Shanley Football Embracing Underdog Role Heading into Matchup With West’s Number One Seed Bismarck Century

Century has 19-game win streak; defending state champions

FARGO, N.D. — The end of the regular season did not go as planned for Shanley football. The Deacons recorded losses in their last two games, however, it still earned a chance to redeem themselves making the playoffs as the final team from the east.

That opportunity comes as a challenge. Facing the top seed from the west in Bismarck Century, who are the defending state champions and own a 19-game win streak.

When it comes to the highest division of high school football in North Dakota,  the Deacons are young to the scene making their first appearance.

Getting that first win as an underdog is something the team is embracing.

“Our goal is to always make the playoffs and we always talk about being part of the conversation,” head coach Troy Matter said. Whenever you mention AAA football, we want Shanley to part of that conversation. I think we’ve achieved that this year but this win going out to Bismarck and getting this win would mean a lot for our program moving forward. It’s a tall task, but our kids are up for the challenge. We just have to go out and compete and see what happens.”

“Those last two games against West Fargo and Davies are mind just wasn’t right and we weren’t in the right spot, it resulted in a loss,” quarterback Cooper Mattern said. “You have to show up every week in high school football and expect to win. We weren’t able to do that the last two weeks but were lucky to get a chance in the playoffs this week and we’ll be ready to go.”

“Our mentality has just been toughness. Finishing every play. All the guys are really excited for this game,” running back Carter Kochmann said. “Ever since I was a freshman you see Century and they’re such a great team. I’ve always wanted to play them but at the end of the day you have to go out there and try to win a football game. That’s what they’re going to do as well.”

It’ll be the first trip outside of Fargo for the Deacons this season. Their game kicks off Friday at 7 from the Community Bowl in Bismarck.

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