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Loyola lunging for another gridiron title

By Vince Bagby, Sports Director, vbagby@keci.com
Published On: Oct 31 2013 03:51:16 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

The defending state champion Loyola football team has had a very good season so far; they’re undefeated and ranked #1 in the state.  But none of that compares to the ultimate goal, which you can hear these guys talking about on the practice squad: 

"We want another state championship."

"Hang another banner and a gold trophy up in the gym down there."

"Bring home another state championship."

"Until someone beats us, in my mind the Loyola Rams are still state champs."

Leading that charge this season is a group of nine talented seniors who are not just satisfied with one state title.

"Well everyone knows how it feels to get to the state championship and win it,” says senior Pat Kosena.  “But for the seniors we want to leave a legacy that we were the group that could do it again."

"We have weapons.  You stop Forest Cooper we have Danner Linhart.  You stop Zach Hollenback we have Tony Madsen,” says senior lineman Jake McElroy.  “It just goes down the list.  You can't stop one guy; you've got to stop all nine of us."

The first playoff obstacle for the Rams comes into town this Saturday in Forsyth.  Now these two programs have never faced off against each other in the gridiron, but Loyola knows they need to be ready to go.

"I know Forsyth has won the state championship in wrestling the last two years, and they have some dudes, let me tell you,” says Rams head coach Dan Weber.  “They have some good athletes over there in Forsyth so we're going to have our work cut out for us this week."

"We need to come out and hit and play our game,” says senior Forestt Cooper.  “They’re a very good team, I’ll give credit it to them but we just need to go out and function on all cylinders and I think we'll be okay."

Helping the Rams out this weekend will be home field advantage.  Not only does Forsyth have to travel almost 450 miles, but this Loyola team has an impressive streak they want to uphold.

"It's a huge advantage for us; this group of seniors has never lost in this field,” explains Kosena.  “We're hoping to keep up that tradition and that legacy.  We feel comfortable on this field and we protect our ground."