Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Football team seeks first win against Burley

Wood River hosts winless Bobcats Friday

Express Staff Writer

Coming off lopsided losses to Idaho's top two 4A football teams, the Wood River Wolverines and Burley Bobcats will be seeking their first victories of the 2007 season Friday, Oct. 5 in a Great Basin Conference West league game in Hailey.

Opening kickoff is 7 p.m. Friday at Hailey's Phil Homer Field and one of the two winless teams will leave the gridiron with a big league win. The Wolverines haven't beaten Burley in Hailey in 19 years so they're hoping to correct that.

Wood River coach Mike Glenn said, "We're mentally ready for Burley. We were mentally ready for Minico and battled well. We weren't intimidated by Minico at all and did a lot of good things."

The unbeaten and #2-ranked Minico Spartans (6-0, 2-0 league, 20-5 over three years) built a 28-0 halftime lead over Wood River Friday at Rupert and prevailed 41-7. Two-time defending league champion Minico hasn't lost a Great Basin Conference West game since 2004 and is now averaging 39.3 ppg this season.

Senior Spartan quarterback Dane Broadhead threw for over 250 yards and three touchdowns and also rushing for 60 more yards and one score on Minico's Homecoming night.

Hailey senior receiver Matt Staskiewicz scored Wood River's touchdown on a 51-yard pass from quarterback Danny Kramer in the fourth period.

"Minico made big plays but they're known as a big play team," said Glenn. "But we're starting to play some hard defense. The young kids are settling into their positions where we need them. They're coming around and starting to figure out stuff.

"Give the kids credit. They haven't thrown in the towel. We seem to be peaking at the right time. We just need to come out and execute against Burley."

Burley (0-6, 0-2 league) has lost 15 consecutive games over three seasons since 2005 when the defending Great Basin king Bobcats last won 50-35 at Jerome. Blackfoot then beat Burley 49-8 in the first round of the 4A playoffs. It's been downhill ever since for the 'Cats.

The most recent Burley loss was 37-0 at its Homecoming Friday to top-ranked 4A Blackfoot (6-0). Burley's offense for two seasons has struggled. The 'Cats have scored only 28 points in six games and have allowed nearly 40.0 ppg. Last fall they scored 55 points in eight losses.

Wood River won 39-0 over host Burley in 2006—and that was the last Wolverine victory prior to the current two-season, seven-game skid.

But the Wolverines won't be feeling sorry for Burley. Prior to last year's Wood River rout in Burley, the Bobcats had trounced the Wolverines seven straight times by a 235-46 margin. Wood River last beat Burley in Hailey 13-8 in 1988.

This year's slow-starting Wolverines (0-4, 0-1 league) will enter Friday's game coming off four losses to teams with a combined unbeaten 21-0 record. But Wood River (16.3 ppg) has scored in each game and shown some promise on offense.

At Minico Kramer completed 14 passes in 29 attempts for 139 yards and one touchdown, his fifth TD pass. Primary receivers were Erik Jacobson (7 catches, 33 yards) and top Wolverine scorer Staskiewicz (6 catches, 106 yards). Staskiewicz (6 TDs) has scored 38 of Wood River's 65 points through four games.

Wood River rushed 14 times for 74 yards led by senior Matt Libert (8-for-34) and junior Sean Bunce (5-for-37).

Minico has now won four straight grid games over Wood River by a 137-27 count and needs only a road win at Jerome Oct. 12 to clinch a third straight Basin title.

Jerome (3-2, 1-0 league) hosts unbeaten 3A Buhl (5-0) Thursday, Oct .4 and finishes up its regular season at home against Minico Oct. 12 and against Wood River in Hailey Oct. 19.

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