By Tyler Allen Explore Big Sky Senior Editor
BIG SKY – Lone Peak High School’s six-man football team will for the first time host a playoff game on a Saturday, Nov. 1. In just its fourth year as a program, the Big Horns secured the second seed in the western division with a 5-1 record (6-2 overall), and will take on northern division’s third-seeded North Star Knights in Big Sky at 2 p.m.
If the Big Horns can manage to knock off the Knights, they would likely travel to Savage and play the No. 1 team in the state. The Warriors came into Big Sky on Sept. 27 and defeated the Big Horns 69-24.
“We’re looking forward to winning and to get a little revenge [against Savage],” said LPHS Head Coach Matt Baaken. “But we need to focus on North Star first and take care of business. They’re going to try running the ball on us, but I feel like we have more athletes … we should be able to beat these guys.”
Baaken is in his first year as Big Horn head coach, after spending two seasons as assistant. He’s been impressed with the speed and talent of the team this year and credits the boys’ training before the season began.
“It’s rewarding to see all the work that these kids put in during the offseason [pay off],” he said. “They were in the weight room all summer, going to clinics and camps, [and] they’ve worked their butts off to get this point.”
LPHS has seven seniors on the team this season, and six that have played varsity all four years.
“It’s exciting for these seniors,” Baaken added. “They’ve been here four years and always had to travel for playoff games, so it’s nice we get to host one here.”
Montana High School Association rules dictate that everyone attending the playoff game at Lone Peak High School must pay. Season passes will not be honored. A portion of the ticket fees go to MHSA, the governing body for high school athletics in the state.