BURLEY — A new head coach on his home field couldn’t stop the momentum of the Minico-Burley football rivalry.
The Spartans controlled the game from start to finish, with few mistakes and few silver linings for their Mini-Cassia rivals. Minico (2-1) has now defeated Burley (1-2) in 13 straight meetings, and its overall record in the series improved to 73-36.
“We just dominated out there,” Minico senior lineman Juan Ruiz said.
Perhaps the biggest drive of the game appeared near the end of the first half.
Trailing 21-0, Burley had put together its first long drive of the game. With 3:38 on the clock, the Bobcats attempted a double-pitch run play, but the second pitch fell to the turf. Senior Minico lineman Fernando Larios fell on it, and the Spartans took over at their own 18-yard line.
A minute later, Minico was celebrating its fourth touchdown, a 39-yard bomb from John Perrigot to fellow senior Nicky Caldera. The Spartans carried that 28-0 lead into halftime.
“It’s hard to say when you’re down 21-0 that that’s a turning point,” Burley first-year coach Tony Cade said. “It was things like that, just some mental errors, and that comes with youth.”
The Spartans controlled both lines of scrimmage. They ran the ball with ease, and Perrigot was solid in his limited pass attempts (7-of-16, 109 yards, two touchdowns).
Minico didn’t attempt a punt until 9:25 left in the game, when the backups were in. Each Burley drive in the first quarter ended in a punt.
Spartans senior Larry Vega benefited the most from his dominant offensive line. And once he gets to the second level, good luck.
Vega rushed for 212 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries for his second straight 200-yard rushing performance. Last week, he compiled 233 yards on 27 carries in a 55-35 win over Century.
“He’s very explosive,” Minico coach Tim Perrigot said. “He did a lot of that stuff on his own at times, but there were other times, man, you could’ve drove a truck through that thing.”
As a team, Minico ran the ball 29 times against Burley for 252 yards, a strong total made meager compared by last week’s 490-yard rushing performance.
Friday’s win was an ideal sendoff for Minico’s seniors. They not only beat their rivals for the fourth time in as many tries, they shut them out for the first time since 2009, when the Spartans prevailed 29-0 at Burley.
“This felt like the best one we’ve had yet,” Ruiz said.
After Vega put Minico up 42-0 on a 58-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, the Spartans student section chanted, “Where’s our rival?” Cade’s answer: still rebuilding.
“The lesson I learned is that this is a pretty big game,” Cade said. “Tim’s been to the big dance before, and here I am playing in a big game, game three.”
Minico next plays a nonconference game at 5A Rigby, and Burley plays at 3A Kimberly.
Minico 42, Burley 0
Minico; 14; 14; 14; 0; — 42
Burley; 0; 0; 0; 0; — 0
M — Larry Vega 28-yard run (McKay Chandler kick) 8:24
M — Vega 7-yard TD (Chandler kick) 0:32
M — Colter May 1-yard run (Chandler kick) 6:56
M — Nicky Caldera 39-yard pass from John Perrigot (Chandler kick) 2:34
M — Caldera 9-yard pass from Perrigot (Chandler kick) 10:43
M — Vega 58-yard run (Chandler kick) 2:55