MILES CITY – Let’s just call it the calm before the storm.
The 26th Badlands Bowl gets underway in just about 24 hours, a 6:00 p.m. start from Connors Stadium in Miles City Saturday night.
When you look up the word domination in the dictionary, you may just find a picture of Team Montana – a 19-6 all-time record in the series, which rises to 11-2 on Treasure State soil. Montana has four straight wins in the series, the last two by a combined score of 118-7.
Even more bad news for North Dakota – this year’s Montana squad is stacked. Six players are from Class AA champion Billings West, including the Class AA offensive MVP Jesse Owens and defensive MVP Lucas Gibb.
10 of the players on Montana will play for the Montana Grizzlies or Montana State Bobcats in the fall. Add it all up and Saturday will be an uphill battle for the foes from the East.
“We want to beat them down,” said former West defensive back Trevin Gradney. “I think that’s always the goal for Montana. I think this game is bigger than us, and it’s our job to do so. I think we’re in good shape – we’re putting ourselves in good position to do that.”
“I mean we’re taking pride in that,” said former Great Falls High quarterback Blake Thelen. “Obviously the Montana team has had pretty good success these last couple years so we expect nothing less than to come out with a win.”
Helena High graduate Holden Sampson echoed the sentiment.
“Oh absolutely, that’s what we expect – greatness. I think we’re going to prove it that we are pretty good.”