By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sportsfirstname.lastname@example.org
Labor Day weekend generally marks the "unofficial" end of summer for many. But this Labor Day weekend also marked the "official" opening of high school football across the state of Montana as a all classifications were in action this weekend.
On Friday night, the Harlem Wildcats got their 2004 season off to a solid start as they earned a hard-fought 21-18 win over the Simms Tigers, equaling their number of wins from last season.
The Wildcats will try to pick up their second straight non-conference win when they host the Poplar Indians on Friday night.
Friday night also saw the Hays-Lodge Pole Thunderbirds fall in their season opener. The T-Birds dropped a close 18-12 decision to conference rival Sunburst.
Saturday afternoon marked the opening day of Northern Six-Man action along the Hi-Line and touchdowns were abundant.
In their six-man debut, the Blue Sky/KG Eagles opened their season in impressive fashion with a 74-19 thrashing of the Brockton Warriors in Brockton.
The Eagles exploded for 41 first quarter points. Quarterback Cody Donoven threw four touchdown passes in the first quarter and scored on a 43-yard run during the route. Donoven threw seven TD passes, including a 72-yard strike to Conrad Wendland to finish the game. Tyler Moss also scored four rushing TD's on the day.
The Eagles (1-0) will back in action on Saturday afternoon when they travel to perennial six-man powerhouse Highwood.
The Rocky Boy Stars also got their season off to an explosive star by hammering conference foe J-I, 93-50, in Rocky Boy.
The Stars led 14-6 after the first quarter but broke the contest open scoring 26 points before the end of the first half to lead 40-14.
The Rams tried to mount a fourth quarter comeback by scoring 20 points in the period but Rocky Boy put 32 points of their own on the board to extend their already massive lead.
A.J. The Boy scored five times for the Stars, passing for a pair of TDs and running three more. Robert Sunchild also scored four times for Rocky Boy. He ran back a pair of kicks for TDs of 70 and 60 yards. Sunchild also scored on touchdown runs of 67 and 24 yards.
The Rams' Riley Smith scored on runs of 5, 12 and 5 yards and also ran a kickoff back 70 yards for a score. Quarterback Craig Miller threw a pair of touchdown passes as well.
Rocky Boy (1-0) will host Geyser (1-0) on Saturday afternoon and the Rams (0-1) will open their home schedule when Brockton (0-1) comes calling.
Saturday's season opener for the Box Elder Bears ended in disappointment as they were routed by the Geyser Wranglers 62-21.
The Bears trailed 14-7 near the end of the first quarter after Tyler Henry found Aaron Henry for a 51-yard scoring strike to close the period.
The Wranglers responded with 20 unanswered points in the second period all behind Ryan Neumann. Neumann scored on runs of 25 and 58 yards and also returned an Tyler Henry interception 58 yards for a touchdown.
The Wranglers continued to pour it on the Bears in the third quarter as they scored 22 more unanswered points to build an insurmountable 56-14 lead heading into the final stanza.
Aaron Henry caught two TD passes on the day and Jeremy Burns also scored on a four-yard touchdown run. Neumann capped off his six touchdown day with a 70-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter.
Box Elder (0-1) will return to action on Saturday when they travel to Geraldine to take on the defending state six-man champion Tigers.
Thursday night, defending Northern C champion Big Sandy opened defense of its conference title at home. The Pioneers were subsequently drubbed by archrival Chester, 42-22.
The second quarter did the Pioneers in as the Coyotes scored 22 straight points, all on touchdown passes by quarterback Kevin May.
May hooked up with Zach Ramberg for a 6-yard TD strike and followed that up with a 47-yard bomb to Patrick Wicks. May closed the quarter by hitting Ramberg from 10 yards out. The final scoring strike gave the Coyotes a comfortable 34-8 halftime lead.
Chester got it done on the ground with Wicks scoring on runs of 54 and 20 yards. The Pioneers got touchdowns from Lawrence Jappe who scored on a 54-yard run in the first quarter. Kyle Danreuther also scored a pair of TDs on runs of 5 and 12 yards.
Chester (1-0) will return home on Friday night to host a very tough Centerville Miner team. Big Sandy (0-1) will remain home on Friday night to host the Belt Huskies.