and carried the ball three times for 43 yards and two touchdowns Friday against the Badgers. Photo by Philip A. Janquart

The Wolverines handed Bonners Ferry a 62-6 loss Friday night in Weiser’s first home game of the season. Senior Finn Dolton, above center, plays one of the most important, yet not often recognized, positions on the team as long snapper. Not everyone has the skill it takes to deliver the ball on target, in a tight, quick spiral, every time, but Dolton gets it done, allowing Wolverine kicker Ryndon Olson the opportunity to make field goals and point-after attempts. Weiser is now 3-0 overall, but has yet to face a conference rival. This Friday Weiser hosts Cole Valley Christian, which is 2-1 on the season. Photos by Keith Bryant
By: 
Philip A. Janquart

Weiser has Cole Valley Christian lined up for this year’s Homecoming game

The score was already 55-6 when junior Weston Black got his shot.

 It was late in the fourth quarter of Friday’s football game against Bonners Ferry, the Badgers having traveled over 400 miles from northern Idaho to face off against the Wolverines at Roy Dickerson Field in Weiser.
 The game had been a runaway, and senior Colby Walker had just pounded the football around the left side for a 15-yard gain and another Weiser first down, one of 17 on the night.
 Now at the 50-yard line, sophomore center Dylann Ashley snapped the ball to sophomore backup quarterback Telsyn Hawker who pivoted and handed it to Black.
 The 5-foot-4, 130-pounder, who is also listed on the roster as a reserve linebacker, exploded past the line of scrimmage and wove a route through the Badger defense that took him up the left side of the field.
 Fans leapt to their feet as he maneuvered past several would-be tacklers and continued claiming real estate to the west.
 He had one man to beat now as he hugged the Weiser sideline. 
A trailing Badger defender angled in from the right and managed to snag a piece of Black’s jersey as the crowd cheered, screaming for him to keep going.
 That might have been the end of the play if Black’s legs hadn’t been churning so fast, his will to keep moving forward overriding all senses. 
 But he made it look easy, brushing the dangling player aside, and clearing a path to the endzone for a 50-yard touchdown run that caused the stadium to erupt in celebration.
 “I got the ball and just got through,” Black said, family and friends surrounding him on the field after the game. 
 “I saw guys in front of me and just scooted around them the best I could,” he said. “One of them grabbed my jersey, so I grabbed his hand and shoved it off. My blockers: that’s the reason I scored because they were blocking for me. My teammates said that’s the fastest I’ve run in a while.”
 And that’s how the majority of the game played out as the Wolverine offense amassed 403 yards of total offense, 216 of them on the ground and 187 through the air. The defense held Bonners Ferry to a total of 138 yards, the Badgers gaining 57 yards rushing and 81 passing.
 On the ground, senior Colby Walker led all Weiser rushers with 3 carries for 52 yards, followed by Black who had 2 for 51 yards. 
 Senior Kaleb Grove, who didn’t have his usual workload Friday night, recorded 3 carries for 43 yards, and junior Kash Cobb had 3 runs for 40 yards. J. Walker added 2 runs for 26 yards.
 Senior Brock Spencer topped the receiving stats, with 3 receptions for 73 yards, followed by J. Walker with 3 catches for 55 yards. Senior Jack Shirts added 1 catch for 31 yards, and C. Walker had 1 catch for 21 yards.
 Junior quarterback Kolin Cook went 9 of 9, passing for a total of 187 yards and 4 touchdowns.
 Tackles were spread out among 18 different Weiser defenders, junior Luke Sarich leading the group with 10, including 8 assists and 2 solo, followed by T. Hawker who had a total of 6 tackles, with 4 assists and 2 solo. Grove and sophomore Cole Ingle both totaled 5 tackles apiece.
 Grove had 2 rushing touchdowns on the night, followed by Cobb and Black with 1 apiece.
 Spencer recorded a total of 2, including a 51-yard punt return for touchdown in the second quarter. Senior Jack Tucker, Jack Shirts, and Colby Walker each caught 1 touchdown pass.
 Kicker Ryndon Olsen launched 5 of his 8 kickoffs into the Bonners Ferry endzone for touchbacks and made good on all 7 point-after attempts. 
 The Wolverine coaching staff seemed to begin substituting players on defense toward the latter part of the first quarter. By then, senior defensive mainstays, defensive end Braden Phillips, and Grove, Weiser’s middle linebacker, had both recorded sacks on Badger quarterback Brody Rice who was forced to scramble under the pressure of the Wolverine defense most of the night, and fumbled the ball twice.
 Staff began substituting offensive players in the second quarter, some of them on the line, but retained Cook at quarterback until halfway through the fourth quarter when Hawker took over.
 “All of our kids can play,” said head coach Tom Harrison, noting that he had brought up several players for Friday’s game.
 “We’ve been playing a lot of kids, a lot of kids from the JV,” he said. “We have over 70 in this program, at least, and that’s quite a bit for a 3A school. We have 40 JV players and we suited up, probably, 35 or 40 players tonight on varsity, so it all worked out and the kids had fun.”
 He continued, “It was a fun night. You look out and see all of these people here: it’s a good atmosphere, a great night for football.”
 He added that Bonners Ferry, located not far from the Canadian border in northern Idaho, suffered big losses this year due to graduation and is essentially rebuilding its program.
 “Their starters were all seniors, except for one: that No. 10. He’s the only returning starter from last year,” Harrison said of running back and defensive lineman Trey Bateman. “They drove all day to get here; they didn’t stay overnight, just drove all the way, so we are grateful they could come down.”
 The Wolverines are 3-0 on the season so far, a fact that triggered a somewhat subdued smile from Harrison.
 “Yeah, it’s one step closer to the goals we are moving toward, and pretty soon, in about two weeks from now, we’ve got conference games coming up, so we’ve just got to keep getting better, stay healthy, and the kids have to keep trusting in what it is that we are doing and the process that we’ve established here; it’s great to be a Wolverine.”
 Weiser’s game against Cole Valley Christian on Friday at 7 p.m. tops off a week of Homecoming activity. 
 Coronation of the king and queen will take place at the high school at 11:30 a.m., followed by a parade at 1 p.m. 
 The route will start at the high school, heading down Pioneer Road to State Street, to Idaho Street and Main Street, ending at Memorial Park where the annual Powder Puff football game will begin immediately following the parade.

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Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
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