BILLINGS — On Friday night Billings West will be at home against a familiar foe from the other side of the state. For the fifth time in the past two calendar years, Missoula Sentinel and the Golden Bears will duke it out on the gridiron. Missoula Sentinel has won the first four meetings, two of which were right here at Daylis Stadium. So how do the Golden Bears get over the hump this time?
“I think the main thing we have to improve upon from the first game is be able to handle their pressure. Defensively they play very fast and bring guys from all over the place," West head coach Rob Stanton said. "I think another thing we have to learn from game one is we can’t start so slow that first half. Second half we played pretty well, but we can’t do that again in the playoffs. There’s no chance to make any corrections, so hopefully we can correct that before it happens in the first half.”
This West team is far different from the one that fell to the Spartans in late August. That was essentially the first big-time snaps for nearly every starter, so it’s safe to say the Bears have improved quite a bit throughout the season.
“We’ve gotten a lot better in so many different positions. You should after a long season like this. Our kids have bought in, they believe in what we do. They’re perfect for our program. We’re a lot better, but we can always still get a little bit better, too. Never happy as a coach," said Stanton.
Sentinel and West are slated for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Friday night with a spot in the semifinals on the line.