Flathead Braves just one win away

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It’s been 48 years since Flathead High School last claimed a state football title. This Friday, the Braves will get a chance to finally snap that drought.

Flathead (9-3) faces Billings West (11-1) at Wendy’s Field at Daylis Stadium in Billings in the Class AA championship game. It’s been 18 years since Flathead last played for the AA title.

The Braves’ return to championship contention has been built on a foundation of hard work and a commitment to building a winning culture led by head coach Kyle Samson, now in his fifth season on the sideline.

“When the school split (happened with Glacier), it changed the culture,” Flathead activities director Bryce Wilson said Tuesday. “We had to work harder than we used to. [Samson has] put in the time, the hours and lives by that.”

That attitude has spread like wildfire throughout the program.

Case in point, the Braves’ improbable 21-17 win over undefeated and heavily favored Bozeman in last week’s semi-final game. That victory over the Hawks — on the road nonetheless — shows anything is possible with this group of gridders.

So now it’s down to this — the fourth-seed Flathead vs. the second-seed West.

“Everyone is enthusiastic. Right now, we could fill six buses with students. That many want to go [to the game.]” said Wilson.

For those who can’t make it, the Daily Inter Lake will offer live updates from the sidelines via our social media outlets. Follow us on Facebook for live video, Twitter for play-by-play updates and Instagram for photos. The game also will be broadcast on the radio at KGEZ (600 on the AM dial), with a live feed available for a fee at www.nfhsnetwork.com.

Good luck to the Braves on Friday. We believe!

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