3A State Championship Preview
Is the third time the charm for the Trojans? Or will Sugar-Salem secure a third-straight championship?
Published: 11/18/2020 3:29:02 PM


Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Homedale and Sugar-Salem are facing off in the 3A state championship. 

For the third year in a row, the Trojans and Diggers will meet in the final game of the season. But for Homedale, a sense of urgency surrounds this year’s title matchup. After appearing in every 3A state playoff since 2013, the Trojans have yet to secure a championship since their 2A days, with the last first-place finish dating back to 1997. 


But this year’s Homedale team might have the offensive firepower to finally get the best of the ever-dominant Diggers, and the entire scheme revolves around one of the state’s most explosive runners. 

Heading into Saturday, running back Hayden Kincheloe leads the team in yards with 1,480 on the ground. Kincheloe, just a junior, helped Homedale blow past South Fremont in the state semifinals, rushing for 348 of Homedale’s 468 total yards. 

According to Trojan Head Coach Matt Holtry, Kincheloe’s success starts at the line, with six offensive linemen on the roster standing at six feet or higher. But part of Kincheloe’s 7.5 average yards per carry comes down to his innate ability to shed tacklers. Better yet, Kincheloe’s mere presence in the backfield opens opportunities for quarterback Jaxon Dines to run the read-option or go over the top for a big pass. 

“We are well aware of what they want to do offensively,” said Sugar-Salem Head Coach Tyler Richins. “Stopping what they want to do is the challenge. They have had a ton of success running thb football this season. We feel confident in our defensive lineman and linebackers to make a difference in stopping the run. If we stop the run and turn them over, I feel like we have a good shot at winning this football game.”

Saturday’s outcome could very well be determined on Sugar-Salem’s ability to corral Kincheloe. The Diggers possess the state’s stingiest 3A defense. Homedale, meanwhile, has the second highest-scoring offense in the classification. 

Boyd Sorenson will hope to lead the charge in storming the backfield. Spencer leads Sugar-Salem in tackles for loss, netting negative-41 yards throughout the season. Ryan Harris will serve as the second line of defense at the linebacker position, hoping to prevent Kincheloe from hitting that higher gear. 

To contrast, Sugar-Salem has no one obvious bell cow to rely on. Quarterback Kyzon Garner has only 10 touchdowns through the air, with another eight on the ground. Garner leads the team in rushing with 370 yards on the year, but Sugar-Salem lists seven players that have totaled at least 100 yards on the ground so far in 2020. 

Out at receiver, Brigham Lee is the obvious choice for the Homedale secondary to key in on. Lee leads the team with 444 yards and five touchdowns. 

“They have some very talented players and they are very good at what they do,” Holtry said. “It will be critical to be able to get a couple of stops on defense and hopefully a turnover or two.”

The Diggers also added a much-missed offensive weapon late in the season. Crew Clark, who broke his collarbone in Sugar-Salem’s season opener, made a return to the roster with just weeks left in the regular season. Despite the absence, Clark still has gained 227 yards rushing, one of four backs with more than 200 yards on the year. 

Saturday’s 3A state championship kicks off noon (MST) at Middleton High School. IdahoSports.com will live audio broadcast the game. Click here to listen. 


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