A herculean effort by the Borah Lions ended Capital’s 12-year stranglehold on Boise city high school football.
Senior wide receiver Jake Paulin atoned for a false start penalty by catching the game-winning TD pass with 2:01 remaining as Borah stunned Capital 49-42 on Friday at Dona Larsen Park.
Capital (3-3, 1-1 5A SIC Pod A) had won its previous 37 meetings with city rivals Borah, Boise and Timberline. But the Lions (4-2, 1-1) snapped the streak — and notched their first victory over Capital since 2000 — by prevailing in a wild game that featured two 300-yard passers, three 100-yard rushers, two 100-yard receivers and a mind-boggling 1,202 yards of total offense.
“To get this win, it’s just the best thing ever,” Paulin said. “I made a mental error, but I knew I had to make up for it and make a play for my team. We had come too far to not come out on top.”
Facing fourth-and-3 from the Capital 13, Paulin jumped too soon and forced the Lions into a fourth-and-8. On the next snap, senior quarterback Hayden Brown fired a strike high over the middle to Paulin, who leaped over two defenders to snag the ball at the goal line for the go-ahead points.
It is a play that will long be remembered at Borah.
“Best catch ever. We’re so ecstatic right now,” said Borah senior running back Jace Forrey, who ran for 190 yards and three TDs. “How many people have walked through our high school and never had the opportunity to say, ‘We beat that team?’ For the rest of our lives, we get to say we were the ones who knocked them off.”
The videogame-like contest was a back-and-forth battle from the outset. Each team only punted once as the offenses raced up and down the field, stopped only by the occasional turnover. Brown threw for 340 yards and also ran for three scores to lead Borah, while Forrey and receivers Mason Haley (154 yards) and Chris Hugon (95) took turns ripping off chunks of yardage.
Capital also moved the ball at will, led by quarterback Drew Korf. The elusive junior threw for 347 yards and four TDs while adding 117 yards on the ground. Micah Hagler ran for 128 yards and two scores, while Sam Brixey had 139 receiving yards and a TD.
After Paulin’s heroic touchdown grab, the Eagles were once again marching downfield. But the Borah defense finally got the stop it needed, halting Korf a yard short on a fourth down scramble with 40 seconds remaining.
“Not a lot of defense tonight, but when it counted, it counted,” said Borah coach Darren Corpus, whose team also turned two fumble recoveries into 14 points. “Capital’s a very good team, but we have a lot of quality individuals, guys like Jake Paulin, who makes a mistake and then doubles his effort to come through for his team.”
While euphoria reigned in the Borah locker room, Capital coach Todd Simis emphasized the importance of bouncing back.
“This is a fork in the road for us,” Simis said. “It’s a true test of character to see if we can pick ourselves off the mat. But I believe in our guys, and I know we’ll be ready for the next game.”