Emmett gave undefeated Bishop Kelly its toughest test of the season four weeks ago. The Knights had little trouble with the rematch Friday.
Bishop Kelly rolled to a 28-7 win over the Huskies in the 4A state quarterfinals, riding another big night from its all-state running back and falling 36 seconds short of the shutout.
The win sent the second-seeded Knights (11-0) to the state semifinals for the second straight year, where they will host third-seeded Pocatello (7-2) at 7 p.m. next Friday.
“We were a lot more aggressive and physical than we were in the first game,” Bishop Kelly coach Chris Culig said. “We also played Rakeem (Johnson, 6-3, 250 pounds) and Phil Janquart (6-0, 245) a lot more on defense so we can get bigger.
“And then we got back to more of what we’ve done, which is blitz and bring pressure. We really didn’t do that in the first game.”
[Related: Idaho state football playoff brackets]
Emmett (7-4) remains the only opponent to stay within 24 points of the Knights all season, falling 42-35 on Oct. 6. The Huskies have now done it twice with a 21-point loss Friday. But Bishop Kelly put Friday’s playoff game out of reach in less than 2 minutes of game clock.
Senior Trey Jorgensen blocked a punt just before halftime, setting the Knights up at the Emmett 12-yard line with 53 seconds left in the second quarter. Peter Minnaert then split a stunned defense up the gut on the next play for a 12-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
Bishop Kelly returned to Minnaert to start the second half. After drawing up a new play for him in the locker room, Minnaert broke free for a 60-yard touchdown run on the second play after the break, stretching the lead to 21-0.
Minnaert finished the night with a season-high 22 carries while racking up 175 yards and two touchdowns. The 6-foot, 200-pound senior entered the season expected to put up huge numbers after running for 1,477 yards and 27 touchdowns last fall for second-team All-Idaho honors.
He received limited opportunities as the Knights blew out opponent after opponent this fall, relegating him to the bench. But the Knights needed their workhorse Friday, and he delivered.
“We knew coming into this game that I was going to have a lot more workload, just with the physicality of Emmett’s defense,” Minnaert said. “They’re a very well-coached team, a very disciplined team. We knew that I was probably going to have to play all four quarters tonight, and so I was prepared for that. The offense was prepared for that.”
Emmett held Bishop Kelly to a season-low 28 points in the loss, but the Huskies never seriously threatened again after Minnaert’s long touchdown run, finishing with 202 yards of offense, two turnovers and six punts.
Isaac Brennan ensured Emmett avoided the shutout with a 7-yard touchdown run with 36 seconds left. But the game was long over, and Bishop Kelly had inserted its backups.
“That was the main goal, to be physical,” Jorgensen said. “We were here to make a statement, because the last game our defense didn’t really show up. This game, we had a better game plan and did our jobs.”
EAGLE 17, RIGBY 14
The Mustangs’ defense forced two fourth-quarter interceptions, powering a late comeback and holding off the two-time defending 5A state champs’ upset bid.
Aaron Zrno picked off Montana commit Luke Flowers deep inside Rigby (6-5) territory and returned it to the Trojans’ 8-yard line with 5:32 left. Two plays later, sophomore running back Noah Burnham punched in a 1-yard touchdown to give No. 1-ranked Eagle (10-0) a three-point lead.
Seth Broth then pressured Flowers as Rigby attempted to make a comeback, and Eli Mikita snared a jump ball out of the air with 1:32 left to seal the Mustangs’ trip to the semifinals. They will host Coeur d’Alene next week.
Burnham led Eagle with 112 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries. Quarterback Davis Harsin went 8-for-19 for 131 yards and a TD, and Makeo Sneddon turned three catches into 98 yards and a score.
COEUR D’ALENE 24, ROCKY MOUNTAIN 8
The Vikings avenged a loss to Rocky Mountain earlier this season with a lights-out defensive performance. Coeur d’Alene (8-2) held the Grizzlies to a season-low 131 yards and 2.8 yards per play to advance to the 5A state semifinals, where it will face top-ranked Eagle.
Coeur d’Alene quarterback Caden Symons finished 18-for-24 for 201 yards and two TDs, and Owen Harris ran for 152 yards and a touchdown on 38 carries.
The Vikings held a 24-0 lead after three quarters. Collin Chapman scored Rocky Mountain’s only points on an 11-yard run to open the fourth. Chapman led Rocky Mountain (7-4) with 18 yards rushing, and he went 5-for-6 for 39 yards. Gunnar Thompson also went 4-for-11 for 49 yards with an interception.
HIGHLAND 28, OWYHEE 10
The Rams pitched a second-half shutout at Holt Arena to end Owyhee’s playoff run. No other details were reported. Owyhee’s season ended at 8-3.
HILLCREST 50, SKYVIEW 14
The top-seeded Knights (11-0) had little trouble dispatching Skyview in a 4A quarterfinal, racing out to a 28-0 halftime lead and racking up 537 yards of offense, including 332 rushing yards.
Hillcrest quarterback Peyton King led the onslaught, throwing for 196 yards and two TDs while adding 97 yards and another score on the ground. Treason Keller also ran for 106 yards and two TDs on just seven carries.
Skyview’s Cache Beus finished 14-for-33 for 208 yards and a touchdown in the loss. He also ran for another score, and Dane Bowman added three catches for 89 yards and a score for the Hawks (7-4).
WEISER 35, KIMBERLY 32
The Wolverines (10-1) blocked Bryan Rodriguez’s 34-yard field goal attempt as time expired, securing Weiser coach Tom Harrison his 300th career victory in dramatic fashion in the 3A quarterfinals.
Kimberly (10-1) forced a turnover on downs at its own 7-yard line, then drove 76 yards in 12 plays to set up the field goal. But Weiser made one last stand to return to the semifinals for the third straight year. The Wolverines will face the winner of Saturday’s Sugar-Salem vs. Timberlake game.
Weiser ran for 286 of its 312 yards Friday. Jayden Walker led the assault with 155 yards and one touchdown, and Kaleb Grove added 103 yards and two TDs.
HOMEDALE 28, SNAKE RIVER 0
The Trojans (10-0) pitched their third shutout of the season to advance to the 3A state semifinals for the seventh straight year. Homedale will host Teton (9-1) next week for a spot in the state championship game.
Quarterback Dillon Fine finished 7-for-12 for 117 yards, and he ran for 90 yards and a touchdown. Andrew Marston ran for over 100 yards and two scores, including a 54-yard touchdown run.
MELBA 37, NAMPA CHRISTIAN 21
The Mustangs (8-2) avenged a 36-22 loss at Nampa Christian two weeks ago for the 2A WIC title by running away with a state quarterfinal win on the Trojans’ home field.
Rylan Frank ran for 109 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, and Brendan Svetich added 97 yards on 10 carries. Cutter Beus threw for a pair of first-half touchdowns, and Nate Wellington kicked a 33-yard field goal to give Melba a 17-7 lead at the break.
Melba advances to face the winner of Saturday’s Declo-Grangeville game in the 2A semifinals.