Cedar Falls, IA- The UNI-Dome has been the destination that all Iowa high school football players dreamed of one day reaching for a chance to bring home a state championship for their program. Tomorrow, November 8th, will present the opportunity for four 8-Player teams and for Winfield-Mt. Union an opportunity for their first in program history.
Winfield-Mt. Union will take on Bishop Garrigan at 10 am and for the Golden Bears it’s their fifth trip and their first since 2016, the Wolves make their first trip back since 1999 and their fourth overall. Head Coach Scott McCarty illustrated the time difference for the Wolves,
“You know, it’s an awesome experience for our kids, a lot of the players their dads or uncles and stuff were on the team at that time , so that’s a cool experience for them.”
This is a senior led group with seven on the roster that has slowly built the program into the #1 team in the state of Iowa.
Of course, the team is headlined by two future Division I athletes in Cam Buffington and Abram Edwards. Buffington averages 12.6 yards per carry, first in the state for 8-Player, while Edwards’ 11.5 sacks ranks fourth in 8-Player.
Nevertheless, Bishop Garrigan knows a thing or two about being an underdog. After winning just six total games the past two years, the Golden Bears finished the season with a 10-1 record—surprisingly, their only loss comes against a non-playoff team St. Edmond to begin the season—but unranked.
The Golden Bears demolished Janesville to start their playoff run but had to take on last year’s champion #5 Remsen St. Mary’s then #3 CAM to make the trip to the Dome.
Remarkably, Bishop Garrigan took down both beasts with late game heroics and stifling defense, allowing just 18 and 16 points in the contests.
Tate Foertsch is a big reason for their success. The sophomore quarterback has collected 1,640 total yards, while throwing 18 touchdowns with only 1 interception. Simply, this team does not cough up the ball, which Coach McCarty believes will decided the game,
“I think it’s going to come down for both teams, they have to take care of the football…so, if you’re able to create one of those turnovers, you’re going to have the leg up because there’s not going to be a lot of mistakes, I don’t feel like for either team…”
The one prediction anyone should be willing to make is red and white will be prevalent colors at the Dome,
“It’s going to be one of those things where last person out of town shut off the lights,” said Coach McCarty. “It’s going to be a great atmosphere, it always is in the Dome, and, you know, small town community, everybody kind of comes out of the woodwork and does a really good job of supporting our kids…”
The winner will take on the winner of Bedford and Gladbrook-Reinbeck on Thursday, November 16th, at 9:30 am.
Tune in to KILJ 105.5 FM, kilj.com, tomorrow at 9:45 am for the pregame show with kickoff to follow.