The shiftiest move of the night came just seconds after the game had ended.
Making his way to shake hands with the opposition, Boyd-Buchanan coach Grant Reynolds saw the sneak attack coming just in time to side-step the bucket of ice water two of his players tried to douse him with.
Reynolds proved to be as tough to corral during the postgame celebration as his players had been during the game as Class 2A's Buccaneers dominated both sides of the ball in a 48-14 whipping of 1A's ninth-ranked Copper Basin.
The win secured the Bucs' fifth consecutive district championship, the last four of which have come in District 5-A, where they are 12-0 in that time. The win also comes after last week's narrow first loss of the season for Boyd-Buchanan and without senior two-way lineman Malik Brewer.
"We were a little worried about stopping their run game without Malik," said Reynolds, whose team outscored its three district foes by an average of 33 points this season. "But our guys stepped up and really shut them down.
"When you're coming off a loss, you want to get back on the field as quickly as possible to get that bad taste out of your mouth. Our guys were focused on both sides of the ball to get that done."
Boyd-Buchanan held Copper Basin to 42 rushing yards before the Cougars' final scoring drive against the Bucs' backups.
The game was well in hand less than two minutes into the second quarter, as the Bucs built a 21-0 lead. The Cougars (7-3, 1-2) tried to pooch the opening kickoff, but once Cody Payne fielded it and took off, he darted right up the middle, untouched, for a 65-yard touchdown.
The Bucs (9-1, 3-0) had solid field position on their first two possessions, driving 50 yards in nine plays, capped by Jim Cardwell's 3-yard TD keeper, and then 60 yards in eight plays, converting a fourth-and-4 before Rance Harden scored on a 2-yard run.
Harden added three scoring runs in the second half and finished with 106 yards, while Cardwell added 73 rushing yards and two TDs and also threw for 112 yards.
"Scoring on the kickoff and then real quick on our next two drives was huge for us," Cardwell said. "We talk a lot about coming out and being explosive so we don't have to play from behind.
"We all know we can't mess around and say, 'We'll get them next drive,' because this time of year you're running out of next drives."
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...