The Fruitland High football team won its 18th straight game and a rematch of last year’s 3A championship game Saturday by defeating Shelley 19-14.
Fruitland (11-0) will play Snake River (7-3) at noon Saturday at Holt Arena in Pocatello. The Grizzlies will play in the championship game for the 11th time in 12 years.
Noah Hattrup ran for a 44-yard touchdown and Cole Eiguren scored from a yard out in the second quarter before a Jordan Eggers TD gave Fruitland a 19-0 lead.
Shelley scored on an 89-yard touchdown pass and on a 19-yard drive after a Fruitland fumble to get close.
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Fruitland was 0-4 against Shelley before last year’s championship win.
“Our playoff rivalry with Shelley — if you beat those guys, it’s the best thing in the world that happened,” Fruitland coach Ryan Tracy said. “ ... I’m impressed with our kids and their resilience.”
Two local runners to nationals
Lexy Halladay of Mountain View and Nicky Russell of Bishop Kelly qualified for the Nike Cross Nationals meet Saturday with their performances in the Northwest regional race at Eagle Island State Park.
Halladay, a sophomore, finished second in the girls race. Russell, a junior, finished fifth in the boys race. Eve Jensen of Boise High is an alternate after finishing seventh in the girls race. Rosina Machu of Boise was 18th and the third-fastest freshman girl.