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PREVIEW: Skyline vs. Idaho Falls (ID)

September 24, 2012

The 48th annual “Emotion Bowl” will take place this Friday night between the Skyline Grizzlies and the Idaho Falls Tigers. This historic rivalry dates back to 1966 and has been played every year since. Skyline defeated the Tigers 50-34 last year in the highest scoring game in the series. The win ended a four-year losing streak for the Grizzlies, who expanded their lead in the all-time series, 26-21. The two schools share a football stadium called the Ravsten Stadium, and each year they battle to decide the color of the field goal posts. The annual matchup was coined the “Emotion Bowl” by the late great Jim Garchow, who was the voice of Skyline High School boy’s athletics.

In 2011, the Skyline Grizzlies reached the playoffs for the first time since 2006. They finished with a 5-5 overall record after losing in the first round of the IHSAA 5A playoffs. The 2012 will have some questions to answer on offense but their defense will keep them in every game this season. The defense returns seven starters from last year’s team, including the entire secondary. Senior Scott Allison returns at safety after he led the eastern Idaho area in tackles last season. Joining him in the secondary will be corners Andre Madrigal and Dallin Stout as well as free safety Matt Egbert. Blake Martin and Justin Kuns will form the Grizzlies linebacker core, while Giovanni Yanez will line up at nose tackle. Junior Zak Bennett will handle to duties of quarterback. Bennett is a transfer from Rigby and Head Coach Scott Berger is hoping he will catch on quick to help lead the offense that only returns three starters from last year. Tanner Nelson and Lane Conner will each split carries in the running game as they try to replace Braeden Mitchell who graduated.

The Idaho Tigers are looking to get the bad taste out of their mouths after last year’s disappointing season that saw the Tigers post a 2-7 overall record. It was their lowest win total since the 1998 season. The 2012 Tiger squad will have five returning starters on offense and just three returning on defense. Two bright spots emerged on the Tiger offense last season. Quarterback A.J. Martin and wide receiver Clayton Powell began hooking up to form a dynamic connection in the Tiger passing attack. In games against Century (W 48-43) and Madison (L 75-52), Martin threw for just over 1,000 yards, 12 touchdowns and no interceptions in the two-game stretch. Junior Brayden Andrus returns on defense to lead the linebacker core. Fellow junior Stephan Hart will line up as defensive back to give the Tigers some experience in the secondary while senior Spencer Randall returns on the defensive line.

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