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Ballard football fights through pandemic, community tragedy en route to 2020 playoffs

12 games are on tap for 'Friday Night Blitz', including Ballard vs. Boone and Mason City vs. Gilbert.

"Friday Night Blitz" hits the 2020 playoffs tonight with 12 games on tap following a year of uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Gilbert Tigers have battled not just through COVID-19 altering their season training, but a community tragedy, en route to the postseason.

First-year head coach Graham Lundt is trying to instill a culture that goes beyond any win. 

"They have learned so many life lessons that so many of us even in our mid thirties are learning for the first time," Lundt said. 

Those lessons were forced on the Tigers early in the summer, with a shortened offseason and the loss of a classmate in the fall.

"We put him on our back and we take him for a ride and we play in honor of henry and we are always thinking about him and playing for him," said senior quarterback Tanner Henningsen.

After winning just seven games the last three years combined, Gilbert enters the playoffs at 4-2 and will face Mason City.

In other playoff action, Boone takes on Ballard and ADM faces Bondurant-Farrar.

You can watch "Friday Night Blitz" starting at 10:35 p.m. on Local 5, online at WeAreIowa.com or with the We Are Iowa app.

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