Valley Christian practices for their showdown with Hot Springs on Friday night (MTN Sports photo).

MISSOULA – We have passed the halfway point of the high school football season. And a few teams in Western Montana still own a perfect record. Glacier, Columbia Falls, Bigfork, and Hot Springs have all won every contest. So have a pair from Missoula. And they both face a big test Friday.

Loyola has rolled over every challenger on their way to a 5-0 mark. The closest game the Rams have played was a 35-point blowout. But this week might bring their toughest opponent yet to Missoula. Loyola knows they have their hands full with 4-2 Ronan.

“Ronan is a very good team. I’ll give them that,” said Loyola senior guard and defensive tackle Ken Roth. “They’ve been very good so far. They’ve proven over the past few years that they’ve been getting better. And that we need to step up our game each and every week.”

“It’s definitely a big game,” added senior wide receiver and cornerback Jackson Maricelli. “They are a great team. They’re going to be tough. Try not to overlook them. Conference is on the line on this, so we’re going to go out there, and we’ll give it our all.”

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Meanwhile, Valley Christian has also piled up a 5-0 mark with only blowout victories. But now it gets real for Eagles. The top four teams in the Western 6-man standings all sit 4-0 in league. And they all play each other over the next three weeks. Valley Christian starts the gauntlet with our number one ranked team in the state, Hot Springs. And they can’t wait to take on the challenge.

“Just feel like it’s going to be crazy,” said Valley Christian head coach Shane Sander. “Like a demolition derby almost. And just see what happens when the dust settles. But it is pretty unique the way that has happened.”

“Survival of the fittest,” added running back and linebacker Jordan Kelly. “So I mean whoever is the better team is going to come out still undefeated. I think we have a pretty good chance against them. But you never know.”

“It’s going to be hard for sure,” said running back Colton Becker. “But I think if we can stay united and stay how we’ve been going this year so far, I think we’ve been doing a really good job. I think we have at least a good chance of making playoffs and getting deep into the playoffs.”