ST. IGNATIUS — Every year the Montana high school football playoffs give us a great show. This year the St. Ignatius Bulldogs are part of that elite crowd, but it's the first time in a long time.
The Bulldogs went 8-1 in the regular season to secure a playoff spot for the first time in 18 years.
“I think there are four of them on our team that were alive the last time we made the playoffs in 2001,” said head coach Tyler Murray.
“18 years is crazy, we couldn’t have a better community. They are out here supporting us even through this stuff (snow) out here, but yeah, it’s just awesome,” said Jedi Christy.
In 2019, St. Ignatius has scored 44 points per game and only given up 20 to their opponents. A big part of the reason St. Ignatius sits as the third seed in the 8-Man West is leadership the 13 seniors bring to the squad.
“They play as a team is the thing. They are so selfless, there are so many kids on our team that would be starters on a different team that are just role players possibly on our team," Murray said. "That's what makes us successful, because they aren't selfish, they care about each other and they are so close knit."
“We have all been playing offense together since we were sophomores in 8-Man. But we’ve all grown up together playing football, so I feel like the biggest thing for us is our chemistry," said senior quarterback Isaac Dumontier "We are able to click, make big plays, the receivers are. Running backs, you know, and the line really good blocking. We’re really good at communicating and working together.”
The Bulldogs now shift their focus to a 7-1 Park City Panthers team that poses a big threat.
“They are in the playoffs for a reason. They are hosting a playoff game for a reason and we are just excited for the test. We’re just excited to play these guys and it’s a good opportunity to see where we are at and take our football to the next level,“ said Dumontier.
The hopes are high and the goals are set for this team but they know it’s still just one game at a time.
“They are very excited for that but also we are not done. We are ready to win a playoff game this week and then go on from there,” said Murray.
The St. Ignatius Bulldogs (8-1) take on the Park City Panthers (7-1) Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in Park City.