by Michelle Clark
The 45th edition of the Idaho Falls-Skyline “Emotion Bowl,” which began in 1966, may one day be called the “Underdog Upset” as hardly anyone expected Idaho Falls to pull off a win. The previously second ranked and state title contender Skyline Grizzlies, who came into the contest with a 5-0 record against Idaho Falls’ 2-3, were easily the favorite. The Grizzlies had been staring at Ravsten Stadium’s orange goalposts for two years and it seemed this was their year to paint them back to blue, especially with the return of the Great American Rivalry Series. But as any local citizen would tell you, and as Post Register reporter Michael Lycklama aptly wrote, “You can throw out all the numbers you want…but this is a game where numbers do not matter. Period.” How prophetic were those words.
Nearly 6,000 fans came out to pack the stands despite the cold, wintry weather. The game started off slow, with neither team able to make it on the scoreboard in the first quarter. Idaho Falls came prepared for Skyline’s strength of speed and switched their defensive strategy, making sure to cover Skyline’s entire offensive arsenal. The Idaho Falls Tigers finally broke through in the second quarter with a 1-yard rushing touchdown by senior quarterback, Rivlary Series scholarship recipient, and eventual MVP Devan Munk. This made the score 6-0 going into halftime.
Coming out of the half, Munk added yet another touchdown to his stats by punching it in from the 1-yard line. To make up for a missed field goal in the second quarter, the Tigers were successful on the 2-point conversion, bringing the score to 14-0. Following that score, Skyline’s Houston Moore gave the Grizzlies a glimpse of hope when he raced 16 yards to the end zone at the end of the third quarter. A blocked field goal attempt, however, kept the score 14-6 going into the final 12 minutes of the game.
The Tigers continued pulling ahead in full force as Munk hit teammate Drew Tingey on a 32-yard pass at the beginning of the fourth quarter. But the Grizzlies, not ready to throw in the towel, made a final attempt as quarterback Michael Berger added a rushing touchdown before leaving the game with a knee injury. During the final minutes, Idaho Falls held Skyline to those 13 points and sealed their victory with another touchdown by Munk, making the final score 28-13.
Munk, who was last year’s MVP, had yet another night to remember as he was again named the game’s Great American Rivalry Series Most Valuable Player. While players, students, and fans rushed the field to add another coat of orange to the goal posts, SSgt Kaup awarded Munk with his trophy and medal and then presented a proud Head Coach Chuck Johnson with his second Great American Rivalry Series Championship Trophy. Munk’s mother, Mardean, with tears of joy flowing from her eyes, told us afterward how each of her six children had witnessed an Idaho Falls victory in the Emotion Bowl their senior year, and how much this win and the honors her son received meant to her. Though everyone in attendance could see and was thankful for Air Force blue, in the end orange was the color of the night for the conclusion of another very emotional “Emotion Bowl.”
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- Idaho Falls vs. Skyline – 2009