It's already been a record-breaking year for the Kidder County High School football team, and one more victory will have the Wolves competing for a 9-man state championship.
Kidder County has not made an appearance at the Fargodome in the program's history. But with one more win, coach Jack Biesterfeld and the Wolves will punch their ticket to the Dakota Bowl.
Kidder Co. (9-1) will face undefeated Finely-Sharon/Hope-Page tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Hope in the state semifinals. The Wolves topped Grant County/Flasher in the quarterfinals 34-24 last weekend. The team's one loss came in the second game of the season against Linton/HMB, a team also still alive and will play Saturday at top-ranked Cavalier.
But since the loss in Week 2, the Wolves have rifled off eight straight victories.
"(Grant County/Flasher) showed that they're a very good team this past Saturday," Biesterfeld said. "It was a battle the whole game. Both teams had some turnovers, both teams scored. It was probably a deal where we made one more play than they did to run the clock out so we could just kneel on it."
FSHP defeated New Rockford-Sheyenne 44-42 in the quarters last week, pushing the Spartans' average margin of victory to 21 points. FSHP (11-0) last appeared in the state finals in 2000, losing 30-8 to Linton.
In the face of Saturday's challenge, Biesterfeld said he and his roster are continuing to focus repeatedly on the basics.
"We're trying to get reps on a lot of the basic things that we're supposed to keep on doing," Biesterfeld said. "The tackling part, that's pretty much just mental this time of the year -- the kids know how to do it. With our triple-option offense, we need a lot of repetition with that so we're still getting those types of reps."
Senior captains Parker Hager and Isaiah Harter have put up big numbers for the Wolves, and after starting quarterback Jonah Harter suffered an injury to limit minutes in last week's game, the two helped the team rally against the Rockets.
Biesterfeld said he was impressed with his team's reaction after the first quarter hit on Harter and said if injuries plague other positions, the Wolves will be ready.
"We had to move some kids around," Biesterfeld said. "They responded very positively to that -- they really played well and played hard.
"You have to prepare for different situations with different kids getting dinged up and maybe not being on the field. Getting kids to practice with positions that are probably not their No. 1 position is one of the main things we've been focusing on."
Though there might be some changes to the Wolves' lineup, Biesterfeld said schematically the team will try to focus on what they have been doing all season.
"We're a team that likes to run the ball," Biesterfeld said. "I guess the main thing going against another team that can score quickly is, if you are on offense and you keep the ball in your hands, they have much more difficulty scoring. I think the time of possession might be a big part of this game and who wins."
Hager and Isaiah Harter lead the team in rushing. Hager has put up 52 carries for 808 yards, a 15.5 per-carry average. Isaiah Harter has gained 948 yards rushing on 102 carries, while Jonah Harter has run for another 378 yards on 50 touches, which includes five touchdowns.
With 48 minutes left to play before one team makes it to Fargo, Biesterfled said it will be a battle to see who comes out on top.
"One more week, that's what we're looking for," Biesterfeld said. "That's been our goal for the last few weeks."