Wallace Prairie dispatched the top team in District I with little resistance from previously unbeaten Wallace, thanks to a big day from quarterback Jake Bruner last Saturday, Nov. 9.
During the course of a 46-0 romp, Bruner struck for four touchdowns including three through the air: a 15-yarder to Isaiah Shears, which opened the scoring; a 49-yarder to Lucas Arnzen, and a 52-yarder to Tyler Hankerson. Bruner also punched in a one-yard run.
Hunter McWilliams broke a 48-yard run and ended the game early with an 8-yarder during the third quarter.
Wallace’s regular season slate had included lopsided wins over Kootenai, Kamiah and Lapwai.
Coming — The Pirates will square off with a familiar foe — undefeated Troy — at 7 p.m. on Friday night, Nov. 15, at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow.
The Trojans have outscored their opposition 543-90, and had not allowed double-digits before Prairie put up 28 during a turnover-riddle Pirates loss in late October.
Prairie has scored 474 points during the same span; the Pirates offense produced fewer than 30 only once — and that was at Troy.
Of the 167 points Prairie has allowed thus far, Troy scored nearly a third (53) during the meeting between the Whitepine League’s top teams three weeks ago.
Since that game, during which Trojan standout Cody Self sustained a knee injury, Troy’s performances have included an 80-30 drubbing of Lapwai and a 48-20 thrashing of Genesee. Self, usually in at quarterback and defensive back, was limited during those games and told the Lewiston Tribune he was “feeling really good” after the quarterfinal against Genesee, during which he completed two of eight passes and, according to the Cottonwood Chronicle’s Greg Wherry, did not play on defense. Self’s status notwithstanding, Prairie’s defense will have a challenge dealing with a couple of brutes in the Trojan backfield: Zach Bafus and two-way playmaker Kellen Hoskins.
Prairie’s offense — keyed by Bruner under center, a grip of running backs headed by junior Lucas Arnzen, and a handful of receiving threats including Shears, Hankerson and junior Rhett Schlader — moved the ball effectively at times during the first encounter between the teams. Their efforts were undone by turnovers, which Troy coach Rob Bafus had predicted would decide the game.
If the Pirates take better care of the ball the second time around, they may wind up representing the north in the 1AD1 title game.
It would be Troy’s second title game appearance in a row.