As of Tuesday, September 15, 2015
KAMIAH The Kubs’ Whitepine League season opener was a full-on blowout at halftime, but unlike most blowouts, it was feverishly-contested during the second half.
Buried inside a 66-44 final score was a five-touchdown difference at halftime last Friday night, Sept. 11 — and a surge that saw Lapwai bring out a rarely-seen side of the Kubs.
The Wildcats’ defense melted down trying to keep up with Kamiah’s rapid-fire offense during the second quarter, but after Lapwai began to surge, the Kubs switch to a slow-paced, grinding style to finish the game.
Lapwai broke through early in the third quarter, and recovered the first of two successful onside kicks. But after a turnover on downs, Lapwai once again fell behind by five touchdowns.
Kamiah’s offensive line — keyed by Ian Anderson and Lars Kludt — sustained a bruising drive that saw the Kubs shelve their balanced up-tempo offense in favor of huddles, runs on every down and shouts from the sideline: “This is about toughness! This is about knocking people back!”
The shouts came from coach Ryan Ball, who said his team “knew the only way they could get back into it was if we made mistakes.”
The Kubs chewed up six minutes of the third quarter before Parker Whipple broke a 31-yard touchdown run down the middle of the field, sprinting untouched into the defensive backfield, where he spun away from the only tackler who had an angle.
Lapwai scored two quick touchdowns, but Kamiah ended all thought of a comeback with a similar clock-eating drive that began on the last play of the third quarter and ended with Taylor McAlister crashing the end zone with 5:02 remaining.
Kamiah turned the left flank of Lapwai’s defense repeatedly during the first quarter, but the Wildcats completed deep passes that kept the score close, 16-14.
After the Kubs’ pass defense stopped Lapwai on downs deep in Wildcats territory, McAlister’s second touchdown of the night put KHS ahead for the duration.
Spanning the first quarter break, Kamiah put together a 12-play drive that used barely more than three minutes of game clock. The Wildcats had a chance to stop it after KHS had to retreat 15 yards to recover a botched snap, turning a first-and-10 at the Lapwai 35 to first-and-25 near midfield.
Instead, Whipple threw 37 yards to Chris Pethtel for the first of five consecutive scores, which put Kamiah ahead 52-14.
“If we didn’t have a turnover, we would have 45-pointed them,” Ball said.
Coming — Kamiah (3-0) is set to host Clearwater Valley (1-1) for homecoming at 7 p.m Friday night, Sept. 18.