Helena Bengals Ready for 1st Round Redemption - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Helena Bengals Ready for 1st Round Redemption

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HELENA - As Helena High enters this year's playoffs looking for it's first state title since 1932, they host the reigning state champs Bozeman in round one. And though the young Hawks record isn't intimidating, the Bengals know the dangers of an experienced opponent.

"You look at the 5-5 record and that doesn't tell you how good this team is," said Helena head coach Tony Arntson. "They've got some weapons, a real big physical running back, and their lineman have been getting better and better, defensively they've gotten better and better."

"We prepare for this game the same way we'd prepare for any game," said junior quarterback Jackson Thennis. "Whether it's a team with not many wins, or teams like Senior that beat us, or teams like that."

Going into the season a big question was how would junior quarterback Jackson Thennis do in his first season as a starter for the Bengals. After a 9-1 regular season, the question now is: how will he do in the post season?

"It's nothing different," said Thennis. "Yeah it's a playoff game, but you've got to get those nerves out in the week of practice and pregame so that when it comes game time all those nerves are gone and you can play 100%."

"Obviously with last Saturday putting together a two minute drive in a cross town very big game to hit a winning ball, he's got the confidence," said Arntson. "He understands the game. He's a great competitor, and has great guys around him."

On defense the biggest challenge for the Bengals will be shutting down Hawks running back Balue Chapman. The Bozeman bruiser has averaged over five yards per carry this season, a number the Bengals will have to limit to pull out the victory.

"We just know he's a solid runner," said Bengals senior linebacker Dylan Kresge. "We just have to take him out. We can't let him run all over us. He's nothing fancy, but he's a hard runner. We just have to stop him"

One thing that does bode well for Helena slowing down Chapman and the rest of the Hawks offense, the Bengals led all of AA in scoring defense, only allowing 11.6 points per game. The next closest? Number one Glacier at 16.2.
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