By Mark Barnes
Facing what many expected to be their easiest opponent of the year, the Kuna Kavemen blew past Mountain Home 56-7 in last Friday night’s game. While the pressure was off for Kuna, having secured a playoff berth last week, the energy was not diminished among the players taking the field. And while fans in the stands seemed a little thinner this week, their spirit, warmed by blankets and jackets against the chilly night, was not diminished.
While you always want your home team to win, sometimes it’s hard to watch a game so lopsided. It was clear early on that the Kavemen were going to win in a big way. Just a few minutes in, Kuna’s Spencer Trautman broke a sweep for the first touchdown. On the next possession, Mountain Home lost yardage and forced to punt on their own 5-yard line that gave the Kavemen excellent field position. Jacob Kellog put it in from the 19-yard line. Kuna added another 7 when Spencer Trautman ran a punt back from the 50.
By the end of the first quarter, the score was 28-0 and Mountain Home couldn’t do anything to stop Kuna. The second quarter was much the same, and by the half, the score was 56-0.
Idaho has a mercy rule in 1A play when the point spread is larger than 45 points. And while the mercy rule helps avoid routs, there is no mercy rule in 4A play. The lopsided point issue came up in national debate last week when a Texas team beat their opponent 91-0 and the coach was accused of bullying. Texas does not have a mercy rule but state law does require an investigation in accusations of bullying. In that case, the coach had put in all his second and third string players and asked the refs to let the clock run interrupted after half time. They found him not guilty of bullying.
So after the half, while some fans wanted to see more great plays from Kuna’s first string and even more points, Coach Lee Leslie put in the second string. This clearly evened up the game and in the second half Kuna did not score again. Late in the 4th quarter, however, Mountain Home managed to put in seven.
Spencer Trautman rushed for 105 yards and had 3 touchdowns on four carries. Ben Ruwe completed 6 of 8 passes for 210 yards and four touchdowns.
Next week Kuna plays Twin Falls at home. This non-district game will test the Kavemen as Twin Falls is ranked third in the state wide media poll. The following week Kuna will face Bishop Kelly (ranked first) in the first round of the playoffs.