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In a pretty big upset Father Ryan lost last week to previously winless Evangelical Christian.

On Friday, the Fighting Irish hope to pull off the upset. They travel to undefeated Montgomery Bell Academy, the No. 4 ranked team in the state. The Big Red won the Division II-AA State Championship last year, and halfway into the season look like the favorites to repeat.

“MBA poses a difficult challenge as they possess size and speed, two elements that cause problems,” Bruce Lussier, Father Ryan head coach, said.

Wins a Little Harder with Big Red

Father Ryan lost the last 16 times it played MBA, going back to the last millennium.

“I am expecting the usual smashmouth team that MBA has been,” Lussier said.

“And we will have to weather their initial surge if we are to be in this one.”

Big Red is second in scoring DII-AA this year, averaging 41 points per game. while giving up 19.4.  But last week McCallie made MBA work for the win, falling by less than a touchdown.

Father Ryan, which lost to McCallie three weeks ago by 34 points, has been scoring 25.4 points per game, allowing almost 22.

The Irish have been up and down this year, but they have playmakers. Quarterback Zach Pfeifer is a dual threat, with 8 touchdowns passing and another 5.running this year. Byrce Vickers and Collin Brown both are averaging more than 5 yards per carry and 50 yards per game.

In short, Father Ryan has the ability to compete with MBA if things go right.

“If our offense can execute, as we did early in the season, we do have some weapons that could put some pressure on them,” Lussier said. “Our fronts will have to play well and keep Pfeifer and our secondary protected. If this happens then we may be able to make it a game.”

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