Sixteen Wood River High School seniors will be saluted in their final home football game Friday, Oct. 10 when the Wolverines entertain the tough Minico Spartans for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Phil Homer Field.
"Senior Night" festivities precede the Great Basin Conference West meeting between three-time defending league champ Minico (4-1, 1-0 league) and Wood River (1-4, 0-1). It will be a challenge for the Wolverines, who lost their first league contest 20-6 at Burley Friday.
Minico, coming off a bye week, will be fired up Friday after losing only its second game in two seasons, 35-25 at Preston Sept. 26. The Spartans, league winners from 2005-07, will try to regain their footing for the expected league title game against Jerome (4-1, 1-0) Oct. 17 on the Spartans' field.
Coach Mike Glenn's Wolverines, having scored only two touchdowns in the last two games, will aim for a respectable showing and strong defensive effort against a Minico program that has whipped Wood River four straight times by a 137-34 score.
Road games at #2-ranked Hillcrest of Idaho Falls (4-1) Oct. 16 and at Jerome Oct. 24 round out the Wolverine schedule for 2008.
Burley finally wins at home
Even the Wood River fans who endured Friday's lackluster effort at Burley had to feel empathy for Bobcat rooters who joyously celebrated their first-ever football win on the new Samuel M. Skaggs Event Center community turf field.
On its "Senior Night" Burley (1-5, 1-2), winning for only the second time in its last 23 grid games, used a standout performance by senior quarterback A.J. Hunter (2 TDs, 1 TD pass) to snap a 13-game home winless skid dating to 2005. It was Burley's fourth game on its new field, and only the second game under its new lights.
Hunter rushed 19 times for 157 yards and two TDs, completed seven passes for 88 yards and one TD, and intercepted a pass that turned into Burley's first of two TDs in the fourth period. Burley extended its 7-6 halftime lead by capitalizing on two Hailey turnovers, interception and fumble, in the fourth.
In total statistics, Burley out-rushed Wood River 251-95 and amassed 436 yards in total offense, to just 222 for the Wolverines. It was Wood River's ninth consecutive road loss since a 39-0 victory on Burley's old football field in Sept. 2006.
For Wood River, junior quarterback Juan Martinez (10-for-24, 91 yards) directed the team capably in his first start.
Junior Rafael Barriga booted his fourth and fifth field goals. Sophomore Kasey Barker averaged 44 yards a punt. The top tackler once again was senior linebacker Clayton Jensen (10) followed by junior Nick Chase (9) and senior Francisco Enriquez (8).
With the win, Burley most likely earned the Great Basin West third seed and a Great Eight Playoffs date on Halloween at the home field of 4A top-ranked Pocatello (5-0), a 39-20 road winner at Twin Falls Friday. And, in all probability, Burley's win also eliminated Wood River from the Great Eight Playoffs for the first time under fourth-year coach Glenn.