Bishop Kelly dominates against Kuna in playoffs

Knights rolls past Kvemen in 4A state opener.

SPECIAL TO THE STATESMANNovember 9, 2013 

  • KUNA PLAYER INJURED

    Friday’s game at Bishop Kelly was stopped for nearly 30 minutes in the first quarter when Kuna junior receiver Boone Bartlome suffered an apparently serious injury while blocking during a running play.

    Bartlome was down on the grass for several minutes while medical personnel attended to him. He eventually was placed on a stretcher and lifted into an ambulance on the field.

    As the emergency vehicle drove away, the teams came together and knelt in prayer at midfield. Players and coaches from both teams grasped hands and bowed their heads in an emotional on-field moment led by Kuna coach Lee Leslie.

In just 5 minutes of game time, a tight 4A state playoff game between 4A Southern Idaho Conference rivals Kuna and Bishop Kelly turned into a runaway.

Bishop Kelly scored a touchdown just before halftime and three more in the first 4 minutes of the second half, pulling away for a 42-6 victory Friday night at Nick Ysursa Field.

It is the first playoff win since 2010 for Bishop Kelly (10-0), which advances to face Century (7-3) in the semifinal round next weekend in Pocatello.

“It’s always tough to play a good football team twice, but our kids came out very well prepared,” Bishop Kelly coach Tim Brennan said. “Physically, from start to finish, they dominated the game.”

Senior tailback Matt Mello ran for 148 yards and three TDs, and fellow senior Mark Greene added 74 yards and two scores on the ground as the Knights came out with the same downhill, physical rushing attack that keyed their 35-20 regular-season victory over the Kavemen.

“We came out fired up from the get-go,” Mello said. “We just wanted to keep pounding the ball. Our offensive line, our two fullbacks Cole Oliver and Nick Kuzio, Mark Greene and myself as the running backs, we just all clicked this week.”

BK got out to an early lead on runs of 28 and 24 yards by Greene. Kuna hung tough for most of the first half, but Mello’s 6-yard TD run to cap a 15-play BK drive just before halftime made it 21-0.

The flood gates opened in the third quarter as Bowen Ogata threw a 49-yard strike to Robby Degen, Conner Charles scored on a 30-yard interception return and Mello punched in a 5-yard TD.

Brennan began to empty his bench after that as the Knights cruised to victory.

Star tailback Spencer Trautman had 157 total yards and the lone Kuna TD in his final high school game for the Kavemen (7-3). But after the game, both teams turned their thoughts to injured Kuna junior Boone Bartlome.

“It’s a reality slap tonight,” an emotional Lee Leslie said. “It’s a heartbreaking deal, and it matters a lot more than football.”

Brennan echoed those sentiments.

“No win in the world is worth what happened tonight,” Brennan said. “Our prayers are with (Bartlome) and his family and the entire Kuna community. We just hope he can recover.”

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