Jacks’ amazing season ends against Bison

Brian Kimmes

Brian Kimmes

One could not ask for a better scenario heading into the football season finale versus North Dakota State University. The Jacks have an opportunity to claim their first-ever Great West Football Conference championship, their first conference championship since 1963.

NDSU is our team’s biggest rival, and we are playing them in the biggest game of the year. Normally, the Jacks play the Bison just for the Dakota Marker, but not this year. It’s for so much more. It’s for the longest winning streak and first conference title in 43 years. It’s for the most wins in seven years. It’s to put an exclamation point on what has turned into a truly remarkable season.

The Jacks have earned their highest win total since 1999. The team owns a seven-game winning streak, the longest in 43 years. The team also won four road victories for the first time since 1999.

This football team has accomplished quite a few firsts in school history, including ranking in the top 25 in Division I-AA, and earning a Division I-AA team of the week mention by Sporting News. They won back-to-back games by one point, and defeated a Division I-AA top-10 ranked team. They earned victories against every Great West football team.

With many great accomplishments this season, it is to easy forget the season began with a dubious accomplishment: starting 0-3 for the first time since 1969. But the Jacks turned their season around in spectacular fashion.

What I find most amazing about this team is not the fact that they win, but how they win. This team doesn’t have the massive victories it had last season. They don’t have large statistical advantages in their games. They just win. It is not pretty. It is not spectacular. It is the 2006 Jackrabbit football team. It seems like no matter what the situation, they find a way to pull out a victory.

Every week, I hear Coach Stiegelmeier and his players talk about how much they believe. They stress every week that their only goal is to go 1-0 that week. When I first started covering the team, I thought it was just a clich