DILLON — The way Dillon head football coach Zach McRae sees it, the letdowns his players have experienced after early-round playoff exits these past years have only served to galvanize this team.
"I think we've just learned from some of those scars," said McRae during a Monday practice at Vigilante Stadium. "I remember distinctly those post game huddles and seeing the tears seeing the disappointment. And now its just all those lessons together. And seeing where the chips fall."
After failing to advance beyond the quarterfinal round since 2020, the Beavers are heading into this postseason in as good a playoff spot as they've been in since McRae succeeded Rick Nordahl as head coach prior to the 2018 season.
Undefeated Dillon (8-0 overall, 5-0 in conference play) is coming off a bye as the No. 1 seed out of the Western A and is set to host Havre — the No. 4 seed out of the Eastern A and coming off a 38-0 win over Lockwood in the opening round— on Saturday at 1 p.m.
A win by the Beavers against the Blue Ponies would ensure them a home semifinal against the winner of 3W Hamilton and 2E Lewistown. Dillon is looking for its first trip to the semis since 2019.
Emerging from the regular season with an unbeaten record was a promising sign for the Beavers. The last time Dillon accomplished that feat was the 2013 season. The Beavers went on to win three of the next four Class A titles.
"It's something I've never done before, it was very satisfying as a player to finally get there," said junior receiver Carter Curnow, who is also Dillon's leading tackler. "It's something you've been working for the whole time and that's one of them. Hopefully we can keep it rolling."
The Beavers enjoyed an unbeaten trip through the regular season and a bye week. Now the objective is to take care of business on Saturday and ensure that they get at least one more home game.
"We're excited about playing in Vigilante," McRae said. "The goal will just be to make sure our focus is this week so hopefully we can keep playing at Vigilante.'