BOZEMAN — A big AA quarterfinal playoff game is getting set to take place on Friday as the three-seed Bozeman is going to Helena to take on the two-seed Helena High.
“We just got to step up and make plays and it’s just going to be a good game,” said Bozeman senior wide receiver and defensive back Tucker Macbeth.
After beating CMR 61-14 last week in the first round of the playoffs, this team is confident.
“That’s the biggest thing right there, confidence." said Hawks head coach Levi Wesche. "I want our kids to play confident ball and hopefully that helps them moving down the road.”
For Helena High, due to injury, they’ve been missing their star quarterback, junior Kaden Huot who has thrown for a whopping 1,297 yards with a passer rating of 120. However, Bozeman is expecting him to play.
“I think they played pretty well with and without (Huot)," Wesche said. "Obviously, they’re a little more dynamic with him. Really spins the ball well. He’s got a lot of skill receivers out there that can take the ball vertical, they’re very good with run after the catch. I think he does the most damage, seems like when he’s scrambling around a little bit, buying time in the pocket.”
The Hawks have to make Huot uncomfortable if they want to win the game.
“We’re going to try and put pressure on him early," said Wesche. "Hopefully, maybe we can force him into some mistakes. They do a great job throwing the quick game too so we got to be very sure tacklers and can’t allow a lot of yards after catch.”
The Bozeman offense will have to come out ready to play. Helena High was blown out by top seed Missoula Sentinel, but besides that game they never allowed over 14 points.
“Obviously, their defense is one of the best in the state," said Bozeman High two-way star Kenneth Eiden IV. "They got a really solid defensive line so that will be a challenge for us. I think we got some pretty good guys too, so I think it will be a pretty good matchup.”
The team has been practicing harder than ever, something their coach has noticed since they lost a tough game to Billings West a few weeks ago.
“That feeling of finality is very much there for these seniors," said Wesche. "They want to last as long as they can, they want to leave their mark. I think everything they’re doing up to this game and in their preparation is kind of speaking to that.”