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Friday Night Lights: The Quest Begins

Big Sandy's pursuit of an elusive Six-Man state title starts with Wibaux


Last updated 10/23/2020 at 12:43pm

Colin Thompson

Big Sandy's Parker Proulx runs the ball during the Pioneers' season-opening game against Valier back in August. The Pioneers, who have been to the Six-Man semifinals three years in a row, are hoping to take it further this season. They've been ranked No. 1 all season long and begin the Six-Man playoffs today against Wibaux. The game was moved up a day due to the impending winter storm that is supposed to hit the area Saturday,

2019 was a season where the Big Sandy football team was a major favorite to take home the Class C crown, only for that to be halted by a déjà vu loss to the Jordan Mustangs in the Six-Man semifinals.

But this year, during an interesting era in sports history, the Pioneers are ready for the next step in their revenge tour.

Big Sandy has fought all throughout the hectic 2020 season to make it back to the Six-Man playoffs, pushing through conference rivals and climbing its way back to the top of the North.

Now, the Pioneers will be opening the postseason with a game against the Wibaux Longhorns this afternoon at 1 p.m. in Big Sandy.

Big Sandy has made another statement in the 2020 regular season, with an undefeated record beside the Pioneers heading into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed of the North. On top of that, Big Sandy is once again a favorite to claim the Class C crown this year, as well, especially after last season's tough loss to Jordan in the semifinals. Needless to say, the Pioneers are ready to go for a deep postseason run.

And Big Sandy has the tools to do it. As always, senior running back Kade Strutz is a machine when he uses his legs. Kade Strutz will run over, through or around a defender to put up yards or find the endzone, making him one of the most deadly backs in Class C. All-state passer Parker Proulx, pass-attack Kody Strutz are key pieces of the force that is the Pioneers offense, too. Meanwhile, defensive standouts like Brady Pleninger and Dillon Geyer will be ready to halt any offensive attack that comes their way.

When it comes to their opponent, Wibaux, the 2020 season has had plenty of ups and downs, heading into the postseason with a 2-3 overall record as the No. 4 seed from the East. Opponents like Froid-Medicine Lake, Savage, Richey-Lambert, Jordan and Bainville have all brough about the tough conference schedule that the Longhorns pushed through. But as previous contenders in the 2018 and 2019 Class C state championship games, they are not to be taken lightly, as the postseason is not new to Wibaux.

If the Pioneers pull away with the win at home, there will be another tough game waiting in the quarterfinals, as Big Sandy will face the winner of the Bridger (South No. 2) and Hot Springs (West No. 2) next. These two teams boast playoff experience, too, as Hot Springs won the 2016 state championship and Bridger was the runner-up in the 2017 Class C playoffs. On top of that, both teams possess talent that has pushed them to the postseason.

But first, the No. 1 Big Sandy (5-0) must play the No. 4 Wibaux Longhorns (2-3) this afternoon in Big Sandy as the Six-Man playoffs begin one week earlier than normal.


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