Quarterback propels Rocky Mtn. to win

The Grizzlies open the new season under their new coach with a 63-41 win over Lake City.

rroberts@idahostatesman.comAugust 31, 2013 

MERIDIAN - Scott Criner didn't have any trouble finding the right words to describe third-year starting quarterback Riley Bradshaw.

"He's good," Criner said with a smile.

Bradshaw completed 17-of-24 passes for 304 yards and six touchdowns, guiding Rocky Mountain's high-powered offense to a 63-41 victory over Lake City on Friday night at Brighton Stadium. He also added 119 rushing yards.

It was Criner's first game as the Grizzlies' coach after he spent the past five seasons as the offensive coordinator at Eagle.

"I think we did pretty good for our first game of the season," Bradshaw said. "We struggled a little bit, but offensively I felt like we did pretty good, and even defensively in the second half we picked it up."

Criner, known throughout the Treasure Valley as a top offensive mind, moved 5A Southern Idaho Conference first-team linebacker Jake Knight to offense, and it turned out to be a genius move.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound senior caught five passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns to lead eight Rocky receivers.

"It was awesome. I really enjoyed playing offense and catching some balls," said Knight, who had two interceptions last season.

Rocky Mountain and Lake City traded touchdowns in the first half. The Grizzlies led off with a 67-yard touchdown pass from Bradshaw to Knight for a 7-0 lead after a Kekoa Nawahine PAT.

Lake City responded on its first possession, culminating a 77-yard, six-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by 5-10, 261-pound running back Gavan Rosteck.

The teams combined for seven more touchdowns before the break.

Senior running back Jason Crimmins kept the Grizzlies ahead at halftime, however, powering in from the 1 as time expired for a 35-27 lead.

"I thought our offense played well, and our defense played well at times," Criner said. "Our special teams put us in some holes. If we shore that up, we're going to be a good football team."

Rocky Mountain was the top defense in the 5A SIC last season, wrapping up the regular season allowing 19 points per game.

"We had some mental mistakes and penalties that we shouldn't have had, but we'll fix it this week and be prepared next week for Vallivue," said Nawahine, who played defensive back and added a 65-yard TD catch on offense.

Rocky Mountain hosts Vallivue at 7 p.m. next Friday. The Falcons opened the season with an overtime win at 4A Nampa.

"I was really pleased with the way our kids ran and responded," Criner said. "Lake City is a physical football team; they're a good football team. We've got to just continue growing as a football team and keeping our focus on what is in front of us."

Rachel Roberts: 377-6422, Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX

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