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Fairfield driven by friendly competition between Gavin Mills, Conor Murray

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Posted at 4:30 PM, Nov 10, 2020

FAIRFIELD -- Play after play for the Fairfield football team Conor Murray lines up on the left side, Gavin Mills lines up on the right. They play the exact same positions, just on opposite sides of the field.

And between the lines, they’re always liable to do something special when the ball is snapped.

On offense they split out wide as right and left receivers.

“We're both very supportive of each,” Murray said. “If one gets a touchdown we want the other guy to touchdown.”

And on defense, they lock down opposing receivers from the cornerback position -- again on opposite sides of the field.

Murray and Mills are teammates first, but they also have a friendly competition.

“If Conor gets a pick, I want a pick,” Mills said. “I’ll tell him that was pretty good, but I could have done better. We’re always going against each other. We go 100 percent.”

The competition plays out on their helmets. For each turnover they force, the seniors add a sticker. The lead has changed back and forth at times this season.

“He has more forced fumbles, but I have more interceptions,” Murray said.

It’s a friendly rivalry between two teammates, but it’s helped drive the Eagles back to the State B semifinals for a sixth straight year. After a non-conference setback to Red Lodge, Fairfield has won four straight.

The Eagles defeated Malta and Glasgow to close the regular season and claim the Northern B title, and they’ve dispatched Missoula Loyola and Whitehall with ease in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

Murray and Mills have become unquestioned leaders on the Eagles under first-year head coach Greg Misner, and it’s helped the team keep the bar high in 2020.

“They're great football players, good athletes, but most importantly they're good kids,” Misner said. “And I've been real blessed to coach them this year. They've been great role models for our younger kids, and they’re going to be impossible to replace.”

Fairfield hosts Florence in the State B semifinals on Saturday at 1 p.m.