RUPERT — The Minico High School football team upended the previously undefeated Skyview Hawks 29-28 Friday night to secure its first state championship game appearance in school history.
“What do you say? I mean, what do you say? It was an amazing night,” Minico head coach Tim Perrigot said. “It was great from the get-go, and to be able to come back and win at the end, I don’t have any words. I have nothing. I’m usually a man of many words, and I have nothing.”
“The rest of the state found out that Minico is pretty good.”
Minico (9-2) started the game off with a quick drive, receiving the opening kickoff and moving quickly down the field. The drive was capped off when junior running back Colter May ran for a touchdown from three yards out to put the Spartans up 7-0 with only 1:47 off the clock.
Skyview (10-1) captured the lead with 4:57 remaining in the second quarter when running back Tyler Crowe scored his first of three touchdowns, a 21-yard blast that displayed both speed and power.
“They had us guessing a little in the first half,” said Tim Perrigot. “We doubled up DeMonte (Horton) and they were able to run the football.”
Skyview shot itself in the foot multiple times Friday night, including the final minute of the first half when they fumbled a punt return.
With 4.6 seconds remaining in the half, on 4th and goal from the 1-yard line, Minico quarterback John Perrigot handed the ball to junior running back Kasen Jones. Jones appeared to be stopped short of the goal line, but a tremendous second effort put him across the line to tie the game 14-14.
Opening the second half, the Spartans kicked the ball to Skyview. Senior lineman Aidan VanTassell forced a fumble on the return and took the ball 17 yards for a score, putting Minico back on top 21-14.
“I went down to wrap up for the tackle and I just wrapped around the ball,” said VanTassell. “I just took it and ran. The first touchdown of my career.”
Following two more Crowe touchdowns, the Spartans were trailing 28-21 with 4:40 remaining in the game.
With the Spartans needing a score to stay alive, senior running back Larry Vega stepped up, rushing for nearly 50 yards on the team’s final drive.
“Big teams like that always try to make big hits, instead of trying to tackle they try to lay me out,” said Vega. “I expected that and was able to take advantage.”
After a John Perrigot pass to senior receiver Nicky Caldera set Minico up with first and goal from the 1-yard line, senior running back Tim Miller took the ball in for the score with 2:17 left. A run by Miller on the two-point conversion put the Spartans on top 29-28 for good.
“When they said we were going for two, I had a feeling they would call that play,” said Miller. “Everybody has worked their butts off, and I’m just so glad that we have this chance.”
“It’s the greatest feeling ever,” VanTassel said.
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Minico will face defending 4A state champion Skyline next week at Holt Arena in the title game.
Minico 29, Skyview 28
Minico 7 7 7 8 — 29
Skyview 7 7 7 7 — 28
M — Colter May 3 run (McKay Chandler kick) 10:13
S — Daniel Lopez 3 run (Caden Jantz kick) 3:55
S — Tyler Crowe 21 run (Jantz kick) 4:57
M — Kasen Jones 1 run (Chandler kick) 0:00
M — Aidan VanTassell 17 fumble recovery (Chandler kick) 11:52
S — Crowe 12 run (Jantz kick) 0:35
S — Crowe 1 run (Jantz kick) 4:40
M — Tim Miller 1 run (Miller run) 2:17