No Hollywood producer would approve the script.
The Borah High football team hadn’t won a playoff game in 23 years. The Lions lost three straight games to limp into the playoffs. And longtime nemesis Capital, which has owned Borah the past two decades, loomed in the first round of the 5A playoffs.
But two star players returned from injuries to lead the Lions to a 42-27 upset Friday at Dona Larsen Park, earning Borah its first playoff win since 1995 and causing even the cheesiest movie producer to roll his eyes in disbelief.
[Related: 5A to 1A playoff scores, brackets]
“It’s legendary stuff that will be talked about for a long time,” Borah coach Jason Burton said.
Borah (6-4) advances to the quarterfinals and will travel to No. 2-ranked Coeur d’Alene (8-0) next week. A time and date for that game are still to be determined.
Many left the Lions for dead four weeks ago after three-year starting quarterback Jake Standlee broke his wrist, forcing Borah to rebuild its offense and put All-Idaho receiver Ellis Magnuson under center.
Standlee talked his way into the secondary last week with a soft cast around his wrist. But when Magnuson went down with a shoulder injury just before halftime Friday, Standlee informed the Borah coaching staff no one else would lead his offense.
“It’s just what we’re doing right now,” Standlee said. “Everyone on our team is injured right now.”
After rushing to get approval from his father, Borah principal Tim Standlee, Standlee started the second half and wasted no time shredding the Capital defense. The heavily taped wrist limited his normally powerful arm, forcing him to alter his motion and push throws down field as he couldn’t fully flick his wrist.
But he led a 10-play, 74-yard touchdown drive to start the half, throwing on every on down. Borah scored on all of its second-half possessions, except a clock-killing final drive, as Standlee finished 12-of-16 for 281 yards and three touchdowns in the second half.
“He’s probably the toughest kid on our team, which is rare for a quarterback,” senior receiver Chase Nett said. “... He’s a competitor and will do anything to win.”
Nett, another three-year starter, broke his right hand seven weeks ago and the Lions figured he could only return for a late-round playoff game. But he started the week with medical clearance and caught seven passes for 166 yards and two TDs, including a 78-yard TD in the fourth quarter that put the game away.
Magnuson switched back to receiver in the second half as his shoulder injury prevented him from throwing the ball or playing defense. He caught three passes for 28 yards, and junior Austin Bolt finished with seven catches for 144 yards and two TDs.
“For (Standlee) to come in here and do that, and for Ellis to still play, I bet they are not celebrating in there because they are hurting,” Burton said, motioning toward the locker room. “Ellis is probably sitting in there and crying right now.”
Borah’s defense came up with five interceptions to keep Capital’s high-powered offense in check. Standlee, Nett and Magnuson all had one, and Caleb Golden and Jacob Batubenga also got in on the turnover action.
Beating Capital (6-4) made the win even sweeter. The Eagles have dominated Borah, winning 17 of the past 18 meetings, including a 39-7 beatdown Sept. 21 when Borah entered the game as the state’s No. 4-ranked team and a legitimate favorite for the first time since the mid-90s.
The last team Borah beat in the postseason? Capital in the first round of the ‘95 playoffs.
“They’re a great team and so much respect to Todd (Simis) and his staff,” Burton said. “But in the playoffs to go and beat them? There’s nothing better than that.
“We’ll enjoy this one and try to go to Coeur d’Alene and do some real upsetting.”
BORAH 42, CAPITAL 27
CAP — Chase Miller 24 field goal, 10:36
BOR — Ellis Magnuson 3 run (Kellan McCullough kick blocked), 4:24
BOR — Austin Bolt 6 pass from Magnuson (Magnuson to Chase Nett pass), 11:21
CAP — Jonah Blackham 6 pass from Ryan Hibbs (Chase Miller kick), 6:34
BOR — Chase Nett 20 pass from Jake Standlee (McCullough kick), 9:32
CAP — Hibbs 1 run (Miller kick), 7:21
BOR — Austdan Phomphackdy 2 run (McCullough kick), 5:33
CAP — Miller 28 field goal, 1:38
BOR — Bolt 58 pass from Standlee (McCullough kick), 0:38
BOR — Chase Nett 78 pass from Standlee (McCullough kick), 9:30
CAP — Jackson Beers 3 pass from Hibbs (Miller kick), 5:48
RUSHING — Borah: Jake Standlee 3-(-16), Chase Nett 1-0, Ellis Magnuson 9-8, Austin Bolt 3-55, Cameron Pruitt 1-0, Jacob Batubenga 1-(-5), Austdan Phomphackdy 10-48. Capital: Alec Bindner 5-3, Michael Holley 3-10, Sam Sessou-Djokoto 11-31, Ryan Hibbs 14-50, Gavin Piva 1-5, Jonah Blackham 1-2, Jake Jones 5-6.
PASSING — Borah: Standlee 12-16-0 281; Alec Gray 0-1-1 0; Magnuson 8-9-0 82. Capital: Hibbs 20-40-5 264.
RECEIVING — Borah: Nett 7-166, Magnuson 3-28, Bolt 7-144, Kade Dilworth 1-10, Batubenga 1-11, Phomphackdy 1-4. Capital: Bindner 5-45, Holley 3-42, Piva 4-31, Keishawn Stuckman 1-17, Alec Weber 1-15, Jackson Beers 1-3, Blackham 3-46, Jackson Reed 2-65.