Cats and Griz Ready for 114th Brawl of the Wild - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Cats and Griz Ready for 114th Brawl of the Wild

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The Brawl of the Wild, The Great Divide War, Cat-Griz, and Griz-Cat, whatever you want to call it, there's no denying that the rivalry between Montana and Montana State is fierce.

It's the biggest rivalry in the state and has been since 1897, bragging rights on the line, a trophy to be won.

It's the Cats and the Griz, the Brawl of the Wild.

"It's not just one week. It's all year, all the time," said Head Coach Rob Ash.

The Cats and Griz will meet for the 114th time on Saturday, this time in Missoula.

Nearly every player involved has a story about the game, a reason for disliking the opposing squad.

"When I first played in the Cat-Griz game we were the number one team in the nation for a week,” said Tiai Salanoa, senior tight end. “We had all this hype. I didn't know anything about it. I kind of had that approach like I didn't care about the Cat-Griz rivalry until we lost. I pretty much haven't liked them ever since."

"They came up here in 2011 and took the trophy from us on our field,” said senior linebacker Cole Moore. “That's kind of when it sunk in. Seeing them carrying it around, just seeing how much it hurt the other guys on our team and how much it hurt me to see that, I think that's when it got to me about how big of a game this really is."

Always the last game of the regular season, the divide war means as much to the fans as it does the teams.

More importantly, it's a game the upperclassmen say will have an influence on the legacy they leave.

"I think over the years this game kind of builds up, especially because I'm not from Montana originally,” said Quinn Catalano, senior offensive lineman. “I think it has built up so much. Just talking to the other captains and seniors and seeing what it would mean to them, it just means more to me if I could win for them. It's going to be very exciting."

The rivalry culminates on one day every year when they play on the football field.

But for the programs, it goes far past what happens on Saturday.

"We have a sign that says beat the Griz all day, everyday,” said Coach Ash. “We try to beat the Griz every day of the year. We try to win in recruiting; we try to win in conditioning, so that rubs off. We have to be aware of the rivalry, be competitive in the rivalry, and guys understand that."

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