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Idaho Enterprise

Dragons notch first home win of season!

Caleb Matthews on the bottom, Hunter Wray and Timmy Jensen on the top of the tackle

The MHS football field was all abuzz Friday, September 1 as the Dragons celebrated their first home victory of the season as they defeated the Ririe Bulldogs.  In their second win of the season, Coach Coby Crozier is seeing a lot of hard work, progress and results as his team continues to play through the challenges this season.

 From the kickoff of the first quarter, the Malad Dragon football team was full of intensity and aggression as they moved up and down the field, both offensively and defensively.  Before the end of the first quarter, the Dragons led the game on the scoreboard with the first touchdown of the game by Brady Showell after a 64 yard pass from quarterback Braylen Tripp.  Also in the first quarter, Showell scooped up a Malad forced fumble, covering 50 yards before scoring another MHS touchdown that was unfortunately called back, by what the fans considered an official error.  Despite the touchdown being called back, the Dragons knew there was plenty of game yet to play with plenty of time for more opportunities at the goal line.

Malad scored again in the second quarter as Tripp and Showell connected in the air with a pass once again.  After securing the ball, Showell put on the speed, finding his way to the endzone clear after passing the final two Ririe defenders.  Offensively, the Dragons totalled 216 yards, 64 rushing and 152 passing.  Coach Crozier commented, “Ririe blitzed a lot the entire game which made it hard to get the run game going, which forced us to go to our pass game.  It turned out to work for us after we settled into it and we were able to get some running in.”  

 Contributing to the offensive drives and the teams total yards were Tripp throwing for 152 yards, Ryan Hubbard with 40 yards rushing and 87 yards receiving, Showell with 64 yards receiving, and Timmy Jensen with 12 yards rushing.  Tripp’s success throwing must be in part credited to his offensive line that successfully held off the relentless Bulldog defense, giving him time to find and connect with his receivers downfield.  Talking about his offense, Coach Crozier said, “We had the ball only four times the entire game, but our kids were able to do their job with the time they had.”

While it was the offense putting points on the scoreboard, it was the Dragon defense that really won the Friday night game.  Ririe did well to draw out their long drives, demanding an even greater presence of the Malad team.  The powerhouse of the defense was found in what announcer Jeff Richins named “the wall full of Dragons.”  Play after play, the MHS defensive line made it impossible to make any forward progress through the middle of the field, forcing poor passes, hurried pitches and runs to the outside.

The Bulldogs did find moments of success breaking out downfield, but such success was short lived as the Dragon backfield ably cut short the Bulldog rushing.  With nearly a minute left in the 3rd quarter, Ririe capitalized on an opportunity to slip into the endzone after a long offensive drive, bringing the score to Malad 12, Ririe 8.

Moving into the fourth quarter, the Dragon defense turned up their intensity, with several players making big tackles.  Jensen made a big stop as the Bulldogs attempted another run on a fourth down, making it Malad’s ball on at the Ririe 25 yardline and what would be their only offensive drive of the quarter.  

As the clock ticked down, the Bulldogs had high hopes of scoring another touchdown to take the game as it came down the wire.  They slowly marched to the endzone, gaining just enough yards to move the chains down the field.  The Dragons were sure they had cut the drive short as the game clock showed a little more than two minutes left.  But as the chains were called on to the field to measure, the Bulldogs had managed just enough for another first down.  Undeterred, the Dragon wall took to the line again.  As the Ririe was 2nd and 5, Hunter Wray accompanied by Sawyer Poulsen came charging through to stop the drive up the middle on the quarterback keep.  

Desperate to make some ground, Ririe called a quick timeout to devise a plan that the Malad defense easily foiled.  With just seconds left on the clock and only 14 yards from the endzone, the Bulldog quarterback threw the ball towards the end zone, but the ball went down incomplete.  Taking another attempt at the play on their 4th down, Ririe sent another pass to their receiver in the backfield, only to find a Dragon defender there to bat the ball out of his hands and stop the drive completely.  The Malad offense took to the field just long enough to snap the ball, take a knee and let the clock run out with the final score, 12-8.

The Dragon football team next looks to take on the North Fremont Huskies in Ashton on Friday, September 8 with the JV game beginning at 4:30 pm.

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