Offense was at a premium for the Bishop Kelly High and Skyview football teams Saturday afternoon.
Both teams saw drive after drive fizzle in the 90-degree sunshine, but an extra-special performance by BK special teamer Cory Brady made the difference.
Brady returned consecutive Skyview punts for touchdowns, breaking a defensive stalemate as the Knights doubled up the Hawks 24-12 in the 4A Southern Idaho Conference opener for both teams at BKs Nick Ysursa Field.
The victory was especially sweet for Bishop Kelly (1-0), which avenged a one-point loss that kept the Knights out of the playoffs last season.
Weve been preparing for this day for the last nine months, said Brady, who also made an interception and caught four passes for 64 yards. To come out and get this win, it means the world to our team.
The win largely boiled down to Brady, whose yardage on three punt returns (133) nearly equaled the Knights offensive yards (174).
The senior turned the game with an electrifying, tie-breaking 76-yard runback in the third quarter, taking a rolling punt, breaking two tackles and eluding multiple Skyview defenders on his way to the end zone.
My linemen were perfect on their blocks, Brady said. When I picked up the ball, the wall was set up perfectly. I just made a few moves and my teammates got me into the end zone.
Quarterback Bowen Ogatas two-point conversion run gave BK a 14-6 lead. The Knights then forced another punt, which Brady caught in stride near midfield before juking his way through the Skyview coverage team once again for a 21-6 BK lead.
The stifling BK defense took it from there, allowing only a last-minute TD. For the game, the Knights limited the Hawks to 174 yards while collecting four interceptions and four sacks.
I couldnt be prouder of our team, BK coach Tim Brennan said. It was hot, it was a physical game, and we didnt move the ball very well on offense. But our defense played great, our special teams made the difference in the game and we came out with the win against a very good team.
The first half ended in a 6-6 tie as the teams combined for 10 punts, three turnovers and two missed field goals.
Skyview quarterback Anthony Marin injured in the opener versus Coeur dAlene was intercepted on his first throw and left the game for good after six pass attempts. But the Hawks struck first midway through the second quarter, recovering a BK fumble and cashing in on a 20-yard pass from sophomore Holton Hyde to senior Kacy Bonds.
Skyview (0-2) was driving with a chance to add to its lead before halftime, but Hydes deep pass was intercepted by Matt Mellow with 1:26 remaining.
Bishop Kelly capitalized, scoring on a 21-yard fade route from Ogata to junior wideout Turner Simmons just 17 seconds before the break.
Hyde was intercepted twice more in the second half as the Hawks only mustered 60 yards of offense. By the time Austin Ball scored in the games final minute, the outcome had already been decided.
I thought our defense played extremely well, but our offense is still reeling, Skyview coach David Young said. The Coeur dAlene game took a toll on us and were still not healthy. But hats off to BK, they played a good game today.
We have a lot of work to do, but our season isnt over by any means.