EPHRAIM—Rain didn’t stop Snow College from racing past Trinity Valley Community College, 36-14, in their season opener last Thursday.
Quarterback Kamen Best led the Badger offense going 14-28 for 171 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore receiver Taylor Larsen caught three passes for 56 yards. Receiver Marquis Montgomery finished with 36 yards receiving while Elijah Ervin had 35 yards and two touchdowns on three catches.
The Badger defense was the story throughout the game. The Cardinals managed a grand total of 2 rushing yards the entire night against the Snow College front. The Badgers were able to get to Peace on a regular basis, recording seven sacks for a total loss of 63 yards, with Snow linebacker Cole Bowers responsible for two of them.
In contrast, the Badgers’ running attack was what carried the offense. Snow College amassed 184 total rushing yards led by running backs Lambson and Carson Manookin.
Lambson got the bulk of the carries with 34 touches for 121 yards and a touchdown. Lamb- son also caught a pair of passes out of the backfield for a total of 26 yards. Manookin provided a good second punch getting 14 carries for 63 yards.
Bowers paced Snow College defensively with 10 total tackles including two sacks. Linebacker Kohl Hogan had seven solo tackles while Taumoepeau and linebacker Zach Nowatzke each had five tackles and a total of 3.5 tackles for loss to aid the Badgers in the victory.
It didn’t start out in the Badgers favor, though, as each team went three-and-out on their first offensive possession. Then, on Snow’s first play in its second drive, Badgers starting quarter- back Donovan Smith’s pass was picked off by Michael Brown, who took it 77 yards the other way for the score. The PAT gave the Cardinals a quick 7-0 lead less than four minutes into the game.
The Badgers responded quickly as Best led the Badgers on a nine-play, 75-yard drive that culminated with a 1-yard touch- down run by running back Targhee Lambson. Kicker Bradford Willis’s extra point was true, and Snow College drew even with the Cardinals, 7-7.
Snow College got the passing game going on its next drive as Best found Ervin for an 11-yard touchdown to give the Badgers a 14-7 edge. Best and Ervin proved to be a good combo as they connected again three drives later for a 9-yard pitch- and-catch that resulted in another Badger touchdown.
Lightning struck, figuratively, on the next TVCC drive as Snow defensive lineman John Taumoepeau forced a fumble, recovered it, and took it to the house for 50 yards and the score. But the Cardinals recovered quickly and scored on a 75-yard touchdown from their quarterback Darion Peace to wide receiver Trent Hudson. The Badgers took a 28-14 lead into halftime.
Rain became a factor when the clouds let loose at halftime, and it didn’t take long before it affected the Cardinals. On fourth-and-7 from their own 17, the snap went over the head of TVCC punter Jake Gaster. Gaster then committed a penalty by kicking the ball on the ground out of the back of the end zone to prevent a Badger from recovering the ball for a touchdown. The infraction resulted in a safety and gave the Badgers a 30-14 lead.
Snow College salted the game away for good early in the fourth quarter as Montgomery leaped high into the air to snatch down a 27-yard pass from Best in the end zone. The extra point dinged off the left upright, but the Badgers had all the cushion it would need as they continued to clamp down defensively and claim the victory.
Now the Badgers turn their attention to the top team in all the land. Snow College, ranked fifth in the nation, will travel to Roswell, New Mexico, to take on the No. 1 New Mexico Military Institute on Saturday. Kick off is set for 6 p.m.