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Missoula Loyola Rams carry usual high expectations into season

Posted at 5:40 PM, Aug 23, 2018

MISSOULA – Football season is officially back in Montana. We kickoff the first games this week. The Missoula Loyola Rams once again suit up a contender in class B. And they’ll get a chance to prove it right away.

The Rams have plenty of talent all over the field. But they have fewer numbers than in previous years. So head coach Todd Hughes will rely on his top upperclassman to play nearly every snap.

They’ll kickoff in Bozeman’s Bobcat Stadium against Huntley Project, just like they did last year, a 32-21 loss that Loyola unfortunately remembers very well.

“There’s definitely a sour taste in our mouth from last year,” said running back and free safety Ryan Tirrell. “We definitely didn’t come out the way we wanted. We’re hoping to change that.”

‘We’ve got that in the back of our minds,” added wide receiver and cornerback Cooper Waters. “We’re definitely going to hope to get our revenge against them. It’s exciting. I love that atmosphere over there. Getting to play them in a place like that is just great.”

‘It’s fun to see what it’s like across the state, to play teams from the east cause we only play teams from the west,” continued Tirrell. “So it’s good to meet up and see what your competition is over there and see how you square up later on in the season.”

After that opening loss, Loyola still marched all the way to the state semifinals. That marked the third straight year the Rams made it at least as far as the class B final four. Tirrell admits there is pressure to match the past success of the program. But he and the rest of the Rams also have the experience and belief they will make another deep postseason run.

Loyola travels to Whitehall and hosts Fairfield the next two weeks, two other non-conference class B powers that will show the Rams right where they stand. They host two-time defending champion Eureka on September 21st.