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Bulldogs look to spoil Hawks perfect season Friday

By Kane O'Neill, KTVM Sports, koneill@ktvm.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 12:17:50 PM MST
Updated On: Oct 31 2013 11:54:55 PM MDT

The Bozeman Hawks would finish the regular season with a 10-0 record with a win Friday night. It will be a challenge however, as the team they have to beat is the same opponent the Hawks fell to in last years championship game, the Butte Bulldogs.

"It's kind of been motivation for us this whole off-season," said Hawk senior quarterback Will Weyer. "Coach Purcell in the weight room yelling, '38-36!"

That was the final score of last year Championship game, as the Bulldogs hit a field goal in the closing seconds to secure the title. The Hawks have been on the warpath since, blowing out teams weekly to get to 9-0 this year.

Butte's offense however has been dominant this season. Last week the Bulldogs put 75 points on the board against Big Sky.

"Cook, he's a tremendous quarterback," said Hawk head coach Troy Purcell. "He does a great job throwing and running when he has to. Granger kid is big, strong and physical. Their running-back, he's not very big, but man he is quick!"

"Bozeman's played extremely well this year," said Butte head coach Arie Gray. "They're a dominant team. They play extremely well in all three phases of the game."

The Hawks feel they do have one advantage this time, as last years game was in Butte. This year, the rematch will be played in Bozeman.

"It's a huge difference," said Weyer. "Playing in Naranche is tough for all of us. They have some crazy fans."

"It'll be nice to have home field advantage," said Hawk senior receiver John D'Agostino. "Naranche's a crazy place. Being here will help us out a lot."

The Bulldogs feel they are up to the challenge and are excited for the opportunity to play in Bozeman.

"The thing you enjoy as a football player is when you get a chance to go play at someone else's home," said Gray. "It's hostile territory. Those are the things that are exciting. It's fun to go down there and play and it's a great venue. We're excited."

"It's no different, every game is really the same," said Butte senior quarterback Dallas Cook. "The same amount of people, if it's here or there, would come from Bozeman. It's gonna be a different atmosphere. It'll be a fun game."

Kickoff tomorrow night is set for 7 p.m. Now the question is, will Bozeman end the regular season 10-0 or will Butte once again play the spoiler?

"It's Butte," said Purcell. "These kids have been waiting a whole year to have an opportunity to play them again. This is the closest thing we have to a cross town rivalry. What a way to end it last year with two great teams playing in a championship game that might have been the best 'AA' state championship in the history of Montana.