Nobody wanted it more than Anthony Morales, nobody.
Shortly after Saturday's Weber State-Montana football game, Morales, a WSU team captain and starting middle linebacker, sat between a couple of his teammates and spoke passionately about the Wildcats' 24-21 loss.
He didn't like it, not one bit.
"I never want to lose to Montana, so it hurts right now," said Morales, who finished with a whopping 23 tackles.
Of course it hurt. During his time at WSU, Morales has seen the Wildcats chase after Big Sky Conference titles, but on Saturday he saw them fall to 1-8 overall, 1-5 in the conference.
He knows what it's like to beat the Grizzlies and he knows what it means to lose to them, in a close game, even when they're not as good as they usually are.
Morales was understandably disappointed afterward but in those moments, as he sat between senior quarterback Mike Hoke and freshman cornerback Cordero Dixon, he displayed incredible character and proved himself to be an excellent teammate and captain.
Here's what happened, and here's what Morales did:
* Trailing 24-14 late in the fourth quarter, Dixon gave the 'Cats a fighting chance when he returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. It was a thing of beauty, well executed and perfectly timed.
Suddenly the 'Cats were back in the game with a fighting chance to win. All they needed was a defensive stop, which unfortunately for them never materialized. Instead, the Grizzlies picked up a couple of first downs and ran out the clock, dashing WSU's hopes for a last-second drive.
* In the interview room after, Morales lamented the fact neither the defense nor the offense could make a key play in the fourth quarter. However, when Dixon was asked about his kick return -- and he said it meant very little to him because the 'Cats lost the game -- Morales immediately picked him up.
"It should," he said, turning to Dixon. "That was a great play, people (in the stands) were leaving and they stopped."
Sorry, WSU fans. Your Wildcats didn't win; they suffered yet another punch-in-the-gut loss, this time to a beatable bunch of Grizzlies. Still, amid mounting frustration, Morales proved himself to be a top-notch leader when he propped up his freshman teammate.
"It makes me feel better," Dixon said. "He's giving me a little motivation to keep trying to do it every time I touch the ball. I mean, we still just wanted to win."
I know, I know. If you bleed purple, there's no such thing as a moral victory, not after the 'Cats turned the ball over three times and failed to get a fourth-quarter stop. Yes, if they handed out bonus points for kindness and good intentions WSU might've won the game. But in the home stretch of a terribly disappointing season, take Morales' actions for what they're worth.
Not only did he stand up for his teammates, he showed a little chutzpah in the process.
"Oh (I was) super proud (of Dixon)," he said. "Honestly, I think it was about 3.75 seconds right before that play, I see all the fans leaving. I'm like, 'Wow, look at this support.' And then he runs the play and they all stopped. I just laughed and I was like, 'Yes!'
"Seeing a true freshman like this make a big play, that's great stuff," he added. "We haven't had a big play of special teams all year, at all. We've really been stressing (how) we need to break one. His first return, 103 yards? Enough said right there."
It's often said that a man's true character is revealed by how he handles failure, not success. If that's the case, I'd say Anthony Morales revealed plenty.
After all, nobody wanted Saturday's game more than he did, nobody.