BRIDGER — Nearly every season has ended the same way for the Bridger Scouts. With a loss.
Fans and players, alike, left with only one thing to say. “Maybe next year.”
Well ‘next year’ may finally be here.
“Yeah, it’d be great to put an end to that,” said Scouts quarterback and defensive end Kaleb Buessing. “You know the state championship this year and do the best we can and hopefully even do it again next year.”
“That would really tickle us,” head coach Mike Mathis said. “We’re really trying hard in practice, working really hard for that, but yeah, still it’s just a game at a time you know, we want to keep it simple for now. They want to go deep, they want to go as far as they can go and I think this group is going to go pretty far.”
“I’ve always wanted to make it as far as we could in football and that’s the state championship. And we’re not there yet, but the team’s hoping that we can make it that far,” said Bridger running back and middle linebacker Colter Zentner.
And those expectations are not unrealistic. Bridger is 7-0 on the season and has yet to give up more than 26 points in a game.
“You know, you don’t want a target on your back, but I guess it just kind of motivates us you know,” said Buessing. “We’ve got to live up to the expectations and keep working hard, it’s just a big motivation.”
“Not very many teams get the chance to do this,” added receiver and defensive end Ryan Zentner. “Getting ranked, ahhh, it’s not a big deal. I mean, I don’t want to be cocky and I know kids’ are not cocky, but I thought about it a little bit.”
What’s the difference between this season and every other Bridger team before them? Defense.
The Scouts’ D has pitched three shutouts and has allowed only 59 points on the season.
“We’ve only been giving up nine points a game and that’s the biggest difference than in years past,” Mathis said. “We’ve always had some pretty good offense here, but the defense, and in particular the defensive front three, are just playing lights out.”
“It’s just so much fun to be out there with all those guys and knowing that if you miss a tackle there’s five guys behind you that are going to make it,” said Buessing. “It’s just nice having so many guys you can rely on.”
Bridger’s offense is also providing plenty of fireworks. They’ve scored more than 60 points four times, including 92 once.
“It’s really nice not having to rely on one receiver,” Buessing said. “We have everybody that can go catch a ball and make a play and then our running game is strong, too. We have people that can run the ball really well, it’s just nice to have so many weapons.”
“We’ve got so many weapons — it’s not just one player that does everything,” said Colter Zentner. “We’ve got six players on the field at all times that can score the ball.”
And as of now they haven’t been beaten. So throw out the history books, because this team plans on writing its own. Only this one could very well have a different ending.