MULLAN — It’s put up or shut up time for the Mullan Tigers Football Team.
After knocking off Lakeside more than a week ago, the Tigers had clinched half of the North Star League championship and had to wait until last Wednesday evening to see what their path to the 1A State Playoffs would look like.
They got their answer.
Lakeside knocked off Clark Fork 44-34 to secure the other half of the NSL championship and set up the tiebreaker to determine which team would advance to the State Playoffs and which team was done for the year.
In years past, tiebreakers would be settled via a coin flip, which really doesn’t let ability decide anything.
This year a Kansas Tiebreaker will decide who takes the NSL’s single berth in the playoffs.
College football fans will be familiar with the concept as it is the exact same as college overtime.
Teams will alternate offense and defense from the 25-yard line and will need to match or outdo their opposition’s scoring in each round until one team wins.
For example, if Team A scores a touchdown and subsequent 2-point conversion on their opening possession, Team B must do the exact same or they lose.
If Team B does match, then they rotate to offense first in the next round.
Mullan coach Stetson Spooner is looking forward to the tiebreaker, but is still wary of how unpredictable things can happen in football.
“I’m excited but I’m also kinda nervous,” Spooner said. “I think if we matched up in a full game against Lakeside again we’d win, but these guys are bruisers and 25 yards isn’t that far. I’m excited to see how our guys respond in this situation.”
Spooner has coached in one other overtime situation he told the News-Press, but it was a win against… you guessed it, Lakeside.
“We are definitely ready and I think that win or lose, the team that wins this tiebreaker will be the real North Star League champion and will absolutely deserve their spot in the playoffs,” Spooner said. “And hey, it’s better than a coin flip.”
The Kansas Tiebreaker between Mullan and Lakeside will be played at Kootenai High School on Monday at 6 p.m. with the winner hosting a playoff game next Saturday (time and opponent TBD).