Snow improves to 5-0

Kyle Parry / Messenger Photo
Snow running back Seth Kaelin hurdles a defender, following a block by wide receiver Taylor Larsen, on the ground. Behind, offensive lineman Sala Tai watches after disengaging from his block.

EPHRAIM—After a slow start relative to other blowouts this season, the Snow College football team defeated Gila River 75-14 in an exhibition game.

According to the Twitter page of the Hohokam Junior College Athletic Conference, the team listed under Gila River was actually a squad of players representing the conference itself, playing the game as a spring exhibition game out of its normal fall season. They came to Ephraim from Arizona and frustrated the Badgers early on, though the home team eventually took control.

“The outcome was probably as expected, but it was uglier than it should’ve been. We’ll watch the tape and clean it up, and onto next week,” said Snow Coach Zak Erekson.

Despite having room for improvement in the coach’s eyes, the team improved to 6-0.

Snow did strike first with about nine minutes remaining in the first quarter.

But part of the “ugliness” Erekson referenced was allowing the exhibition squad two drives deep into Snow territory in the first quarter. The visitors attempted a field goal from inside the red zone that Snow blocked and scored a touchdown on the next drive.

Eventually, the defense settled down, and Snow went to the ball for most of the game. Erekson said his defense “played pretty great” overall.

“Tui Lai up front, he’s our anchor, and the rest of that D line, I could go on and on,” the coach said. “Xavier Delong had three sacks from the safety position tonight. The kid was all over the place. He plays with a lot of energy, and he flies around.”

Most of the 75 points came in the first half. The Badgers ran a lot of plays on the ground in the second half, which made the clock run out relatively quickly.

After the game, Erekson said preparation for Ellsworth in Iowa, the game scheduled to take place this Saturday, would begin that same night. He called it a “big game” in Snow’s eight-game regular season.

“The goal is a national championship. We’ve gotta take it one game at a time, and so far we’ve done that,” Erekson said.

Kickoff time for the Snow College vs. Ellsworth game this Saturday was still listed as “TBA” at the time of publication.