ST. PAUL — The No. 9-seeded Days Creek Wolves saw their Class 1A eight-man state playoff run come to an end, falling 56-6 to No. 1 St. Paul Friday night in a quarterfinal game at the St. Paul Rodeo Grounds.
The Wolves ended their season at 9-2.
“We got beat, but we played them,” Days Creek coach David Hunt said. “It was 8-0 (St. Paul) after the first quarter. We moved the ball the whole first quarter, but just struggled to punch it in.”
Behind strong play from middle linebacker Cauy Jackson and the Wolves’ perimeter defense, Days Creek was able to keep a lid on the Buckaroos’ explosive offense in the first quarter.
“I think it was very competitive, and then we were finally able to get some offense going in the second,” said St. Paul coach Tony Smith, whose team took a 40-0 lead into halftime. “They were doing a real good job against our running game early. (Jackson) is a really good player. He was giving us problems, and their defensive ends were tough on the perimeter.”
Buckaroos senior quarterback T.J. Crawford completed 6-of-9 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for two more scores to lead the offensive assault. St. Paul (11-0) held the Wolves to just 129 yards of total offense.
The Wolves’ lone score came on a 1-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Gerritt Wentland in the fourth quarter.
“We certainly could play with them, and we thought we could,” Hunt said. “But a mistake here, a mistake there, and they just came back to hurt us.
“Take nothing from them. They’re a very good ballclub. We just had too many mistakes on our part.”
The game was the last of the high school careers of seniors Wentland, Nathaniel Grimes, Cade Martin, Isiah Boling and Isaac Haswell.
“It’s been a great season,” Hunt said. “These kids are awesome. We’ll definitely miss our five seniors. This team is a family. They love each other. It’s too bad it ended when it did, but on a positive note, the state quarterfinals is nothing to sneeze at.”
St. Paul will face either No. 4 Camas Valley or No. 12 Powder Valley in a neutral site game on Saturday, Nov. 23.
A full scoring summary was not available.