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Undefeated 8-man powerhouses go to battle for the 1A DII state championship

Carey to face Dietrich for the first time this season
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 12:17 AM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - The Carey-Dietrich game has been on the radar of eight-man enthusiasts all year.

Usually this marquee match-up happens in October, but that got canceled. However, if 2020 has taught us anything, expect the unexpected.

Now their only meeting is the 1A Division II state championship.

This banner showcases the two state championships Dietrich earned in 1949 and 1952, serves as a proud reminder for the dozens of teams to follow.

Senior Dietrich running back/linebacker Wes Shaw said, “my mom made that banner I am pretty sure.”

If anyone believes the Blue Devils can end a 68 year drought, it’s head coach, Rick Astle.

“They have a dedication to them that’s unreal and we have a group of seniors that leads the way,” Astle explained. “As we keep going, we’re getting better and better every week and were peaking at the right time right now.”

The 10-0 record is a culmination of executing plays and trusting one another.

Shaw added, “we just help each other, if I’m down on an outbreak, I’ve got four or five guys running in front of me trying to get a block, everyone trying to help Brady get more yards, everyone is pushing me, Brady throwing balls, Cody and Jett will go anywhere to catch it.”

Brady Power, a senior quarterback/linebacker/defensive back said, “it’s definitely different than any other year, I’ve got my brother (Cody) on one side and Jett (Shaw) on the other and they’re good.”

These Carey Panthers have been through their share of ups and downs, especially when they missed four weeks of the regular season

“I am very grateful, I have not taken this for granted, I imagine if we didn’t have this chance to play and it was taken away from us, I couldn’t imagine, I’m going to play like it’s my last play, this weekend will be my last play,” senior quarterback/defensive back Hunter Smith said.

On April 18, 2017, a bus carrying 39 Carey students rolled on the highway, en route to a track meet. 13 went to the hospital.

Coach Lane Kirkland was on that bus, along with some of these seniors.

“This is a special group that I have been with for a long time,” Kirkland said. “That (the accident) has brought us closer together and I think this season has brought us closer together as well.”

A win this weekend will mark Carey’s third title in four years.

“In their minds, they’ve been here and done that, but we’ve never been here,” Dietrich lineman Lester Nance said. “What it comes down to is it will be another game we’ll strive to win for and the best team is going to win.”

“I remember watching games when I was little thinking that’s going to be me in 10 years and sure enough it is,” Carey running back/defensive back Dallin Parke said.

The 1A DII state championship will be held Saturday at Twin Falls High School. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. The first 200 tickets per team will be available.

  • The schools’ parents/fans private link will be sent to the AD prior to the game
  • Any unsold tickets will be released to the public Friday 11/20 at noon
  • Masks will be required for all fans in attendance
  • Please follow social distancing guidelines

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