The season got off to a disastrous start for the Borah High football program with a pair of blowout losses to Capital and Bishop Kelly.
But just as Borah fans prepared for a long year with a young roster, the Lions turned it around with back-to-back dominant defensive performances, including a 49-14 win over Boise on Thursday at Dona Larsen Park that invoked the running-clock mercy rule.
“When you look at both sides of the ball, we have anywhere from four to seven sophomores starting,” Borah coach Jason Burton said. “It was just learning, learning, learning. We talked about being a young team and us against the world.
“You can’t go any lower than 0-2, so let’s go up. And that’s what we’ve done.”
Boise (2-2) entered the night with the 5A SIC’s top scoring offense (37.3 ppg) through three weeks. But the Lions pressured the Braves’ highly-touted quarterback, Will McMullin, all night, forcing side-armed throws, back-footed heaves and tipped balls.
Borah (2-2) held Boise to six yards in the first quarter and created seven turnovers, including five interceptions.
“Definitely, the pressure helped a lot,” said sophomore defensive back Ellis Magnuson, who had three interceptions, including a 63-yard pick-six. “Our secondary has stepped it up from Week 1 versus Capital.”
The Lions’ offense started the night in a hole with senior quarterback Justin Palmer breaking his collarbone Tuesday, thrusting sophomore Jake Standlee into the starting role. But Borah leaned on senior running back Kegan Lester (26 carries, 164 yards, three TDs) to take the pressure off. And Standlee didn’t shrink from the bright lights, completing 17-of-27 passes for 178 yards and a TD.
“It threw us a big curveball,” Magnuson said of the injury. “But Jake stepped up and made big plays in this game.”