Printed on: September 13, 2012
Knights prepping to make Civil War history with 5th-straight win
By Michael Lycklama
The goalposts at Thunder Stadium have stayed red for so long that members of the Hillcrest High School football team can't remember them painted any other color.
Hillcrest running back Caden Neuerburg reached deep before failing to pull up an image of green goalposts. And linebacker Taylor Brooks said the posts, which are painted the school color of the winning team of the District 93 rivalry each year, have remained red ever since he moved to Idaho Falls.
The Knights' four-year winning streak means the last time a Bonneville team and its fan base stormed the field at Thunder Stadium with cans of green spray paint came in 2007, when the current seniors were in seventh grade.
The Knights don't plan on letting up anytime soon.
The two schools have remained even during the past 20 years, with the all-time record tied at 10-10. But Hillcrest's four-year winning streak is tied for the longest in the Civil War. Bonneville won four in a row between 2000 and '03.
A win Friday night in the 21st annual Civil War would give Hillcrest a fifth straight win, a record and a way for the Knights senior class to go down in history.
"It'd be awesome," Brooks said. "The classes above us have done their part, and now we just got to finish it off and get the fifth one."
To get the fifth one, Hillcrest has to bounce back from an emotional 16-13 home loss to Shelley last week.
But getting up for this week's game has proved no problem. While Hillcrest's jump to 5A means the Civil War no longer counts toward the conference standings, the game isn't diminished in the minds of the Hillcrest players.
"It's not as important, like most people say, but it's important to us," Neuerburg said. "It's a big deal. It's the Civil War."
That mindset has shown in practice. Brooks said the looming rivalry game and the prospect of slowing a potent Bonneville spread attack has forced the Knights to focus harder in practice this week than any time since this summer.
Defense has been the strength of Hillcrest thus far. But if the Knights plan on winning Friday, the offense has to get back on track.
Shelley limited Hillcrest to 136 yards last week, and held Neuerburg, who rushed for more than 2,000 yards last year, to seven yards on 12 carries.
"We're going to do some things to get Caden in space and not have him be so spied as he was last week," Shelley coach Dwight Richins said. "We're working on a few things to hopefully break him free a little more."
Bonneville players were not available for comment because Bonneville coach Fred Armstrong closed access to his team this week.
Civil War history
Friday's game between
District 93 rivals Bonneville and Hillcrest will break a tie in the all-time series.
Series record: tied 10-10
2011 -- Hillcrest 23, Bonneville 20
2010 -- Hillcrest 65, Bonneville 21
2009 -- Hillcrest 53, Bonneville 22
2008 -- Hillcrest 34, Bonneville 20
2007 -- Bonneville 35, Hillcrest 0
2006 -- Bonneville 35, Hillcrest 13
2005 -- Hillcrest 28, Bonneville 26
2004 -- Hillcrest 33, Bonneville 10
2003 -- Bonneville 43, Hillcrest 34
2002 -- Bonneville 27, Hillcrest 26
2001 -- Bonneville 31, Hillcrest 2
2000 -- Bonneville 41, Hillcrest 26
1999 -- Hillcrest 35, Bonneville 15
1998 -- Hillcrest 54, Bonneville 7
1997 -- Bonneville 33, Hillcrest 16
1996 -- Bonneville 20, Hillcrest 19
1995 -- Bonneville 14, Hillcrest 0
1994 -- Hillcrest 48, Bonneville 0
1993 -- Hillcrest 17, Bonneville 9
1992 -- Bonneville 20, Hillcrest 17
Civil War records
-- Team --
Most points scored (combined): 86 -- 2010 (Hillcrest 65-21)
Most points scored (team): 65 -- Hillcrest 2010
Fewest points scored (combined): 14 -- 1995 (Bonneville 14-0)
Fewest points scored (team): 0 -- Hillcrest 1995, 2007
Largest margin of victory: 48 -- Hillcrest 1994 (48-0)
Smallest margin of victory: 1 -- Bonneville 1996 (20-19)
Most rushing yards: 488 -- Hillcrest, 2010
Fewest rushing yards: minus-6 -- Bonneville, 1993
Most passing yards: 286 -- Bonneville, 2009
-- INDIVIDUAL --
Most rushing yards: 319 -- Ryan Coleman, Bonneville, 2000
Most rushing touchdowns: 5 -- Ryan Coleman, Bonneville, 2000
Most passing yards: 264 -- Brad Hannan, Bonneville, 2007
Most completions: 19 -- Heath Jackson, Bonneville, 1993; Scott Madsen, Bonneville, 1995
Most pass attempts: 40 -- Heath Jackson, Bonneville, 1993
Most passing touchdowns: 4 -- Brad Hannan, Bonneville, 2007
Most receptions: 11 -- Jon Wilson, Bonneville, 2007
Most receiving yards: 173 -- Jon Wilson, Bonneville, 2007
Most receiving touchdowns: 3 -- Jon Wilson, Bonneville, 2007
Longest touchdown run: 99 -- Matt Astel, Hillcrest, 2008
Longest touchdown pass: 61 -- Cade Powell from Nathan Ford, Hillcrest, 1992
players to watch
Caden Neuerburg, sr., RB
Neuerburg topped the 2,000-yard rushing mark last season.
But Shelley held the prolific back to seven yards on 12 carries last week. He did find a way to the end zone with a 90-yard kickoff return.
Taylor Brooks, sr., LB
The 6-foot, 220-pound linebacker is the heart of a Knights defense that has surrendered just 14.7 points per game.
As the offense switches gears to the Wing-T, the defense has led the Knights early in the season.
Trae Walker, sr., RB
Bonneville's workhorse has quietly combined for 69 touches, 456 yards of offense and seven total touchdowns.
His ability to run between the tackles has given the Bees a physical presence to their spread offense.
Tanner Smith, jr., QB
The junior signal caller struggled in his first full game of the season last week, throwing three interceptions.
He gets a big stage in the Civil War to remind everyone what he can do.