EAGLE Qarli Stone stepped onto the football field with about 3 minutes and 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
The freshmans 42-yard field-goal attempt came up a few yards short, but the cheers were loud nonetheless.
Eagle High football coach Paul Peterson wanted to make one thing clear about the first female to suit up during his eight seasons with the Mustangs.
This is not a gimmick, Peterson said. Shes the real-deal athlete. So who cares what the gender is, we are here to try to win.
Winning wasnt a problem for Eagle on Friday night at Thunder Stadium, as the Mustangs charged to a 38-9 win over Boise.
Thanks to a dominant performance by Eagles starters, backups like Stone got the chance to take the field for the first time.
It was so nerve-wrecking, but it was fun, said Stone, who also plays forward on the varsity girls soccer team. They all support me. I think at first everyone thought it was weird, but now its good. I dont have brothers, so all this is new to me.
Eagle improved to 3-0 and sits atop the 5A Southern Idaho Conference standings one season after a state runner-up finish.
Last year we were the top dogs, and this year we are the underdogs, four-year letterman Austin Diffey said. Every game we come out and prove what we can do, and every game we are just getting better. I am excited to see how this season is going to end up.
Junior quarterback J.T. Williams led Eagles offensive charge for the third straight game, rushing for 122 yards and three touchdowns while completing 8-of-10 passes for another 96 yards and one TD.
It has been a somewhat unexpected start for Eagle, which was picked to finish fourth in a 5A SIC preseason coaches poll. Eagle opened the season with a 35-28 win over Lake City followed by an upset of preseason favorite Capital last week. Fridays convincing win against Boise combined with Capitals victory over preseason No. 2 Mountain View has moved Eagle into the drivers seat.
We are young. We are inexperienced. We are trying to learn our way, Peterson said. I believe in the talent of our team. I still believe theres a long way to go and I am still dealing with inexperienced puppies. But who knows? Its a long road. Were off to a legitimate start.
Despite the loss, Boise (2-1) is off to its best start since 2005 and hopes to reel in its first winning season since that same year.
I really respect that program and what they are trying to do and how they are trying to do it, Peterson said of Boise. I am happy that they are feeing good and having some positive vibes over there.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422,Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX