The Spokesman-Review published this Murrow News Service story by Braden Johnson, with photos by Luke Hollister, on Nov. 9, 2018.
COLTON – Gusting wind and a sideways rain pummeled the players. It was about an hour before kickoff and the high school field was turning to a slippery, muddy bog.
“Let’s go, boys,” said Colton coach Clark Vining, standing at the 50-yard-line. “Get your head into it!”
The stadium lights were the only lights for miles when the 10 young men took the field. A lonely car whizzed by on U.S. Highway 395. Barns and factories and storefronts were dark. Everybody in this town of 467 people – it seemed – had gathered around the Colton High School football field for the Nov. 1 game.
Soon, the Colton Wildcats would battle their archrival, the Garfield-Palouse Vikings, in a game of 8-man football. Nothing more than bragging rights for the coming offseason were on the line, but hundreds had shown up to watch.
“Wildcat football – you can’t get any better than that,” said Parker Druffel, the team’s quarterback.
Behind the scene was a another story.