A group of 22 football players made history on Saturday afternoon.
The Kidder County football team topped undefeated Finley-Sharon/Hope-Page 46-6 in the 9-man state semifinals in Hope. The Wolves are headed to the Fargodome for the first time in program history next Saturday. Kidder County will take on top-ranked Cavalier in the state finals. Kickoff is scheduled for 9:10 a.m.
"Our defense played lights out," Biesterfeld said of the semifinal win. "They tackled well, they shed blocks. We had a lot of guys at the football which is exactly what we had to do with this good of a running team. They really played assignment football, they were where they were supposed to be and they made plays."
While the defense made the stops and recovered a pair of fumbles, an explosive offense came out for the Wolves. KC seniors Parker Hager and Isaiah Harter each found themselves on both sides of the ball and, according to Biesterfeld, the duo made a statement.
"They played fantastic," Biesterfeld said. "I guess I don't know the stats (but) defensively they were both just tackling machines."
The two leading rushers for the Wolves' combined for 1,756 yards and 154 carries prior to facing FSHP. The two captains, along with seniors Ty Biesterfeld, Thomas Thompson and William Rohrich, have helped lead Kidder County to a 10-1 record.
"It's pretty much just been outstanding leadership on their part," Biesterfeld said of his five seniors. "They've been in the playoffs since they were freshmen, so they've been there before. They know what it takes in the offseason and during the season.
"They've been like other coaches on the field for the most part."
While the seniors and the coaching staff have made it to the playoffs in previous years, the Fargodome and top-ranked Cavalier marks unfamiliar territory. Biesterfeld said the team has not faced the Tornadoes since head coach Sandy Laxdal took over the program.
"I know he runs a really good program," Biesterfeld said. "Their kids are going to be well-coached up. They're going to be able to play really good football so I know we're going to have another tough one next week."
Cavalier will enter Saturday's matchup with an experienced 25-man roster and perfect 12-0 record in tow. The Tornadoes played to back-to-back state championships in 2013 and 2014.
History is on the Tornadoes side, but it's five years later and the Wolves are hungry.
"It's a good group of kids and I am really happy for them," Biesterfeld said. "I don't know if it's really hit me yet? I know that's kind of cliche, but right now my mind's on next week already."