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Hawks to host Simms

Face Tigers in 8-Man playoffs Saturday at 1 p.m

In coach Jared Koskela’s eyes, these Tigers are dark horses.

The unbeaten, 8-0, No. 3 ranked Thompson Falls Blue Hawks will host the 4-2 Simms Tigers Saturday at 1 p.m. in the first round of the Montana 8-Man football playoffs.

Capping their second straight unbeaten regular season with another playoff appearance, the Hawks will be hoping to improve on last year’s post season performance, where they advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to eventual champion Fairview.

To improve on that the Hawks will first have to get by Simms, and the Tigers have a wrinkle the Hawks have not seen yet this season.

“Simms is a power running team, they like to pound it inside,” Koskela said. “We have not played a team with an attack like this yet this season, so it could be a challenge for us. We will work hard on it in practice this week,” he added. “We will have to fly to the ball on defense, to pursue their backs and limit their running game.”

Simms defeated Cascade 36-0 October 16 in the Tigers’ most recent game. Simms only two losses this season came at the hands of No. 1 Fort Benton (38-18 on October 9) and to Shelby (30-20 back on September 11).

If the Hawks win, they will advance into the quarterfinal round where they will play the winner between Cascade and Scobey/Opheim.

The Hawks have been practicing in snow early this week as an early fall storm dropped more than a foot of snow on Thompson Falls last weekend. Thompson Falls had a bye last week giving them extra time to prepare for the playoffs.

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“It has been kind of fun practicing in the snow, but chances are it could make the field pretty muddy Saturday,” Koskela said. “We’ve had two weeks to prepare, we are looking forward to playing this game.”

Although below freezing early this week, area temperatures are expected to rise back into the 50s by Saturday.


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