On Emmett’s first play in overtime, Bishop Kelly inside linebacker Daniel Cantrell plowed into the backfield and leveled running back DJ Crump for a 2-yard loss.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound senior met the ensuing play with similar fortitude, sacking Emmett quarterback Dane Buck for a 10-yard loss.
After the Bishop Kelly defense kept the Huskies out of the end zone, senior fullback Ben Hruby finished off the neck-and-neck 4A Southern Idaho Conference showdown with a 9-yard touchdown run and a 34-28 Knights victory Friday at Nick Ysursa Field.
“Danny Cantrell, he was a man amongst boys tonight playing football,” Bishop Kelly coach Tim Brennan said. “He plays both ways all the time, and he is an unbelievable player and he made great plays.”
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Cantrell’s effort on the defensive end helped counter an off night for the BK offense, which lost three of four fumbles and fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter.
“I’m elated and proud of our team for making plays when we had to make plays,” Brennan said. “They fought. (Emmett) is a very good football team. They have very good football players, and we came back and made plays when we had to make plays.”
Bishop Kelly had the opportunity to close out the game late in the fourth quarter up 28-21, but the Huskies converted on a fourth-and-15 from the BK 42 when Luc Overton bobbled a catch along the Emmett sideline and then sprinted in for a touchdown and a 28-28 tie with 2:55 to play.
The Knights couldn’t come up with a game-winning play on their final drive in regulation, sending the matchup between defending state champions into overtime.
“I was completely expecting a very tight game just like this. It was going to be a nail-biter to the end,” said Cantrell, who also starts at center. “Whichever team played with the most heart in the end, which we did, would win.”
The win is the 13th straight for the three-time defending state champion Knights, who handed Emmett — last year’s 3A state champ — back-to-back losses for the first time since the start of 2014.