Bulldogs battle Blackfoot in first round of state Friday night

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(Photo courtesy of JASON DUCHOW PHOTOGRAPHY) Senior wide receiver Christian Niemela stiff arms a Lakeland defender during a game Oct. 18.

BLACKFOOT — One of head coach Ryan Knowles’ goals coming into this season was for his team to win a playoff game.

The Bulldogs (6-3) will have a chance to achieve that goal Friday night in the opening round of the 4A state tournament.

“Winning a playoff game could really wash away some of the bad taste from not winning the league,” Knowles said.

But Sandpoint has to travel eight hours and will face Blackfoot (8-1) who has won seven straight games.

Despite having to battle one of the top teams in the state, Knowles said his team isn’t preparing any differently.

“I feel confident in who we are,” he said. “I like the matchup. As we watch film, I like what we do.”

In order to pull off the upset, Knowles said his team will need to control the run game, win the turnover battle and prevent Blackfoot from getting big plays on offense.

Knowles believes the Broncos are still searching for an identity on offense after losing their starting running back a few weeks back.

Temperatures will be hovering around single digits when game time rolls around Friday night, but Knowles isn’t worried about the conditions.

“I don’t think it will affect us,” he said. “I think with the way we do stuff, we’re a pretty stable operation.

Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. PT. You can listen to the game on AM 1400 KSPT or ROCK 103 (102.9/103.3 FM). The Yokes pregame show with Chris Chatburn will start at 4:40 p.m. PT.

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