Carey’s season, Kirkland’s career ends hard | Sports

Carey dominated from 3:38 of the first quarter to 2:30 of the fourth quarter.

Two plays in 58 seconds eliminated all that work.

The No. 1-seeded Oakley Hornets scored touchdowns on two one-play drives in those 58 seconds to defeat No. 5-seeded Carey, 26-18, in the 1AD1 semifinals at Holt Arena in Pocatello on June 10. of November.

“About a third of the losses I’ve had have been in the postseason,” said Panthers head coach Lane Kirkland, who coached their last game at the college level. “Some weren’t close, and the rest were… The explosions you can’t forget and the close ones you’d like.

“The agony of defeat is real, especially on the big stage. It really gets complicated. This one, of course, hurt more. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

For three quarters and 68 seconds, Carey owned the game.


Carey’s soccer team lost a 26-18 decision to No. 1 Oakley in the 1AD1 semifinals at Holt Arena in Pocatello on November 10.

He had 19 first downs to Oakley’s 5.

He had 61 offensive snaps for 327 yards, 5.36 yards per play.

He carried Oakley to 73 yards in 29 plays, 2.51 yards per play.

“With three minutes left and driving, I almost got excited thinking we had this if we could get one more score,” Kirkland said. “In important games, you have to take advantage of the red zone at crucial moments. We did everything we could.”

Carey had the ball at the 44-yard line after the Hornets were stopped on a fake punt with 2:25 left in the third quarter.

Six straight runs and the Panthers faced 4th and 6 from the 28-yard line. Sophomore quarterback Preston Wood found senior Colton Larna for 13 yards, moving the ball to the 15-yard line.

After a 5-yard penalty, senior standout Conner Simpson ran for 9 and Larna for 7 and Carey had a first and goal from the 4.

Simpson was stopped on fourth-and-goal from 1 with 8:44 remaining in the game. Seven plays later, Oakley was facing a fourth-and-2 on his 37 and Carey’s senior Jensen stopped Hornets quarterback Porter Pickett just before the first. down, and the Kirkland team got the ball back at 39.

A 3-yard run from senior Carsn Perkes and an eight-yard run from Larna gave Carey a 1st and 10 on the 28th. Simpson ran for 3 and Larna for 2, setting up a 3rd and 5 and Oakley called a timeout. .

The Hornets defense leaned in stopping Perkes for minus-2 yards and sacked Wood eight yards back, and Oakley got the ball back at the 33-yard line with 2:42 left on the clock.

That’s when the Hornets found a way to win.

After a 5-yard penalty, Pickett passed again and found Bridger Duncan on a 72-yard bomb for a score. The two-point run failed and it was tied at 18 with 2:30 showing.

Carey went four-and-out on the ensuing drive and Oakley took over at the Panthers 37-yard line.

Once again, it took one play to score.

Pickett found running back Ethan Toribau down the right sideline for a six. They hooked on the two-point pass and it was 26-18 with 1:32 to play.


“We never stopped believing and we never gave up. What more could a coach want to end a season and a career with?”

kirkland lane

Coach Carey

Carey took over on her 23 with 77 seconds to go.

After making the decision to resign, Kirkland told himself that he would leave with a smile on his face and a love of the game in his heart. He told himself that he would not regret it, regardless of the outcome.

“And that’s how I got closer to that last 1:17 on the clock, possibly calling plays for the last time. I was worried, but I kept my head and trained until the end. We never stop believing, and we never give up. What more could a coach want to end a season and a career?

A 12-yard pass to Larna on fourth down kept the final drive alive and Wood sent a deep one that bounced off a defender’s hand and Simpson caught it for a 40-yard gain to the 20-yard line.

A rough call to the passer on the next snap moved the ball to the 10 and Carey had one last shot but fell incomplete.

“We shared some very tender moments after the game that I will always cherish,” Kirkland said. “It has taken us all of the last two seasons to get back on our feet after COVID. It has taken us 23 games to fully come together as a team and fully trust, love and believe in each other.

“We have won 15 state trophies in the last 22 years (five titles, five runners-up and three third places). But more important than the soccer hardware are the lessons these kids have learned from this game about life, friendships, hard work, and having fun.

“This group has really matured in those areas and they will make excellent husbands, fathers and citizens. That’s all that really matters in the end.”

Carey led 18-12 with 8:34 left in the third quarter as the second half began, and he marched for 81 yards in eight plays. The last 24 yards were a pass from Wood to Simpson.

“I want to thank my amazing wife, children and parents for standing by me all these years,” Kirkland said. “I want to thank our amazing parents, fans, and supporters for believing in us and cheering us on. We have a great community and we are a great football family”.

Simpson finished his career as the leading scorer in school history, surpassing his brother Carson. The younger Simpson totaled 83 touchdowns and 41 conversions for 580 points.

“I also want to thank my staff,” Kirkland said. “Coach (Lane) Durtschi has been with me since 2006 and he has been incredible. His defense this year was stellar. He is one of my best friends. Coach (John) Saili has been my trusted offensive partner, coaching the offensive line and helping call the plays. He is a loyal trainer and I will miss him.

“Coach (Dusty) Simpson joined us a few years ago and has been a very positive role model and team builder. His guys have been amazing. Coach (Andrew) Carlson has been a great help in any area that volunteers are needed.

“I appreciate this amazing group of seniors. They went 37-7 in their career and they are extraordinary young men.”

Carey………………………0………… ..12…. ………..6………………………. ..0—18

Oakley………………………..2…………0 ……………0…………………………….. 14—26

EITHER: Duncan 9 pass from Pickett (run missed), 7:40

EITHER: Bingham 34 run (failed pass), 3:48

C: Larna 11 pass from Wood (run missed), 8:10

C: Simpson 21 pass from Wood (pass missed), 5:24

C: Simpson 24 pass from Wood (run missed), 8:34

EITHER: Duncan 72 pass from Pickett (run missed), 2:30

EITHER: Toribau 37 pass from Pickett (Toribau pass from Pickett), 1:22

IN A HURRY: Carey: 47-174, Simpson 17-91, Larna 13-43, Wood 12-25, Perkes 3-14, Morey 1-4, Jensen 1-(-3). Oakley: Bingham 3-38, Pickett 11-24, Severo 2-11, Toribau 6-5, Cranney 1-4.

STEP: Carey: Wood 18-30-0-3, 216 yards. Oakley: Pickett 12-21-1-3, 188 yards.

RECEPTION: Carey: Simpson 8-120, Perkes 4-48, Larna 5-44, Morey 1-4. Oakley: Duncan 4-103, Toribau 2-48, Praegitzer 3-25, Cranney 3-12.

PENALTIES: Tortoiseshell 5-30. Oakley 3-26.

FIRST DOWNS: Carey 22. Oakley 11.