PILOT ROCK — Injuries had Pilot Rock/Nixyaawia shuffling its roster Friday night against Days Creek, and the Rockets just didn’t have the fire power they needed to get to the next round.
The Wolves, who never trailed, were able to make plays when they needed to in a 50-34 win over the Rockets in the first round of the 1A state playoffs.
“It went back and forth, but we never did lead,” Rockets coach Mike Baleztena said. “In the fourth, they went up by two touchdowns, and that was that.”
The Rockets, led by junior running back Tyasin Burns, finished the season 6-3.
“We were league champs, and we got to host a playoff game for the first time in longer than anyone can remember,” Baleztena said.
Burns, who injured his ankle last week against Adrian/Jordan Valley, was limited to 148 yards rushing. He also threw for 66 yards and a touchdown.
Tanner Corwin threw for 154 yards and two touchdowns — to Wyatt Stillman and Logan Weinke.
Weinke also ran for a touchdown, had 188 yards receiving, and converted a pair of 2-point conversions.
The Rockets played without first-team all-league tackle Willie Sigo (knee), and got limited production from Caden Thornton in the second half after he tweaked his ankle.
“There was a time we had three freshmen on the field,” Baleztena said.
The Rockets sacked Wolves quarterback Gerritt Wentland twice, but he was able to move his team down the field.
“He was a big kid,” Baleztena said. “We pressured him, but he got that ball off quick.”
Defensively, Stillman had nine solo tackles and four assists, while nose guard Magi Moses had seven tackles and a sack. Weinke added five solo tackles and four assists, Burns five tackles and an interception, and Thornton four tackles and a sack.