Perfection is elusive. We chase it every day, but few ever experience it. The Notre Dame Pios are one step away from tasting the sweetest fruit known to man.

One loss seasons are special, but they feel hollow compared to an undefeated legacy to leave behind. Teams aren't defined by a single game, but the Division III State Championship game could be the difference between Notre Dame being a part of history or just being a really good team that came up short. The history book is open, and the pen is in their hands.

In the semifinals, the Pios looked like a team in search of perfection. A 33-0 shutout of an undefeated foe whet their appetite for the big stage in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Can they stay hungry?

Riverside Academy brings a fitting finality to this narrative. Every hero in every story has adversity. They are the dragon protecting the castle in the clouds, but the Pios can see the treasure clearly in sight.

If Notre Dame wants to taste glory, they need to take Riverside onto their turf.

Football is rapidly moving toward spread offenses, uptempo rhythms and air-it-out mentalities, but that's not how the Pios roll. Coach Lewis Cook's crew hits you, hard, on both sides of the ball. Then they line up and do it again and again, until you quit. Riverside can surely take some punches, but this title fight requires longevity. Body blows add up.

Only three teams even managed to score against the Pios over the last ten games. Teams don't typically win semifinal games via a shutout, but Notre Dame defied that logic too. All the pieces add up, but perfection is a rare beast for a reason.

At 1:30 pm on Friday in the Superdome, the Pios will kick off against Riverside. After that, it's up to them.

With the storybook open and the pen in their hands, will the final chapter end with the heroes riding off into the sunset or with heavy hearts and thoughts of what could have been?

Every ounce of sweat spent, bench rep completed, road trip driven, and film session watched add up into this one moment. The Superdome is the only stage large enough in the state to handle the drama to play out.

Perfection is hard to tie down, but it might be brought back to Crowley to live forever...only one more page to turn.