Advertise Here


Sandpoint drills Middleton

The Sandpoint football team opened the State 4A playoffs with a 30-0 win over visiting Middleton.

Read correspondent William Love’s unedited story by clicking the tab below.


By William Love


SANDPOINT — Home, home, Kibbie Dome.

The saying became a rallying cry this week as the Sandpoint football team prepared to host its 4A state playoff opener against Middleton. The Bulldogs, who will host playoff games until the state championship game in the Kibbie Dome in Moscow if they win out, can now shorten the cheer after pounding the Middleton Vikings 30-0 on Friday at Barlow Stadium.

“We have been saying that ever since we won (the league championship),” Sandpoint senior running back Ben Fisher. “I think (playing at home) is a big advantage for us. We get a big turnout every night - Sandpoint really supports us.”

The Bulldogs will next host defending state champion Hillcrest of Idaho Falls (9-1), which beat Pocatello in its first-round game. The game is tentatively scheduled for next Saturday at 1 p.m. at Barlow Stadium.

Sandpoint advanced to the state semifinals for the first times since 2005 by shutting down a potent Middleton ground attack. The Vikings, which utilize the double-wing, entered Friday’s game with a six-game winning streak and averaging nearly 270 yards per game rushing.

Sandpoint (8-2) held Middleton (7-3) to just one first down and 14 yards in the first half.

“They are coming off a six-game winning streak, and I think our kids made them look like they were not a team on a six-game winning streak,” said Sandpoint coach Mike Mitchell, whose team allowed the Vikings a total of 32 yards on the ground. “That’s what it looked like tonight.”

The Bulldogs, meanwhile, looked like a team with a five-game winning streak of their own. Sandpoint powered its way down the field on its first possession led by Fisher and fellow running back Cody Hecker. The Bulldogs offensive line opened up big holes in the middle until the speedy Fisher capped a nine-play drive with a six-yard run sweep to the outside.

It was the first of two rushing TDs for Fisher, who also threw a 10-yard scoring pass to AJ Smith late in the second quarter to give the Bulldogs a commanding 20-0 lead.

“When you can run the ball like they did, it opens up the play-action stuff and it puts you in a bind,” Middleton head coach Bill Brock said. “Offensively, they just beat us up front.” 

The Vikings could only muster three first downs for the game, while Sandpoint collected 20. The Bulldogs finished with 396 yards of total offense, including 278 on the ground.

“We are playing real well right now,” said Mitchell, who got his first playoff win as Sandpoint’s head coach. “Sometimes everything goes right, and our kids are really playing well. I think we are really a good football team.

“It is going to be tough. When you get down to the final four anything can happen, but these guys have a chance.”


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to SportsLink

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

SportsLink is your portal into sports news around the Inland Northwest and beyond. You'll find updates, notes and opinions, and plenty of reader feedback.


Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on SportsLink.


Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Recent work by Jim

Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Recent work by Jim

Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Recent work by Chris

John Blanchette (@SRjblanchette) John Blanchette is a freelance writer who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

Recent work by John

Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here