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Beach and Shiloh Christian set for a rematch in quarterfinals

Beach junior running back Clay Mattern rushes up the field against TGU on Saturday, Oct. 14, in Beach. (Parker Cotton / The Dickinson Press)

This has been a week of firsts for the Beach football team.

After their first-ever playoff road win on Saturday, Oct. 21, in which they defeated Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood 32-12, the Buccaneers advanced to their first-ever appearance in the 9-man quarterfinals. They will face Region 5 opponent, Shiloh Christian on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 2 p.m. CT at Miller Field in Bismarck.

This week won't be the first time #3 Beach has seen the #2 Skyhawks, though.

The Buccaneers hosted Shiloh Christian on Friday, Sept. 15 and fell 22-16 to the ranked Skyhawks.

"We learned a lot from that loss," head coach Mike Zier said. "We learned that we can play with some of the top teams in the state. They've been ranked all year. They always say you can learn as much from a loss as you can from a win, and that was the case with us and the Shiloh Christian game."

The Buccaneers haven't lost since, outscoring their opponents 188-72.

Zier takes the team's last showing against the Skyhawks with a grain of salt, though.

"We got film to show what we didn't do right and some things that we did do right," Zier said. "That game kind of was a lot different because it was rainy and really windy, so conditions factored in for both teams so we can't really look at it too much. They made more plays than us and they won the game."

Beach (8-2) is gearing up to face what they didn't see from Shiloh Christian (9-1) last time, a stronger passing game.

The weather in their September meeting prohibited both teams from passing, but Zier said he expects Shiloh Christian to throw more often this week.

Buccaneers senior cornerbacks Cole Erickson and John Summers could see the most action they've seen all year.

Shiloh Christian has only lost one game this season, a 36-34 loss to New Salem-Glen Ullin on Friday, Oct. 6.

"They're just running their offense better and hustling the football better," Zier said of the Skyhawks. "They're a very well-coached football team and I think they've really improved in all areas."

Just as their opponent has, Beach has made improvements as the season progressed.

"We've gotten better each week," Zier said. "That's the important thing and something I'm really proud of. I'm just tickled pink at the way they've performed week after week."

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