From the Logan Herald Journal, via AP
By Mike Henneke, Idaho Falls Post Register
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Preston’s thrill ride of missed opportunities was never more apparent during its season-ending 44-25 loss to Bonneville on Thursday night.
The Indians came out with swagger, scoring first, and appeared to move the ball effortlessly at times against the Bees.
With 22 seconds left in the first half, Courd Jones scored from 11 yards out to put the Indians ahead 18-12.
Just like that, everything fell apart.
Set up by a reverse, Bonneville quickly moved the ball down to Preston’s 45-yard line. With three seconds left on the clock, Bees quarterback Tanner Smith rolled to his right looking toward the end zone. With pressure looming, he released the ball to a waiting Tyson Craig at the back of the end zone. Facing single coverage, Craig jumped for the ball and managed to come down in bounds.
Smith racked up 349 yards passing on just 17 completions.
“Football is a game of momentum, and we gave them momentum,” Preston head coach Nick Hyde said.
And sadly for the Indians (2-7, 1-4), that’s kind of how much of the season has gone.
“We had opportunities and we let them slip,” Hyde said. “And that’s been the story of our season.”
With the game tied at 18, Bonneville (6-3, 3-2) began the second half with a methodical 10-play, 79-yard drive. Preston managed to respond, but it was too little, too late. Bonneville scored 20 points in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
The Indians had no answer for Bonneville’s offense as the Bees got scoring from a variety of sources. Bonneville head coach Fred Armstrong had high praise for Craig after the game and said he should be a lock for the district’s Defensive Player of the Year.
“Tonight was the best game I’ve seen a high school kid play,” Armstrong said.
But Craig, who picked off two passes, got a couple of sacks and did everything but sell popcorn, had plenty of help.
Lincoln Clayton helped establish the running game for Bonneville with most of his 144 yards rushing coming in the second half.
“We wanted to establish the run,” Armstrong said.
The Indians, who were gambling on stopping Clayton, also had to worry about containing wide receiver Scott Simmons, and they didn’t. He had nine receptions for 208 yards and two touchdowns.
Preston quarterback Austin Smellie competed 16 of 32 passes for 226 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The sophomore also threw a pair of interceptions. Dallin Fryar hauled in a 48-yard TD bomb from Smellie, while Preston Hobbs’ 11-yard TD reception trimmed the Indians’ deficit to 31-25 in the fourth quarter.
Kaden Cole, who finished with 42 yards rushing and 61 yards receiving, scored Preston’s other touchdown on a 13-yard first-quarter scamper. Jones led the Indians with 70 yards rushing on just eight carries, while Fryar finished with a team-best 96 yards receiving on four catches.
Cole, Fryar and Derek Fryar all intercepted passes for the Indians. Preston’s defense accounted for an impressive 27 turnovers in nine games this season.
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