POCATELLO — Dave Spillett’s postgame message to his team was simple: We have plenty to work on, but enjoy the win.
Spillett’s Pocatello Indians showed some flaws Thursday night, but still racked up 43 points en route to a 43-28 win over Canyon Ridge at Holt Arena.
“I’m really happy that we were able to come out and not play perfect and still win by those numbers,” Spillett said. “It means we’re getting better. We’re far from where we want to be, but right now, we’re doing enough to win football games.”
PHOTOS: Pocatello-Canyon Ridge football
Poky’s offense was led by quarterback Jadyn Downs, who was busy yet again as the Indians’ go-to threat. The senior completed 18 of 33 passes for 271 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions, and tacked on 24 yards rushing and a TD on 11 carries.
Downs also played cornerback, held for kicks and, after an injury to Poky kicker Matt Christensen, handled extra-point duties, going 3 for 3 on PATs.
“We ask him to do just about everything, and he does it really, really well,” Spillett said. “We’re lucky to have a guy like him.”
Downs and the Indians (3-3, 0-1 4A District 4-5 East pod) scored 23 points in the second quarter to build a 29-8 halftime cushion. Downs had a hand in all three second-quarter scores, tossing two touchdowns to Jaxon Williams and another to Casey Bruner.
Canyon Ridge (1-5, 1-0 4A District 4-5 West pod) rallied to inch within 36-21 early in the fourth quarter, but Downs’ 1-yard run with 5 minutes, 11 seconds left in the game put Poky back up by three touchdowns.
Running back Bam Kondracki, who rushed 33 times for 188 yards and two touchdowns, kept the Riverhawks breathing. Canyon Ridge force-fed him the ball, even with time running out in the fourth, and Kondracki kept churning out yards and first downs.
Canyon Ridge also got a special teams touchdown to dampen Poky’s sparkling outing. River Osen took a kick 88 yards to the end zone to close the third quarter.
To spoil the win further, the Indians suffered multiple key injuries.
Christensen, who caught Downs’ first pass of the game and has pulled double duty as a wide receiver and kicker this season, was carted off the field in the second quarter. Spillett said Christensen injured his wrist and ankle on the same play — a snap got away from Downs on a PAT and Christensen scooped it up, scrambled, twisted and heaved a pass 25 yards to Jarrett Lindley in the end zone for a 2-point conversion. Christensen’s heroics were quickly overshadowed by his injuries, which stopped the game for several minutes.
Pocatello also lost Lindley, a linebacker/running back, in the third quarter. The senior stayed on the turf after gaining 3 yards on a handoff and was helped off the field, avoiding any pressure on his right leg.
“I think Jarrett’s going to be OK. I don’t know the extent of everything, but I think he’s going to be OK,” Spillett said. “Matt’s going to have a little bit tougher of a road with his ankle and his wrist, but man, he’s a tough kid. ... Tough kid and we love him.”
Lindley led Poky’s rushing attack with 32 yards on eight carries. Downs and Ryan Payne each added a 1-yard TD. Payne was Downs’ top target, hauling in seven passes for 29 yards. Bruner’s 85 yards receiving led the team. Zach Park caught Downs’ first TD toss of the game and nearly had another in the fourth quarter, finishing with 51 yards on three catches. Adam Jones led the defense with two interceptions, and handled kickoff duties after Christensen’s injury.
Pocatello hosts Minico on Oct. 11.
After Pocatello's game, senior Matt Ney was awarded a $500 Jim and Barbara Koetter Scholarship. You can read more about Koetter and the scholarship here.