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Boyd lifts Savages over Pirates in non-league showdown

Salmon River's Canyon Harper (21) has been an effective running back for the Savages so far this season, including during their Sept. 9 win over Prairie.

Photo by Andrew Ottoson
Salmon River's Canyon Harper (21) has been an effective running back for the Savages so far this season, including during their Sept. 9 win over Prairie.


Salmon River’s Tucker Boyd had a hand in 18 of the points the Savages scored during their 30-26 win over Prairie Sept. 9.

— Savages quarterback Tucker Boyd threw a touchdown pass, ran for a touchdown and delivered three two-point conversions, all of which had Prairie trailing 30-18 entering the fourth quarter.

The Pirates dodged a bullet when a Salmon River fourth down trick play was called back for a penalty, and PHS promptly capitalized with a touchdown run by Luke Wemhoff with 11 minutes left in the game. The conversion — a pass from Spencer Schumacher to Jake Stubbers — lifted Prairie within striking distance, 30-26. But the Salmon River defense preserved that score for the win last Friday night, Sept. 9.

Late in the contest, the Savages offense sapped the clock with a seven-play series, which Stubbers interrupted with an interception on third-and-long. Prairie advanced to the S-R 25 on an up-tempo, run-heavy drive that stalled into a fourth-and-one at about the 16 yard line. The Savages broke through to drag down a runner behind the line to take over at the 17 with just more than four minutes to go.

Salmon River punted with two minutes left, and PHS advanced to about the opposing 35 before a sack forced their final time out with 1:04 to go. The Savages defense and clock pressure forced a turnover on downs that ended all doubt with 38 seconds left.

PHS came into the game with a key injury — with platoon quarterback Tyson Schlader sidelined with a hand injury sustained during the Pirates' Week 1 win over Genesee — and Prairie's Brandon Anderson went down with an injury late in the first quarter Friday night.

Anderson had opened the scoring by running a short pass from Schumacher 57 yards up the home sideline for a touchdown barely more than a minute into the game.

The Savages answered with Boyd's touchdown run — a four-yarder — which Boyd followed up with a conversion pass to Gabe Gonzalez.

Prairie's second series ended with a fumble, but Salmon River turned it over to the Pirates on downs deep in their own territory. That resulted in a short touchdown by Stubbers, which was good for a 12-8 PHS lead through one quarter.

The Savages scored twice during the second frame, with Canyon Harper blasting in a one-yard run and Devan Branstetter catching a 13-yard touchdown pass from Boyd. Crucially, SRHS converted both tries.

Caleb McWilliams for Prairie and Clayton Shepherd scored during the second half, with the late defensive stand proving Shepherd's the game winner.

The game might have ended earlier if not for the penalty that struck an otherwise successful trick play out of the final statistics. Salmon River called time out and set up a convoluted double-pass on fourth-and-one 10 seconds into the fourth quarter. The play went off perfectly — except for an illegal block — and would have set up the Savages with a first down in Pirates territory with the clock working in their favor.

Coming — Salmon River (3-0) is set to visit Wilder at 7 p.m. MT this Friday, Sept. 16.

Prairie (1-1) is slated to play at Council at 7 p.m. MT this Friday, Sept. 16.


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