POCATELLO, Ida. — Struggling for consistency, Snow Canyon dropped a 27-17 decision to Shelley, Idaho, Friday at the Rocky Mountain Rumble prep football exhibition at Idaho State’s Holt Arena.
The Warriors were forced to wait almost an hour for their game to start when the previous game, Utah’s Pleasant Grove against Idaho’s Rocky Mountain, went into triple overtime. Still, Snow Canyon started well enough.
“We followed the same pattern as last week — get a good start and then struggle to be consistent the rest of the game,” SC coach Mike Esplin said. “If we could play four quarters the way we started the past two games, we’d be pretty good.”
Without starting quarterback Matt Kitchen, the Warriors turned to junior Austin Staheli and he led them to a 10-0 lead in the first nine minutes of the game. Staheli found Tyson Deland, the hero of the Warriors’ upset playoff win over Desert Hills last season, with a 36-yard TD pass to make it 7-0 with less than four minutes played after an early interception by Parker Ence.
The lead grew to 10-0 when Kolton Barber capped a short drive with a 33-yard field goal with 3:20 left in the first quarter.
But the second quarter was all Russets as Shelley scored 21 unanswered in that 12-minute span.
Bryon Leckington, the three-year starter at quarterback for Shelley, got the Russets on the board with a 5-yard run with 9:17 left in the quarter. Less than two minutes later, a Snow Canyon turnover led to a Leckington TD pass to Matt Leal to put SHS ahead 14-10.
It went to 21-10 with 3:26 to go in the half on a 15-yard TD run by Leckington.
The Russets added a TD early in the fourth quarter to make it 27-10. Snow Canyon got another Staheli-to-Deland TD (this time 31 yards) to cut the deficit to 27-17 with 8:28 to play, but could get no closer.
The team statistics were close, with Shelley outgaining Snow Canyon 320-277. Staheli finished 10 of 20 for 122 yards and two TDs. Four players combined for 158 rushing yards for SC: Staheli, Chris Poulsen, Alex Kennedy and Britton Webster.
The Warriors, 0-2, will play their first home game next Friday. In fact, it’s Homecoming at SCHS with the Carbon Dinos coming to St. George.
“We’ve got to get a win and get some things fixed,” Esplin said. “That’s all we can do right now.”
For more stats, quotes and photos, see Saturday Breakdown on STGNews.com.
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