Kearns and Sons RS Aesthetics

Blaze advance in playoffs

Bucky Brawley (4) makes a move to cut off a defender as Michael Stanford (9) blocks for Mark Hausknecht in the Bitterroot Blaze’s playoff game against Idaho Falls. The Blaze won, 34-6. Jean Schurman photo

The Bitterroot Blaze made short work of the Idaho Falls Mustangs in the first-round playoff game on Saturday night. The Blaze won, 34-6, and will host the Salt Lake Oilers next Saturday night in Darby.

The Blaze got on the scoreboard just four minutes into the game when Erik Peterson kicked a 31-yard field goal. A touchdown pass from Shane Jurasek to former UM Grizzly basketball player Ceylon Elgin-Taylor completed the first quarter scoring. Jurasek completed another scoring pass to Elgin-Taylor last in the second quarter. The Blaze struggled a bit early in the second half but then got their running game on track. Paul Stock scored from six yards out with 17 seconds remaining in the third quarter. The fourth quarter saw a little trickery as veteran player Bucky Brawley hit Jamie Jones on a fake field goal attempt for the touchdown.

Coach Tad Sheridan was a little concerned with the penalties the Blaze incurred. “We need to step up our play and not let the other stuff (unsportsmanlike play) get to us.”

Sheridan went on to say this team is focused on winning. “We won the championship in 2007. We want it one more time. Our line is older, most are almost 40, and we won’t be able to do this much longer.”

If the Blaze win this weekend, they will host the championship game. There is a chance they will host the Missoula Phoenix who also won their playoff game. The Phoenix were the only team to beat the Blaze this year. There are five teams in the league from Montana and five from Utah. Idaho has eight teams.

Close call for this reporter.


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