MISSOULA – The high school gridiron reaches the state semifinal round this week, and that means they’re still practicing at Rollin Field. Missoula Loyola made the final four of Class B for a fourth consecutive year and the seventh time in the past eight seasons.
The Rams are searching for their first title since 2013, and lately they have looked like a team that can bring home the big prize. Loyola has beaten four straight opponents that made the playoffs, including last week’s quarterfinal blowout over Huntley Project, and the big guys up front have come up the biggest during this stretch.
“It always starts with our offensive line,” said head coach Todd Hughes. “I think our offensive line is playing great. And our defensive line, same group of guys, they’re playing fast. They know where they are going.”
“I just think our O-line is just amazing right now,” said quarterback Blake Danielson. “They’re getting all of their blocks, opening holes for our running backs, and giving Nick and I time to throw.”
“We’re not the biggest line in the state, obviously,” said left tackle and defensive tackle Liam Haffey. “But we communicate really well, and we’re very fundamental. So we just know what we need to do every time, and we execute.”
Loyola heads to Big Timber for the semifinals at 1 p.m. Saturday, and the Rams’ line knows it must have another great game when it squares off against the big and fast Herders.