This week’s homecoming activity calendar at Midvale and Cambridge was jammed like a Walmart on a Friday afternoon. Daily dress-up themes, Tough-Guy Volleyball, Powder-Puff Football, a parade, a pep rally, royalty, a dance, and a few more dubious activities like late-night TP raids, gave students plenty to think about and do. Are there actually classes held during this week???
In my day, (and yes, my recall is accurate if not embellished a bit) we would mostly prepare for homecoming by spending at least two weeks designing and building some pretty extravagant homecoming parade floats.  Each class, and some of the HS organizations like FFA and FHA (look that one up) were invited to participate. The local hardware and grocery store would have a run on chicken wire and paper napkins. This parade was often more grandiose than the annual rodeo parade. It was our parent’s perception that every night we were busily engaged in float building. It was our perception that we had a great excuse for mischief and shenanigans. Spying on and raiding another class's hardware under cover of the dark was great adventure. Backyard clothes lines in those days were a hidden menace however!
On the Thursday night prior to the big homecoming football game, we’d have a huge bonfire and pep rally at some location usually on school property where it didn’t matter if huge piles of nails were left on the ground in the ashes. This practice was somewhat diminished as soon as all the old outhouses in the valley were gone. It was common practice to make straw-filled dummies wearing the opponent’s colors and place them inside said outhouses to see them morbidly consumed in the blaze. Following the ceremony, everyone would join hands for what we called a “Snake Dance” that would wind it’s way downtown through the main drag and the old Rio Theater, usually during a movie. The dance would halt for a few minutes while the cheerleaders led a few specially prepared cheers in the middle of the street before heading back up to the campus. This “Snake Dance” was soon stopped because all too often it turned into more of a “Crack the Whip” that sent some poor soul sliding across the pavement on his face. Not cool!  Well, sort of!
Well, enough of my trip down memory lane. Does any of this have a point you may ask?  I think it does.
Coach Johnson and I go way back and for years we’ve contended that homecoming is a huge distraction that in spite of  all the spirited antics of the week, you could just about always count on spotting your opponent on the football field at least two touchdowns. I think I might have mentioned this last year at this time. 
This theory gets weaker and weaker every year, and last night’s homecoming game score may have dealt the final death-blow to our “Distraction Theory!”
The Idaho National Guard helped host the homecoming game against the visiting Rimrock Raiders. They provided their huge inflatable helmet that provided a pretty cool tunnel for the introduction of the hometown boys and supplied some pretty awesome cammo jerseys that looked awesome in spite of making it difficult for old, tired eyes to read the numerals. Another distraction? Perhaps.
Teddy Ertel drove the first nail in the “Distraction Theory,’ hereinafter referred to simply as DT, when he took a handoff on the first play of the game and hauled it about 65 yards to the end zone. Teddy ran the conversion as well and the Titans were up 8-zip barely 30 seconds into the game.
A couple of minutes later Collin Kindall’s crushing three-yard run over the middle gave the Titan’s a 14-point lead and the Raiders were quickly looking more like “Raidees” than Raiders.
At the 8:50 mark, Crusher Collin and Hunter Clinton sandwiched the Raiders’ only senior, their quarterback by the way, with a horrendous hit that sent the lad to the sidelines for the remainder of the quarter.
Collin added six more around the four minute mark on a five-yard plunge and Jayden Mink passed to Parker Cornwell for the conversion. DT was hanging by a thread!
On the ensuing kickoff, Teddy Ertel was stepping back from a well-covered Rimrock punt, but the ball bounced right into his lap. Teddy likely thought, “Why not?” and took off for the opposite end of the field. After a nicely executed stiff arm on a raider or two, and a nice 40-yard run, he capped the stunt with another ten-yard run, ran the conversion, and at 1:30 on the clock it was becoming almost laughable at 30-0.   
By the second quarter, Jayden Mink had his arm pretty well loosened up and fired touchdown passes from 25 yards to Parker Cornwell, and 30 yards to Teddy Ertel. Jayden ran the conversion on the keeper following the first of those two scores. 46-0 was the count at this point and the clock would run, credit the mercy rule.
Graysan Brown capped a nice 30-yard run to the Raider five-yard-line late in the half with a five-yard scoring run and Mink hit Logan Reyna for the two-point conversion. Titans 54, Raiders 0.
Collin Kindall rushed for his third TD of the game at 9:12 in the third on a five-yarder, Jayden passed to Parker Cornwell for the PAT, and it was 62-0. DT pretty much DOA by now!
With around five minutes remaining in the third period, the JVs relieved the starters and afforded the coaching staff a pretty good luck at most of the underclassmen, and I believe they liked what they saw in spite of allowing the Raiders onto the score board with a single touchdown.
Hunter Clinton had a couple of nice carries that put the final six points on the board for the Titans and Tri-Valley moved to 4-0 with a convincing 68-6 final. 
I’ll never mention the DT again!  Unless of course we lose a homecoming game somewhere in the future.
The Titans amassed 387 yards of total offense in the game. Jayden Mink was seven for ten passing for 115 yards, two touchdowns, and six-points worth of PATs. Jayden’s understudy, younger brother Jarret, completed a whopping 50% of his passes in the second half, netting 18 yards on two throws. Jayden has to be a great mentor!!
Orion Southwick was the leading receiver for the Titans with 42 yards, backed up by Parker Cornwell’s 31, and Teddy Ertel’s 24.
Top rushers were Teddy Ertel with 88 yards, Collin Kindall with 61, Hunter Clinton with 57, and Graysan Brown with 41.
The Titan defense was just all over the hapless Raiders all evening long. Rimrock had 67 positive yards rushing, but their 61 negative yards left them with only six yards net.
Collin Kindall led with seven tackles, three for a loss, and one sack. Mike Carpenter registered six solos and a forced fumble while Teddy Ertel had five tackles and a fumble recovery. Other standouts on defense were just about everybody, but mentionable were Orion Southwick, Joseph Rogers, DJ Jordan, Grayson Brown, Jay Langer, and Kayden Harvey. 
While not making the stat sheet in numbers, I have to give a shout-out to Reed Thulander. Pound for pound, Reed just might be one of the Titan’s best hitters. At 5’5” and 140 pounds (dressed and soaked I suspect) he is fearless against any runner. Raw determination goes a long way in this game.
Coach Johnson, obviously pleased with the game, said, "We made it a point to stress all week that the game was the most important part of homecoming.  The players took it to heart and came out ready to play. It was probably our most complete game." 
Well done Titans! We’ll see you on the road at Horseshoe Bend next Friday night at 7:00.