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Sheyenne football ready for rematch with Century

Mustangs fell to Patriots 10-0 in the 2019 Dakota Bowl
Published: Nov. 10, 2020 at 10:24 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A major match-up takes center stage Friday night at the FargoDome as West Fargo Sheyenne and Bismarck Century football meet for the AAA state championship.

The Mustangs are focused on dethroning the reigning state champions and completing a transition of power within AAA football.

A year ago Bismarck Century claimed its third state title in school history and completed its first-ever perfect season with a 10-point shutout over West Fargo Sheyenne at the Dakota Bowl.

“After the game, watching them celebrate, you know that could have been you," senior defensive lineman Abe Hestdalen said. "That’s personal and we just want to get back out there and be on the other side.”

The two are set for a rematch Friday and the Mustangs say the most disappointing thing to see when they watch last year’s game film are the opportunities wasted and mistakes made.

“When we re-watch it, we would drive down the field, we would get there but we would get to maybe the 20-yard line and we couldn’t capitalize. We needed to score,” senior running back Barika Kpeenu remembered.

These senior leaders are confident they won’t make the same mistakes this year.

“I would take our team any day of the week. I don’t think they can cover us. I don’t think they can defend our run game," Kpeenu said this week. "I think our team is better so I think it’s all just about how we execute and how we go about the game.”

Kpeenu is a North Dakota State football commit and has led the Eastern Dakota Conference in rushing yards the last two seasons. Surpassing 1,000 rushing yards this year.

“They’re a big team and we don’t really have the size but we have the athleticism that can really give them problems I think," Hestdalen added. "I think we’re just going to go out there and play our best.”

While confidence is high, the stakes are as well. Century has made it to the Dakota Bowl four out of the last five seasons, winning it in 2015, 2016, and 2019. On the other side, the Mustangs have five-straight playoff trips under their belt and are chasing that first-ever state football title.

“It’s definitely a huge thing just to be in that position, to be able to go and be the first. Not many people can say they are the first to win a state championship at their school,” Kpeenu said.

“Every year our goal is to take a step up," Hestdalen explained. "We made the semifinals, then we made the Dakota Bowl, and now I think it’s the time we go out and we win the Dakota Bowl.”

West Fargo Sheyenne and Bismarck Century will play for the AAA state championship on Friday at the FargoDome. Kick-off is expected at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are being sold directly through the schools with attendance limited to family and friends only. Masks and assigned seats will be required on Friday.

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