Freshman team off to 3-0 start
The Mountain Home Tigers freshman football team improved to 3-0 on the season with last week's 40-6 win at Kuna.
The Mountain Home Tigers freshmen opened their season at Jerome on Aug. 28, and appeared in midseason form as they routed Jerome 60-8.
"We came out a little sloppy with some early turnovers and penalties, then really got rolling and went up 40-6 at half-time," said Tiger freshman head coach Rick Suber. "We were fortunate enough to score touchdowns in all phases of the game -- offense, defense and special teams. We were really pleased with our starters, but we were even more pleased with the backups, because they played about 60 percent of the game and really had a good understanding of what we are trying to do scheme-wise."
The Tigers rushed for 209 yards on 28 rushes. Juan Silva led the Tigers with 130 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries. Antonio Tancredi rushed the ball six times for 51 yards.
Mountain Home completed six of nine passes for 103 yards. Tiger starter Jake Hennessey was 2-2 for 37 yards and a touchdown. Alex Rodriguez was 4/7 for 66 yards and a touchdown. Ricky Castillo, Juan Silva and JT Cristobal each caught two passes, Silva and Rodriguez had touchdown receptions.
Anthony Lucas returned a Jerome punt 52 yards for a touchdown. JT Cristobal narrowly missed scoring a touchdown on a punt return, going 62 yards before being tackled just short of the end zone.
Defensively, the Tigers forced eight Jerome turnovers and blocked two punts.
Juan Silva and Jake Kowalawski each recovered fumbles in the end zone for touchdowns.
The MHHS Tigers overcame some pre-game distractions that saw them have to move the game to their practice field at Eastside Park due to a bomb threat at the junior high, but once they got rolling, they cruised to a 47-20 win over the Emmett Huskies freshmen on Sept. 4.
"I thought we played fairly well, considering all the turmoil to start the game off," said Coach Suber. "We were proud of our defense today, as they only gave up one touchdown and relatively few first downs."
No statistical information was available on the Emmett game.
Mountain Home traveled to Kuna last Thursday and had big plays in all aspects of the game to come away with a 40-6 win over the Kuna freshmen.
"We were happy with all phases today," said Coach Suber. "The defense started out by forcing a three-and-out. We scripted our first eight plays and the eighth play put us in the end zone, with all plays gaining yardage. It was our best start of the season.
"We had several big plays on special teams with two blocked punts, a kickoff return for a touchdown and a well executed fake punt for about 25 yards.
"Defensively, we played very well, and our offensive line played their best game to date."
The Tigers rushed the ball 36 times for 143 yards and four touchdowns.
Juan Silva rushed 16 times for 54 yards and three touchdowns. Robert Jackio carried three times for 40 yards, and Antonio Tancredi had seven rushes for 28 yards and a score.
Jake Hennessey completed 9 of 15 passes for 112 yards and had an interception.
Alex Rodriguez was 2/5 for 51 yards and also had a pass picked off. JT Cristobal led the receivers with four catches for 68 yards, Tyler Knauth had four receptions for 55 yards, Juan Silva caught two for 22 yards and Luke Filipovich had one catch for 18 yards.
JT Cristobal ran back a kickoff for 76 yards and a touchdown, and also ran a punt back 68 yards for a touchdown.
Defensively, the Tigers forced three turnovers and blocked two punts.
Coach Suber is pleased with his team's 3-0 start, and attributes it to two major factors.
"First, we had great participation in our summer program. Even though our numbers are kind of low, we had a great majority of our team at spring ball, the I-84 camp, and the preseason Jamboree. We competed against the varsity teams of the schools that came to the I-84 camp and held our own. We went 2-0 at the Jamboree by defeating Minico and Pocatello High. For that, we really have to commend our players and their parents for the generous giving of their time this summer.
"Secondly, we were able to hit the ground running because the lightweight/heavyweight staffs from last season (eighth grade) did such a great job with starting to put in our schemes and giving their thoughts on what worked for them. It was a big help, and we thank them all for that.
"This team has a great attitude and really plays hard. We look forward to the rest of the season and hope to represent Mountain Home as well as possible."