“This is the first time Bottineau has ever won a playoff game,” said Nate Olson, defensive end/fullback.
The Braves came into the post-season undefeated.
“I grew up here so I played football here. We were a playoff team in 2004 and we’ve had playoffs in 2009, 2011 and we lost all three of those. So getting there and getting a win, it was kind of like getting a monkey off the back. These guys have just been chipping away each week,” said Zach Keller, head coach.
After redistricting this year, the team classed down from 11B to 9-man.
And they have a deeper depth chart now that there are two fewer guys on the field.
“It’s been really huge for us. Right now, we have four guys, two only play offense and two play defense only and that’s really helped us wear down teams,” Keller said.
The team has a tough matchup in number one LaMoure-Litchville/Marion in the semi-finals.
Coach Keller says the defense is going to need to step it up and make the big plays on Saturday.
“Consistency with our plays on offense being physical up front on defense just getting in there as quick as we can same stuff we’ve done all season,” Olson said.
No matter the outcome, everyone is just proud to have made it this far.
“A lot of it is this group of kids. This senior group are leaders. They’ve helped change the culture here and helped bring build a winning program. A lot of credit goes to them,” Keller said.
“It feels awesome we’ve struggled throughout history we’ve had a few good seasons here and there but it feels really good to be part of that team that changes the culture here and breaks history, yeah,” Olson said.