FAIRFIELD -- The Fairfield football program is back in the Class B state championship for what will be the ninth time since 2005. And this season is every bit as impressive as the others, considering the Eagles lost good athletes to graduation, got a new coach and had a disrupted schedule due to COVID-1`9.
All head coach Greg Misner wanted to do was keep things simple this year.
"My intent when we started the season was to win Week 1, and then Week 2, and Week 3, and go from there," Misner said. "And these kids have earned the right to be here. And I couldn't be more proud of them."
The game marks a rematch of last year’s semifinal with Manhattan, where the Tigers stunned Fairfield in the final minute. This year the Eagles have a lot of experience in close games, like last week’s 8-6 overtime win against Florence in the semifinals. They’re hoping that gut-check ability continues for one more week.
"I think it's our ability to just push through things, push through adversity," said junior Daniel Faith. "We may struggle at first coming out, but we always seem to find a way in the end to just keep working our hardest and push through those problems that we have."
"We've just been confident. We're lucky enough that we get another shot at Manhattan," said senior Malaki Hvamstad. "Last year, it just left a sour taste in our mouth and we're just hungry to come back and give them our best shot."
While the Eagles want revenge, the mutual respect between the programs shouldn’t be understated. After Manhattan senior Cayl DeBoer went down with an injury a few weeks ago, coaches and then a few Fairfield players delivered him a signed helmet at Benefis hospital in Great Falls, not even knowing they would be facing the Tigers in a few weeks.
"The special thing about Montana is that every kid for every school is part of a big football family," Misner said. "We know how hard all our kids work from every school. And what really impressed me the most was the day after coach (Charlie) Brown and I went up there, our seniors went up there and visited him and we didn't ask them to. They went on their own accord and that was a real, real prideful thing for us. It was really neat to see."
The championship game starts a 1 p.m. in Fairfield. Due to Montana High School Association rules and COVID-19 protocols in the county, attendance is limited to six family members per player. For more information please contact Fairfield Public Schools.