In the midst of the most decorated stretch in program history, Bishop Kelly High football coach Tim Brennan remains as calm as ever.
Unlike their 5A counterparts, the Knights (11-0) didn’t practice on the turf this week in preparation for Saturday’s 4A state championship game against Skyline (11-0) at Albertsons Stadium, instead sticking with the routine that has helped them win 19 games in a row.
“As our kids left the practice field tonight, a couple of them took grass,” Brennan said. “I wanted them to have as many days on that practice field as they can, because it’s special.”
BK made history last season as the first 4A team to win three consecutive state titles, and the Knights can make it four in a row with a win over the Grizzlies in the first meeting between the two programs.
It would be the third-longest championship streak in state history behind Mackay (six in 1A) and Snake River (five in 3A).
“We’re down to 1-0 right now,” Brennan said. “We’ve got one more, and we’re just excited about the opportunity.”
Bishop Kelly has not lost to a 4A team since 2014, and it owns the classification’s No. 1 defense at 11.5 points per game.
The two best 4A teams in the state of Idaho are playing each other for a state championship. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Tim Brennan, Bishop Kelly football coach
Skyline brings an equally impressive resume into the championship showdown. It averages a state-leading 46.4 points per game and is coming off a 47-35 semifinal victory over Skyview in which the Grizzlies amassed 497 yards of offense with an uptempo spread.
“They definitely have a lot of weapons. They’ll spread you out, and they run the ball and throw the ball very well,” Brennan said. “Their strength is probably their speed. They are very fast.”
The Grizzlies have scored 37 or more points in all but one game and have wins over 5A playoff qualifiers Madison and Rigby.
“We’ve just got to be disciplined on defense,” Brennan said. “They are going to make some plays, but we’ve just got to make sure that we make some tackles in the open field, because their guys are going to get out there.”
But Skyline is in unfamiliar territory, making its first championship appearance since 1998.
“I know our kids know what it’s about to play in a football game like that, so I think our kids will be ready to play,” Brennan said. “They’re going to be fired up. They’re going to be nervous, but they’ve been in that position before.”
Idaho’s prep football dynasties
Bishop Kelly can become the third team in IHSAA history to win four or more state titles in a row with a win.
Note: Mackay (1A), Snake River (3A) and Madison (3A, now competes in 5A).