Calhoun fans were beyond excited after the triumph Saturday against Tuscola. (Photos by Alison Godar) HARDIN – Calhoun County will be busy this weekend, not only with deer and duck hunters invading the area as the deer hunting season kicks off, but the game of the year for WIVC fans when Calhoun hosts St. Teresa High School at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

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The Warriors and the Bulldogs will collide for the IHSA Class 1A State Football Playoffs matchup and the winner heads to the state championship the following weekend in Champaign.

“Any time you get to the IHSA state semifinals in football, there will be most of the WIVC folks and people from Jersey and Madison County who want to check it out and support their conference team,” Casey Longnecker, an assistant Calhoun coach, said. “Even this time of year, people who are out-of-state deer and duck hunting will be curious and hunt in the morning and watch the playoff game in the afternoon.”

Longnecker was the quarterback on Calhoun’s last state championship team in 1993 with Head Coach Aaron Elmore and for those two, getting back to this level is such a positive.

“One of reasons we got into coaching was so we could try to get other people in same position to do the same stuff we went through while we were in high school,” he said. “It will be a tough game against St. Teresa. We have to play mistake free to be able to play at the same level as St. Teresa.”

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For those who want to tailgate, the grills will be firing up probably as early as 8 a.m., Longnecker said.

“We have plenty of room on the hillsides and the bluffs,” Longnecker said. “The atmosphere will be perfect with it being a little cooler and will definitely be playoff weather.”

Parking should not be a problem, Longnecker said, with areas near the softball and baseball fields, along with the fairgrounds area available.

There are no pre-sales of tickets, but Longnecker said there will be plenty of people working the gate to get people in for the game.

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