Two of the most consistent 4A football teams in the state go helmet-to-helmet Friday night when Blackfoot hosts Bishop Kelly in a quarterfinal playoff game.
The two teams have won six of the past eight state championships, beginning with Bishop Kellys back-to-back wins in 2004-05.
The success has translated into a heated playoff rivalry sparked by Blackfoots 27-14 win in the 2009 state quarterfinals.
We know they are very successful. They are probably one of the most successful teams in the state the last five to 10 years, Bishop Kelly coach Tim Brennan said.
We know that its going to be a very tough ballgame. ... We have to go up there and play the best team in the state on their home field. We are looking forward to it.
The Broncos (8-1) have won two of the past three state titles, including last season. Their only loss this year came against unbeaten Madison, the top-ranked team in 5A.
Bishop Kelly (8-1) is the most recent 4A team to beat Blackfoot, earning a 41-28 victory over the Broncos in the 2010 state championship game at Bronco Stadium.
Its a little bit of a rivalry just because both of us have a history of winning programs, Bishop Kelly senior left tackle/defensive end Neal Murphy said. We both know that this is a big game.
After missing the playoffs last season in Brennans first year back at the school, Bishop Kelly has returned to old traditions, such as Friday team breakfasts at Eddies.
And the Knights are returning to their winning ways, too.
Except for a double-overtime loss to 4A Southern Idaho Conference rival Middleton on Oct. 12, Bishop Kelly has been dominant.
The Knights average a league-leading 48.6 points per game and have limited opponents to a conference-best 14 points.
On two occasions this season, BK has scored 70 or more points, and the Knights have scored 40 or more points five times.
Whats special about this team is we have a junior and senior class full of leaders, senior receiver/safety Cory Brady said. We all have the same goal in achieving that state title. Since the beginning of summer workouts, weve all just committed to that goal and weve been working hard ever since. Its got us this far.
Hard work has made the Knights a threat in all facets of the game. Brady has returned four punts for touchdowns and also has seven interceptions, junior quarterback Bowen Ogata has thrown for 29 touchdowns with just four interceptions, and Murphy leads the 4A SIC with 6.5 sacks.
Still, Brennan said everything will need to go right in order for the Knights to come away with a win at Blackfoot.
Weve got a great turnover ratio and weve just got to keep that up, Brennan said. Weve got to capitalize on some mistakes that theyre going to make and we cant make mistakes.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422,Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX