BUTTE — The West Shrine Team’s defense is a coach’s dream.

Dillon head coach Rick Nordahl is used to leading championship-caliber defenses, but even he is excited to watch his West Team go to work at the Shrine Game on Saturday in Billings.

“We have a great bunch of athletes on the defensive side,” he said. “And just their overall knowledge of the game, they’re really creating havoc over on that side.”

If this week of practices is any indication of how the game will go this weekend, the West’s defense should be a force. The ‘havoc’ that Nordahl mentioned begins up front with a solid foundation on the defensive line, anchored by the huge defensive ends Ty Morgan of Ennis and Cooper Christensen of Twin Bridges, both of whom played 8-man football during their high school careers.

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“It’s a lot of fun to coach those guys,” said Brett Nordahl, who is coaching the defensive line. “Not only are they big, but they have motors — they just don’t quit. They keep going at the quarterback, attacking that offensive line, and really making [the offense] work for everything they get.”

The defense is incredibly talented, but what is pushing them to the next level is going up against a gifted offense all week.

“This is a team sport and competition makes you better,” Rick Nordahl said. “This offense, they’ve really come a long ways, and they present a lot of challenges with the athletes that they have over there.”

The two sides have challenged each other throughout the week, and, with practices now over, the progress will be measured when the two sides hit the field to take on the East at Herb Klindt Field at 7 p.m. Saturday.

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