BURLEY — The Internet has few, if any, records of the last time Burley High School beat Minico in football. Good thing Tim Perrigot is around.
The Bobcats’ most recent win over their Mini-Cassia rival happened in 2004, said Perrigot, who is in his 22nd year as Minico’s head coach. The score was 22-13. The game went back-and-forth. The loss cost the Spartans the Great Basin Conference championship.
“Not that I’m counting or anything,” Perrigot said with a laugh.
Burley and Minico meet again on Friday night for the Times-News Game of the Week. The Spartans will go into Burley trying to extend winning streak to 13 games, and they by no means are taking the downtrodden Bobcats lightly.
“It’s such a big deal that you don’t really have to worry about that,” Perrigot said on this week’s Magic Valley Sports Podcast. “Our kids are to the point where, ‘I’m not gonna be that group of boys that lost the streak.’”
In some respects, Burley and Minico are in identical positions going into Friday. They both have 1-1 records this season after picking up wins last week. Friday’s game will be the first in conference for each team.
Their paths mostly diverge after that.
The Spartans’ 12-game winning over the Bobcats encapsulates the teams’ statuses this century. Minico has consistently finished near the top of the Great Basin Conference standings. Burley has mostly been a bottom-dweller, especially this decade.
Minico’s all-time record against Burley is 72-36 — exactly twice as many wins as losses (this includes 47 years when Minico was Rupert High).
“It really has been acceptable to be mediocre for a lot of years,” Burley coach Tony Cade said on the podcast. “Now, it’s my job to try to turn that table. We’ve gotta raise the Titanic.”
Cade is in his first season at Burley, and he fully understands the magnitude of this rivalry. He’s relieved to go into Friday’s game with a win already in tow.
And what a win it was. Down 14-0 to Buhl (a 3A school) going into the fourth quarter, Burley roared back and won 23-17 in triple overtime. The pivotal play was a fourth quarter fumble recovery Kodie Condie, who ran 98 yards for a touchdown to cut Burley’s deficit to 14-7.
The Bobcats now have as many wins as they did all of last season. A victory on Friday would not only snap the rivalry skid, it would give Burley its first win over a 4A team since 2013, when it beat Canyon Ridge.
“We’ve tried to change a culture, and here I am in game three playing one of the biggest games of my life and also these kids’ lives,” Cade said.
Minico’s win last week featured 50 more points than Burley’s, largely thanks to a huge team rushing performance.
Minico ran for 490 yards in its 55-35 nonconference win over fellow 4A team Century. Larry Vega led the ground attack with 233 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries, and his production was aided by a strong offensive line performance and an efficient day from senior quarterback John Perrigot, Tim’s son (12-of-17, 178 yards).
“It was one of the best football games I felt like I’ve been a part of at Minico maybe in the last 5-6 years, when you look at on film about how everybody played across the board,” Tim Perrigot said.
Minico’s players don’t need a pep talk to get riled up for Friday’s game. If anything, Perrigot said, they need to manage their emotions and focus on executing their individual roles when they’re on the field.
The Spartans have history — old and recent — on their side going into Friday’s game.
The Bobcats know all that, and they head into their home game armed with low expectations. If they can snap the losing streak, the reverberations will take a while to dissipate.
“We tell those kids, ‘Listen, if there’s something you want to look back on in 30 years, you can say in 2017 that you competed with these guys,’” Cade said. “We’ll let the chips fall where they may on Friday night.”