KALISPELL, Mont. - The Columbia Falls Wildcats are competing in the state semifinals for the second year in a row.
Their only regular season loss came against Dillon over two months ago. Their next opponent, Sidney, just beat Dillon last Saturday.
"To beat Sidney we just need to be us, honestly. We run the ball really well; we’re really efficient. Our quarterback led the entire state in passing percentage and was one or two in quarterback QBI rating,” said coach Jaxon Schweikert.
The team’s journey to Sidney started Thursday at 7 a.m. The team stopped in Havre Thursday night to practice and then traveled the rest of the way to Sidney on Friday. Overall it took them 13 hours by bus.
"It’s tough, because they are men of action and men of action don't sit very good. They want to get out and move and go,” said Schweikert.
The long trip across the state makes it hard for Columbia Falls fans to make the game. After winning last week's quarterfinal game at home this time they will have to make their own momentum.
"What we do in the locker room and our pregames and things are almost eerie. We've been doing it for close to 30 years now, and it still gives me goosebumps. Our kids come out strongly every time,” said Schweikert.
Last year the Wildcats lost to Dillon in the state championship game. If they win this weekend they will play at home and get another chance at their first-ever state title.
Senior wide receiver Ben Windauer still feels the sting of last year’s loss and has been waiting a long time for this opportunity.
"It’s been a dream of our class since we were little. We've always talked about winning a state title our senior year and going to Sidney means everything to us. We want to win the game. We want to come back here and host the state championship, make our fans proud and our town proud," said Windauer.
Schweikert says these boys are going to give everything they have. If someone wants to beat them they are going to have to earn it.
Columbia Falls will play at Sidney Saturday at 1 p.m.