For the first time since 1973, a South Bend city school plays for a state championship when South Bend Washington battles Cathedral in the 4A State finals Saturday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Cathedral will be the heavy favorites in the game after defeating the nation's top quarterback Gunner Kiel and Columbus East 62-7 last week in Semi-State.
But that does both the Panthers. They're heading into the game with a ton of confidence.
"Why not South Bend Washington? Is something I've said to reporters and media and to our team--why not us? Why not us?" asks Panthers football coach Antwon Jones.
Jones took over an 0-10 program in 2008 and four years later has them in the state championship game. He's preached a winning, fighting mentality from the get go, and he's not stopping now.
"We go in there with an attitude that we are ready for a war, and that's what we are going to give them---we're going to give them a war," Jones says.
His players have completely bought in.
"We're not going to just to be there," senior wide receiver Gehrig Dieter says. "We're not going there just to see the atmosphere."
"We want to play our best game of the season. I felt like we haven't played that complete game we've been looking for that whole year. Hopefully come out and everyone is focused and we can play that complete game."
Washington and Cathedral kickoff at 3:30 Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in the 4A State Finals.