High School Football

A play that hadn’t worked in three years kept Capital football from a monumental upset

Capital wide receiver Jonah Blackham celebrates a touchdown reception with quarterback Carson Bohning in a 5A SIC game against Timberline Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Dona Larsen Park in Boise.
Capital wide receiver Jonah Blackham celebrates a touchdown reception with quarterback Carson Bohning in a 5A SIC game against Timberline Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Dona Larsen Park in Boise. doswald@idahostatesman.com

The Timberline High football team came within just over 2 minutes of pulling off a monumental upset Saturday afternoon. But Capital rallied in the fourth quarter to escape with a 22-15 victory at Dona Larsen Park, its 17th straight over Timberline.

Capital quarterback Carson Bohning drew an aggressive Timberline pass rush toward him late in the fourth quarter, then slipped the ball to Sean Holstein on a screen. Holstein followed his blockers to the Capital sideline and broke free for a 33-yard touchdown catch with 2 minutes, 23 seconds left for the game-winning score.

“That screen play is a play we’ve worked and worked on the last two or three years,” Capital coach Todd Simis said. “It’s just never looked good. But they were being aggressive, so we said, ‘Let’s give it a shot.’

“It is probably the first time it has worked in three years, and it was the right time.”

Timberline (0-2, 0-2 5A SIC) had one last chance and pull an upset on the ensuing possession. But Capital (2-0, 2-0) defensive back Tanner Leaf sealed the win with an interception with 1:32 left in the fourth.

The turnover improved Capital’s all-time record against Timberline to 21-1. Timberline’s only win in the series came in 2003.

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Capital defensive lineman Moses Estrada prevents Timberline running back Kyle Adams from breaking away in a 5A SIC game Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Dona Larsen Park in Boise. Darin Oswald doswald@idahostatesman.com

“I was just hoping to take the ball away from them and finish the game,” Leaf said, grinning from ear to ear. “I knew at some point in this game (Andy Peters) was going to throw us the ball. That was the time.”

The heart-breaking loss stretches Timberline’s losing streak to 12 games after a winless 2018 campaign. The Wolves appeared to be in for another long season after a 46-6 loss at Mountain View last week before Saturday’s showing.

Capital was coming off its own Week 1 blowout win (52-0 vs. Boise) and perhaps got caught overlooking a Wolves program it has owned since Timberline opened in the fall of 1998.

“I think our guys didn’t have the urgency we had for the first game,” Simis said. “Timberline played great. Coach (Ian) Smart had those guys ready to go. You give a team some life and it just gets tougher and tougher.”

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Capital running back Sean Holstein breaks through Timberline’s defense and doesn’t look back before scoring the game-winning touchdown Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Dona Larsen Park in Boise. Darin Oswald doswald@idahostatesman.com

Capital opened the game with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Bohning to Jonah Blackham on its first possession, but Timberline’s defense stiffened to keep the Wolves in the game. Kyle Adam’s 70-yard run set up the Wolves’ first score as Peters found Garrett Lavin for a 9-yard TD pass in the third quarter. And an 80-yard touchdown run by sophomore Taylor Marcum gave Timberline a 15-14 lead heading into the fourth.

Even though Timberline couldn’t hold onto the lead, Smart said his team showed it’s not the same 0-9 squad from a year ago, especially on defense.

“I think this group is light years different than what we’ve had here in the past,” Smart said. “That group played incredibly well.”

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