Since the inception of the North Prairie Football co-op in 2007, the Cougars only trip to the FargoDome came seven years ago

“Most of us were watching that 2015 team that made it to that Dakota Bowl, and I think we knew we wanted to be a lot like them,” Quarterback and Safety Nicholas Mears said.

And just like 2015, this year’s team is a perfect 10-0 heading to the 9B semi-finals.

“Anytime you have a team that makes it this far, you’ve got some really talented players and I think we have that. We’ve got a great offensive line. We’ve got some really great recievers and great running backs, so the talent of our players is what’s taken us this far, and we as coaches just try not to screw them up,” Head Coach Josh Keller said.

“We returned a lot of experience. I knew we’d be a good team, but I didn’t know how deep we’d go, but I knew we’d have a chance,” Mears said.

There’s been no shortage of offense for the Cougars in each of their wins. They average nearly 50 points a game, lead by a dominant rushing attack.

Our offensive line is good, and then we have really great runners. It makes life a lot easier, it’s just lining up and knowing that you can get 5-6 yards every play,” Offensive and Defensive Lineman Nate Tastad said.

North Prairie’s last trip to the semi’s in 2016 was against the same team they’ll see this Saturday, New Salem-Almont.

“I think both of our teams conceptually are pretty similar. We both want to run the ball effectively and we both want to play tough defense so it’ll be a really really tough matchup. They’ve got a great running quarterback, and they’ve got a great offensive line and some great running backs too. It’ll be a tight ballgame, we’ll just have to do one or two things and make one more plays than they do,” Keller said.

Facing another undefeated team with a similar play style means each possession is extra important.

“Just knowing what your assignment is and making sure you always take care of the football. Generally in those games, the team with the less turnovers will win,” Mears said.