The Centreville football team advanced to Ford Field last week by way of forfeit.
It's not exactly the way the Bulldogs thought it would happen, but the team has earned the trip and is excited about it.
"For such a small school I think it is just a bigger experience," Centreville senior fullback and defensive end Jared Spencer said. "Even for our supporters, our town, small town going to Ford Field, I think it is a once in a lifetime deal for us."
One of the biggest reasons Centreville is still playing is its defense which has allowed 29 total points in nine games, the starting unit has only allowed 22.
"First off got to thank our defensive coordinator Trevor Haas, he does a great job," Centreville head coach Jerry Schultz said. "He prepares them each week, has a great game plan and keeps it simple, we fly around, we play physical and let the kids play."
The Bulldogs had a four game stretch in the middle of the season where they did not allow a single point.
"I think when that stretch was happening we were just looking at each other like 'how good are we, how good can we be by the end of the season, can we legit make it to Ford Field?'" Centreville senior quarterback and free safety Sam Todd said. "Now we are here so it has been a crazy season."
Schultz is in his first season leading the program after serving as defensive coordinator at Niles High School.
He's runnig the offense this year for Centreville and loves to see the great defense from his team.
"It gets me excited," Schultz said about the defense. "I like shutouts. I like a little bit more cushion, eight zero against Sand Creek (in the regional final win on January ninth) was a little too close for my liking but I love seeing shutouts, I love seeing hard-nosed football and that is what we bring."
In nine games this season, the Bulldogs have recorded six shutouts which includes two in the playoffs.
The team says there is no incentive to blank the opponent other that satisfaction.
"We don't have anything, it's just the feeling of doing it," Todd said. We were supposed to be fourth and it all started out with shutting out Decatur and we were like 'let's just keep going from here.'"
"We should get a chain," Spencer joked. "I'd get a chain."
A unit as good as Centreville's defense should have a nickname, but apparently it doesn't, at least not yet.
"We haven't thought of one but that is a good idea we probably should before the state championship game," Todd said. "I'll have to talk the guys about that."
"I do not have any good nicknames," Spencer said. "I mean, shutouts, I don't know."
"I don't think they really have a name," Schultz said. "I always called ours The Punishers in Niles and that is what I think we are, we punish people and have fun doing it."
The Punishers, The Shutouts or the name to be determined will attempt to make Ubly their next victim on Friday in the division eight state championship game Ford Field.