Kuna re-establishes playoff position with win

Kavemen bounce back from loss, dismantle Columbia 55-7.


NAMPA — Kuna High football coach Lee Leslie wanted to see his team show some resiliency after last week’s tough home loss to Bishop Kelly.

In 15 whirlwind minutes Friday night, the Kavemen made that defeat a distant memory. Senior tailback Spencer Trautman scored four touchdowns and added a touchdown pass before watching most of the second half with his fellow starters as the Kavemen rolled past Columbia 55-7 at Wildcat Stadium.

“We don’t dwell on things,” Leslie said. “We want our kids to come out and compete the same way every week, and they did a good job of that tonight. They executed and played good football.”

Trautman rushed for 121 yards and three touchdowns, caught a 64-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Ben Ruwe and tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Boone Bartlome — all before 3 minutes had come off the second-quarter clock. The standout senior sat out most of the second quarter and returned for the opening drive of the third before taking off his helmet for good.

“We worked hard this week,” Trautman said. “It was a rough loss last week. We made some mistakes, but we want to bounce back, finish the season strong and get to the playoffs.”

Kuna’s offensive dominance could not have been more complete. The Kavemen scored on six of their first 16 plays from scrimmage and built leads of 34-7 after one quarter and 48-7 at halftime.

“You have to know my background,” said a smiling Leslie, who for years coached high-scoring, up-tempo arena football. “But the kids were sharp tonight. Ben Ruwe had a great game, and hopefully this will be a nice confidence boost for him.”

Ruwe enjoyed a perfect night, completing all six of his passes for 227 yards and two TDs. A 25-yard scoring strike to 6-foot-5 sophomore Jake Johnson in the second quarter was his final throw of the game as Kuna began to empty its bench.

“I guess that’s every quarterback’s goal, to complete every pass,” Ruwe said. “But it’s a team effort. The line did a great job blocking and my receivers were amazing, so it’s a total team thing.”

The Kuna defense was equally sharp, forcing five first-half turnovers and shutting down Columbia with the exception of an early 81-yard TD run by junior Dakota Hall.

The game was big for both teams in the 4A Southern Idaho Conference standings. Kuna (3-2, 3-2) moved into a tie with Emmett — a team the Kavemen host next Friday — for the third and final 4A SIC playoff berth. Columbia’s hopes took a big hit as the Wildcats fell to 2-3 in SIC play and 3-3 overall.

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