BILLINGS – When Billings Central’s football team tees up the football and kicks it off Saturday for the Class A football state championship, there might be only one intangible slowing down the Rams.
The Mean Green has been excellent, nearly perfect, all season on both sides of the ball. The Rams are not only unbeaten, but no team has stayed within single digits.
However, in Friday’s semifinal against Laurel the Rams did something they’d been careful not to most of this season: coughed up the ball. Three times.
“I think it was just uncharacteristic of us, and we’re not going to let that happen again,” said Rams running back/cornerback Duncan Kraft. “We’re going to try to control the ball the best we can.”
But Kraft admits it was better losing the troublesome turnovers last week than this week.
“I would rather make those mistakes last week than in the championship game,” he said.
“You just try to let it go,” said Central receiver/defensive back Chrishon Dixon. “Stuff happens. We were bound to have a couple turnovers. That’s just football. Come back next play and make a bigger play than what you did.”
Rams head coach Jim Stanton was as surprised as anybody in witnessing Friday’s giveaways.
“One of those things. All year we’ve been real good,” he said. “I think we’ve turned the ball over three times all year, then we turn it over three times in one game. I think it’s a good lesson for our guys that that can really be the difference. Obviously, in this game coming up, you put the ball on the ground three times, you’re going to be in big trouble.”
Central’s championship kickoff at Hamilton is set for 1 p.m. Saturday. Both teams are 11-0.