Monday, October 11, 2010


By Mike "Fast Fingers" Uhl

Friday, October 8, 3:30 p.m., the weather is overcast with a chance of showers, temperature is in the mid 70s but getting colder as the game goes on.

It’s a showdown between high-scoring Garden Valley and high-scoring Salmon River. Something’s got to give!

The Savages are led by QB Charlie Shepherd, RB Jake Manley and Ethan Couie. They bring a 6-1 record into the contest and are on a four-game winning streak. Garden Valley has scored at least 50 points in each of their five victories so far. Salmon River just beat Meadows Valley 42-12. Garden Valley scored 54-6 over Meadows Valley on September 17.

The early start time does not seem to affect the players.

The home crowd is gathering, the cheerleaders are ready; the announcer lets the crowd know the starting line ups. The clock is set at 12 minutes for the first quarter. The Ref blows his whistle. The game is on.

Ethan Couie for Salmon River kicks the ball into the end zone.

Wolverines QB Lance Jones starts the game at the 20. He hands the ball to Casey Hileman up the middle for a pick-up of nine yards. The “Horse” Charlie Johnson carries the ball up the gut for 1 yard and the first down. On a sweep to the left, “Hurricane” Casey Hileman picks up 4 yards. On the next play, Casey adds yards. With 9:31 to play in the first quarter, it’s Casey getting a first down. It’s a pitch and 6 more yards. On 2nd and 4, Lance Jones is sacked in the backfield. Now it’s third and long. Casey is running right, takes a pitch from “Stones” Jones for a pick-up 9 yards. Now it’s fourth and short. Salmon River goes off sides and Garden valley gets a first down on a penalty. “GO WOLVERINES!”

At 7:03 in the quarter, Charley Johnson takes the ball off the left side and runs, runs, runs to pick up a first down. On second down and 3 yards to go, Salmon River’s Ethan Couie tackles Hileman for a loss of three. Garden Valley QB tries a pass on the flat, it falls incomplete. Score still Garden Valley 0, Salmon River 0. With 5:45 to play in the quarter, the Wolverines are driving on a pitch to RB Hileman, he picks up 8. On the next play, Nathan “Dynamite” Updike catches a pass. Now it’s first down, 10 yards to go. It’s the “Horse” up the middle to the 1-yard line. At 4:30, Casey Hileman takes the ball down the left side of the field to cross the goal line for 6 points. Extra point try not good. Garden Valley 6, Salmon River 0.

Salmon River takes the kickoff up the field. The Savages are trying but the Garden Valley defense lead by Charley Johnson will have none of that. It’s four and out. The Wolverines take over on downs. QB Jones hits Hileman on a screen pass to pick up another first down. On a quick trap, the Horse picks up 3. Next, Casey Hileman gains positive yards. On a sweeper, # 20 takes a pitch but Salmon River’s McCoy Hill stops the play. Now it’s fourth and 8. The Wolverines cannot get those 8 yards. With 48 seconds til the end of the first quarter, the Savages run up the middle but are met by Charley Johnson and the rest of the defense, who swarm to the runner. Eric Klobetanz tries again for a short gain on a hard stop by “Bam Bam” Jones, as the quarter ends. Score: Garden valley 6, Salmon River 0.

Salmon starts the second quarter, it’s third and 7 when quarterback Shepherd hits Jake Manley over the middle to pick up a first down. On the next two plays, Zach Root and Charley Johnson stop the drive. Now it’s fourth down and the Savages Raymond Ream punts to #20 Casey “Hurricane” Hileman. “Wheels” takes the ball 70 yards down the right sideline, outrunning the whole Salmon River team to score 6 points. Again, extra points try no good. Score: Garden Valley 12 and Salmon River 0.

With 10:28 to play in the quarter, Garden Valley kicks to Andrew Cox, who is stopped by Charley Johnson. On the 35-yard line, QB Shepherd pitches the ball to Klobetanz going right, but “Mad Dog” Fairburn and the “The Hurricane” and “The Horse” stop the runner. Now Jake Manley gets the ball but “Dynamite” Updike and “Bone Crasher” Bass stop the runner. It’s 8:26 till the half. It’s a pitch from Shepherd to Manley and a pass from Couie to pick up a first down. Now it’s Manley up the middle to gain 4. Kavik “Mad Dog” Fairburn makes a great tackle: 170 pounds stops 210 pounds. On the play, Salmon River’s running back Jake Manley runs up the middle to score 6 points. It’s now 7:06 to play in the first half. Again, it’s Manley around the right to add 2 points to make the score. Garden Valley 12, Salmon River 8.

The Savages kick to freshman, J.D. “Speedy” Fuhriman. He catches the ball running to the right and makes it to the 33-yard line.

Garden Valley tries an end-a-round but Dylan Bass is stopped for a loss of yards. Next, it’s “The Horse” up the middle, picking up yards. An incomplete pass and Salmon River takes over on downs. On the next three plays, it’s Manley with a gain of 5 and Manley picks up 1 and Manley is running everywhere. Zach Root and Charley Johnson and Dylan Bass are stopping “The Beast” Jake Manley. At 4:37 it’s third and 4 yards to go. QB Shepherd hands the ball to #33 Jake Manley, who bulls his way around the left side and runs to the end zone to score 6 points. Savages QB passes to Andrew Cox in the right corner of the end zone to add 2 points, making the score Salmon River 16, Garden Valley 12.

Salmon tries on side kick but they do not count on Nathan “Dynamite” Updike, who recovers the ball at the 30-yard line.

Garden Valley’s QB Lance Jones will try to get the offense going. It’s a pass and then he runs around the left side for a good gain. It’s a pass to Updile that falls incomplete. It’s now fourth and short. Charley “The Horse” goes full steam up the middle but Manley and Couie stop him just short of a first down. Salmon River takes over on downs.

It’s now 4:16 till the half. Manley is stopped by Updike and Hileman. Next, QB Shepherd tries to run, Updike and Juno “The Law” Lawler stop him for no gain. Now it’s third and long. Savages throw an incomplete pass. On fourth and long, a pass to Cox gets Salmon River a first down. It’s 2:21, Manley gets a short gain, but a major holding call now makes it first and 20. A handoff to Couie picks up yards. 1:25 on the clock, everyone on the Garden valley sideline believes that “Bam Bam” Jones recovers the ball. The Ref calls it an incomplete pass. It’s now 1:11. Shepherd tries a pass to Couie down the left side of the field, the ball falls incomplete. It’s 1:04 till the half and it’s fourth and long. Again, QB Shepherd puts the ball up, he is shooting for the far corner of the end zone. Wolverines captain Casey Hileman is in the area, he leaps up and almost intercepts the pass but knocks the ball away from receiver Ethan Couie. Salmon River’s Couie pushes, hits Casey Hileman hard in the head. He is flagged for a 15-yard personal foul.

IN MY PERSONAL OPINION: I do not express my opinion covering a football game very often, but I could not stand by and say nothing.

This is what I saw in the last one minute of the first half. I was on the side lines of the north side of the field (west zone Salmon River side). I was covering the games (high up, standing on a car), taking notes so I could write this article.
I saw Salmon River’s #60 Ethan Couie hit Casey Hileman in the head after Casey almost intercepted a pass meant for Couie. His action was uncalled for. Mr. Couie should have been ejected from the game for a flagrant personal foul and unsportsmanlike conduct. He was flagged for a personal foul but was allowed to keep on playing. Maybe he should be called “Hatchet Man”, not Ethan Couie. That was a stupid thing for the player to do. If someone almost intercepts a pass meant for you, you do not strike the other player. You try to find a way to get open the next time and make the catch.

Then Salmon River Head Football Coach, Charlie Shepherd, ran onto the field, to the cheers of the Salmon River faithful on the sidelines. Coach Shepherd is standing in the middle of the playing field, yelling at the head official for calling the personal foul on his player. This is totally wrong and what kind of lesson does this teach his players? Well, Mr. “Hatchet Man” Couie learned it very well. The coach should have been ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct. He is an adult and a coach and should set an example. This is all I will say on the matter.

Now back to the game. Garden Valley takes over on downs, with 57 seconds to play. QB Jones pitches to Hileman, he almost picks up a first down. As the scoreboard clock reads 50 seconds to play, Hileman takes a pitch to the right side and picks up a first down. With 43 seconds to the half, Jones tries a pass to Hileman, it falls incomplete and stops the clock. Now 39 seconds, and a pass to Updike is incomplete. Only 34 seconds to play in the half, a pitch to Hileman going right, he does not pick up the first down. With just 2 seconds, QB Jones is tackled in the backfield by Ethan Couie, as time runs out.

Half Time Score: Garden Valley 12, Salmon River 16.

The second half starts as Garden Valley kicks to Salmon River; the ball rolls into the end zone for a touch-back. Ball comes out to the 20 and that is where the Savages start on an 18-play drive that eats up almost 10 minutes of the third quarter. Guess what? Salmon River cannot score. Garden Valley defense of Casey Hileman, Juno “The Law” Lawler, Charley “The Horse” Johnson, Chad “Bam Bam” Jones, Cody “Cobra” Zeff, Dylan “Bone Crasher” Bass, Kavik “Mad Dog” Fairburn, Lance “Stones” Jones and others will not let the Savages into the end zone.

All this is even before the Wolverines get a chance to go on offense. Now it’s 2 minutes to play in the quarter, Hileman takes a pitch to the left and picks up 5 yards. On the next play, Hileman runs to get a first down. Then Salmon River recovers a fumble. With only 59 seconds, Manley picks up a first down, going up the middle. A holding call on the Savages makes it first and 20 with 49 seconds on the clock. It’s a direct snap to Manley, who is hit by Charley “The Horse” Johnson, who makes him lose the ball. Salmon River recovers the fumble and is called for off sides. This ends the third quarter, with the score Salmon River 16, Garden Valley 12.

The Savages still have the ball. They line up in the wildcat formation, they throw the ball down the field. Casey “Hurricane” Hileman makes a one-hand interception and runs down the right sideline and is pushed out-of-bounds. With 9:23 to go in the game, Garden Valley goes on a six-play drive. Salmon River bats the ball out of the hands of Dylan Bass on a fourth down play that falls incomplete. Salmon River takes over on downs.

Manley runs to the left and then a pass to Cox is completed. Hileman is charged for a face mask on the play. Next, Manley picks up 7 and is stopped by #99 Johnson. Manley gets a first down but is stopped by “Bone Crasher” Bass and “The Horse” Charley Johnson. Now the ball is on the 44-yard line. “The Hurricane” stops the runner for a loss in the backfield. Manley picks up 4 on the next play and QB Shepherd tries to keep the ball but he is met hard by Johnson of the Wolverines defense for a loss. Now it’s fourth and 6. Shepherd drops back like he is going to pass. It’s a fake and he runs forward but he does not fool Juno “The Law” Lawler and “The Horse” Charley Johnson, who stay put for a loss of yards for the Savages. Garden Valley takes over on downs with 5 minutes to play.

Hileman takes the ball up the middle, cuts to the left and is finally stopped by Salmon River’s Klobetanz. On the next play, a pitch results in a loss of 2. Now it’s second and 12, 4:16 to play, QB Jones gets positive yards. Now it’s third and 9, a pitch to Casey picks up 5. It’s fourth and 4, Wolverines hand the ball to their running back “Hurricane” Hileman, who picks up a first down.

Now with 3:18 to play in the game, it’s first and goal. Hileman is hit and stuffed by Salmon River. A holding penalty on the Wolverines moves the ball back 5 yards. With 2:51 on the clock, a pitch to Casey is cut down short of the goal line. Now it’s second and goal, a pass to Hileman is knocked down by Manley. On third down and goal to goal, it’s Hileman up the middle, stopped after a short gain. 1:16 to play, fourth down goal to goal, Jones tries a pass to Bass in right corner of the end zone, it is knocked away by a Savage defender. Salmon River takes over on downs with 1:10 to play in the game. They take a knee three times in a row to run out the clock. FINAL SCORE: Salmon River 16, Garden Valley 12. Game ends at 5:30 in the afternoon.

Next Game is October 15: Garden Valley travels to Council for a 7 p.m. night game. Hope the Garden valley faithful will be able to make the game.

Photos, Top to Bottom: 1. The Wolverines were hard to take down. 2. The game had mom Wolverine Linda Bass, Superintendent Mike Tomlin and County Commish Jamie Anderson in its grip. 3. Sportswriter Mike Uhl writes like a madman. 4. The Burger Kings--Support your PTO.
5. Crouch Ambulance Guardians Donna Sevilla and Mike Butler. 6. It was a good game, no one hurt and we all had an exciting afternoon due to these guys!


  1. Thanks Mike Uhl and Angel...It's always so refreshing to head out to the field and watch the boys. Great play by play -- and the team works so hard -- it's nice to have such upbeat recognition about school activities. p.s. I agree that big ol' number 60 should have been ejected, and I am very impressed and proud of the sportsmanship exhibited by our Wolverines.

  2. Ethan Couie is a great person. Perhaps if the officiating had been more balanced then that kid would not have become frustrated enough to push another player. While I don't condone his actions, it was not as out of the blue as you seem to think. You are entitled to your own opinion, but so am I, and my opinion is that you have no business assigning Couie the nickname "hatchet man". I'm going to venture onto a limb and assume that you've never had a conversation with him, and to disparage any kid by labeling them a thug and unscrupulous hitman is unethical. Name slinging does not make you appear noble; it makes you come down to the level that you are incorrectly suggesting that Couie and the SR coach inhabit. That said, I hope that the SR football team, and their "hatchet" wielding coach go on to kick the tails of the Wolverines if/when they meet in the post season.