By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sportsemail@example.com
While the Class AA and A schools opened the 2003 prep football season last weekend, the entire state was in action on the final weekend of the month of August-including a lot of football action across the Hi-Line.
Simms 20, Harlem 6
For the second straight season, the Simms Tigers knocked off the Harlem Wildcats in a season opener. On Friday night the Tigers downed the Wildcats 20-6 in Harlem in the season opener for both Northeast B teams.
After a scoreless first quarter it was Harlem who struck first on a 3-yard run by tailback Evan Azure. The run gave the Wildcats a short-lived 6-0 lead. However, the Tigers struck late in the half on a 20-yard pass play from quarterback Nathan Green to wideout Kolby Bobbick to give the Tigers an 8-6 lead at the half.
With the outcome still in doubt in the fourth period, Simms linebacker Nathan Dear recovered a Harlem fumble in the end-zone for the second score of the game. The Tigers also tacked on an insurance TD when Green scored on a quarterback keeper from 16 yards out.
Harlem (0-1) will remain at home on Friday night when they open District 2B play against the Malta Mustangs.
Fort Benton 60, Chinook 0
Saturday was not the opening night to the 2003 season the Chinook Sugarbeeters were looking for as they were thrashed by the Class B defending state champion Fort Benton Longhorns 60-0 in Chinook.
The Horns scored 53 of their 60 points in the first half, including a 32-point outburst in the second quarter. Cale McGinnis led the way for the Horns with three touchdown receptions and starting tailback Brandon Utterback, also scored two TD's on just three carries. Utterback racked up 102 yards rushing and scored on runs of 71 and 13 yards.
Chinook is now 0-1 on the young season and they will travel to Big Timber on Friday night.
Big Sandy 46, Power-Dutton-GFC 22
The Big Sandy Pioneers have been surrounded by hype this fall and on Saturday they appeared to have delivered on all the promise as they rolled over the Power-Dutton-GFC Titans 46 -22 in Power.
All-State tailback Skylar Pearson rushed for 223 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Paul Reishas also added a pair of TD runs.
The two teams traded a pair of scores in the first quarter but the Pioneers broke the game wide open in the second by scoring 24 unanswered points to take a 38-14 halftime lead. Pearson started the second quarter scoring barrage with a 24 yard scoring run and quarterback Gage Brumwell followed that up with a 14-yard run of his own. Pearson's second score of the game came on the Pioneers next possession as he ripped off a 20-yard TD run that put the Titans away for good.
Big Sandy is now 1-0 and will open their 2003 home schedule on Friday night when they host the Sunburst Refiners.
Belt 54, Chester 14
The Belt Huskies began their defense of their 2002 Northern C football title with a convincing win over the Chester Coyotes at home on Saturday afternoon.
The Huskies amassed 382 yards of total offense enroute to the 54-14 romp. Belt's quarterback duo of Trevor Dear and Logan Lewis combined for four touchdowns. Tailback Andy Sivertsen also added three scores for the Huskies.
The Coyotes only scores came in the second and fourth quarter. In the second period Travis VanDyke scored on a 7-yard pass play from Kevin May and Jeff Thompson added a 22-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Next up for Chester (0-1) will be their 2003 home opener against the Hays-Lodge Pole Thunderbirds on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
Centerville 48, Hays-Lodge Pole 18
The Centerville Miners scored 22 unanswered points to start the game against the host Hays-Lodge Pole Thunderbirds on Saturday afternoon enroute to an easy 48-18 win in the season opener for both schools.
The Miners led 22-0 midway through the second quarter, but the T-Birds clawed back into the contest after a 5-yard scoring run and a 22-yard TD strike. Holding on to a 28-18 lead going into the fourth quarter, the Miners ripped off another 20 unanswered points to put the Thunderbirds away for good. Quarterback Hunter Kerkes led the way for Centerville going 11 for 13 for 137 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Hays Lodgepole (0-1) will visit the Chester Coyotes on Friday night.
J-I 52, Rocky Boy 0
The J-I Rams got their 2003 six-man football season off to a good start with a 52-0 shutout over a young Rocky Boy Stars team in Joplin on Saturday afternoon.
Matt Tempel led the Rams by rushing for two touchdowns, throwing for one and also catching a TD pass from Zach Ramberg. Ramberg also threw TD strikes to Craig Miller and Brenton Pimley.
The Rams opened the game with a Temple catching a 45-yard pass from Ramberg and the Temple added a 13-yard run that sparked J-I to a 26-0 first quarter lead.
Riley Smith and Jared Bixby also added rushing TD's for the Rams in the romp.
J-I (1-0) will next visit the Northern Division favorite Geraldine on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. Rocky Boy (0-1) will host the Lambert Lions at 1 p.m. on Saturday as well.
Geyser 60, Box Elder 26
The Geyser Wranglers scored 28 points in the fourth quarter to spoil the Box Elder Bears season opener 60-26 in Geyser Saturday afternoon.
The Wranglers scored the game's first touchdown before the Bears bounced back on a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Neal Rosette to J.R. Rosette. The Wranglers then scored the game's next 18 points into the the third quarter to all but put the Bears away.
Rosette led the way for Box Elder throwing TD passes of 16, 8 and 8 yards. Tyler Henry also threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Henry in the latter stages of the game.
Box Elder (0-1) will now face Brady on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. in their 2003 home opener.