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Fargo South left tackle Austin Richard sat in the Alerus Center locker room with his offensive linemen prior to the Class AAA state championship football game in November and soaked in what he thought would be their final chance to play together.

Fargo South left tackle Austin Richard sat in the Alerus Center locker room with his offensive linemen prior to the Class AAA state championship football game in November and soaked in what he thought would be their final chance to play together.

He never imagined they'd get another chance to line up together in Saturday's 14th annual Badlands Bowl all-star game, which has a scheduled kickoff time of 6 p.m. at Whitney Stadium.

"Then we found out we're all going to be playing in this, that was pretty exciting," Richard said.

Richard is one of 10 Bruins - including the entire offensive line - selected by Team North Dakota coach Kevin Feeney, who led South to two state championships the past three seasons.

While it may seem excessive to have almost a third of an all-star team's players from a single squad, Feeney believes it makes perfect sense when broken down.

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South cruised to a perfect 12-0 season, capped by a 21-7 victory over Minot High in the state title game and will send several of its players to the college ranks.

"We knew right away that they were a special group," said Feeney, who also brought along Bruins assistant coach Wayne Werremeyer for his assistant crew. "It's a credit to those guys that they've worked this hard to get to this point."

The South players have not only brought a winner's attitude to Team North Dakota, almost all of the Bruins' major offensive catalysts that helped engineer the unbeaten season are part of the all-star team, which will run South's high-octane offense.

Quarterback Brandon Larson, an all-state first team selection who will play for Minnesota State Moorhead this fall, looked sharp running the show during the team's first practice on Monday.

Catlin Solum, the AAA player of the year and University of North Dakota recruit, will be used all over the field. The 5-foot-9 speedster will start at wing back, return kicks and will likely see a lot of time in the secondary.

"We've got a good core of guys," Solum said. "We know our offense obviously and it's fun teaching that to the other guys on the team. I think that helps a lot."

The Bruins players took on assistant-coach like roles during the first practices, showing other players the basics of South's wing-back offense.

"Everybody else is catching on fast," Larson said. "The first few days, the South guys are helping the other people. We're kind of being the teachers out here."

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No one from South is helping the other players more than the five offensive linemen, led by three all-state players including Richard, who will suit up for North Dakota State in the fall.

Richard believes putting a group of linemen on the field that knows the offense and each other's tendencies could have a major impact on Team North Dakota's chances, which seem like a longshot every year.

Montana holds a 10-3 edge in the series. Team North Dakota's last win came in 2005.

"We know the system pretty well so we'll mesh together," Richard said. "It'll definitely be a plus, but I'm not going to say anything about the outcome of the game. It should be hard fought and it should come down to the end."

Dickinson Trinity running back Daniel Carr, who was an alternate added to the team on Sunday afternoon, has been playing fullback in the wing-back system the Bruins used. Carr said it took him a day to get adjusted, but now likes playing in the offense.

"It's a lot more complicated, but it's a lot more fun too," Carr said. "I definitely like the fullback position compared to the slot wing right now. It's the least complicated. It's definitely the simplest position."

While players outside of South are learning the new system that they'll only use for one game, some of the former Bruins already in the know are soaking up every moment they can.

South center Brent Finley wasn't an all-state football player, nor will he play college ball in the fall. That means on Saturday's game will be his last.

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For Finley, winning the AAA state title was the icing on the cake of his high school career. However, he said this week has turned out just as sweet.

"It's great to be with our friends and great to be with the other guys," Finley said. "This is a kind of a bonus for me, especially since we finished strong with the state championship. We felt good about that and we feel pretty confident about taking this game too."

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