MIDDLETON On most Friday nights, the Middleton High football team relies on two players for the bulk of its offensive yards running backs Victor Dias and Max Foote.
But there are nine others who rarely see their names in the stats at the end of the night.
The Vikings have rushed for a 4A Southern Idaho Conference-best 3,200 yards this season, while passing for a league-low 452 yards.
Its been that way at Middleton for years, but opponents have been unable to decode the Vikings double wing.
Players say their ability to function as a single unit has kept their offense churning out yards and wins year after year.
They are very unselfish and they understand that they need each other to be successful, said Middleton coach Bill Brock, who is in his 13th season at Middleton and has 180 career wins. I think thats what theyve been able to do this year. Hopefully we can continue to do that on Friday.
The Vikings (9-1) host Bonneville (7-3) at 7 p.m. Friday in the 4A state semifinals. Middleton is one of only six District Three teams remaining in the playoffs.
Middleton wrapped up the 4A SICs regular-season title in late October and began its fifth straight playoff run with a 36-7 victory over Twin Falls in last weeks quarterfinals. Bonneville is playing in the semifinals for the first time since 1996.
Against the Bruins, Dias and Foote combined for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries, while seven other Vikings accounted for 120 yards and two more TDs on 20 carries.
Our kids get the team aspect and they understand even if theyre not getting as much playing time as they may want during our Friday night, they understand they are still of vital importance to what we are doing and in the big scheme of things throughout the week, Brock said. I think thats a testament to them and where were at so far this season.
Junior quarterback Jake Skinner had one carry for 16 yards and completed two passes for 58 yards and one touchdown last week. Skinners most important role is blocking for his teammates.
I give the ball to one of our running backs and then me and the fullback are leading up through the hole and blocking out or kicking out, Skinner said. Im usually getting a corner or sometimes a safety or a linebacker.
In addition to the traditional five offensive linemen, Middleton also starts three tight ends Walker Orr, Payton Ah You and Keith Meyers. They have made the most of their limited touches, combining for nine catches for 187 yards and four touchdowns.
I think if we were always in passing mode, I would over think it and make myself nervous, Skinner said. When you never know its coming until coach calls it and youre not expecting it at all, it kind of makes it easier.
Middletons bid for a second straight appearance in the state title game goes through a Bonneville team that holds a significant size advantage over the Vikings, which could pose a challenge to Middletons run-oriented style of play.
Linemen Tyler Walker (C), Shive Huggins (RG), Kade Young (LG), Jacob Harvey (LT) and Jovan Oviedo (RT) are accustomed to going against bigger opponents. At 6-foot-2, 265 pounds, Walker is the largest player on Middletons roster. His fellow linemen average about 219 pounds.
Bonnevilles largest D-lineman tips the scales at 6-4, 315 pounds.
Most of the teams it seems each week are physically bigger than we are, but our kids take that as a challenge, Brock said. We enjoy the competition. Our kids respond well to that.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422,Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX