By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sports/ email@example.com
The first weekend in October was full of action packed high school football across the Hi-Line. The turn of the calender also means that the 2004 season is starting to wind down and conference races are tightening up.
On Friday night, the Harlem Wildcats were shut out by former conference rival Malta, 40-0. It was the first game in two weeks for Harlem, which had a bye last weekend. The Wildcats are 2-3 this season and will resume district play on Friday night when they travel to Shelby.
In Northern C action on Friday, the Chester Coyotes' play-off aspirations were dealt a serious blow when they were upended by the Sunburst Refiners, 28-20.
The Refiners grabbed the lead from Chester just before halftime when quarterback Mitchell Deigel found Matthew Tomsheck for a 19-yard touchdown pass for a 14-6 lead.
In the fourth quarter, the Refiners increased their lead to 26-6, scoring back-to-back TDs on runs by Todd Fleisher. The Coyotes rallied for 14 points, both of which came on scores from Patrick Wicks. But the comeback ended when the Refiners picked up a safety late in the contest.
Wicks scored all three touchdowns for the Coyotes and had 83 rushing yards on the night.
Chester (3-2) will look to rebound on Friday night when it hosts Grass Range.
On Saturday afternoon, the Big Sandy Pioneers picked up a very important Northern C win as they edged Hays-Lodge Pole 20-14 in Hays.
The Pioneers jumped out to a 14-0 halftime lead and held off the Thunderbirds in the fourth quarter. The Pioneers are now 2-3 this season and will host the Centerville Miners on Friday night. The T-Birds (1-4) will host the Heart Butte Warriors on Saturday.
In Northern Six-man action on Saturday afternoon, the Blue Sky/KG Eagles put themselves in the playoff hunt with a 34-22 win over the Geyser Wranglers.
Trailing 14-0 in the first quarter, the Eagles scored 22 unanswered points to take a 22-14 lead in the third quarter. The scores came on 63-yard run by Cody Donoven and TD passes to Darius Wendland from Cody Jurenka and Donoven.
The Wranglers rallied in the third quarter, but the Eagles pulled ahead for good when Josh Strissel picked up a Wrangler fumble and returned it eight yards for the game's final score.
The Eagles are now 3-2 this season. They are in the middle of a three-game road trip and will visit Augusta on Saturday.
In Rocky Boy, the host Stars trounced the Brockton Warriors 82-20 to grab their second win of the season.
The Stars scored nine straight touchdowns to start the game, while exploding for 48 points in the second quarter to lead 68-6 at halftime.
A.J. The Boy scored four times and also had a safety to lead the Stars. Colton Montes also found the endzone twice for Rocky Boy, including a 62-yard TD reception from The Boy and a 39-yard interception return for another score.
Rocky Boy (2-3) will host archrival Box Elder on Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the struggling Box Elder Bears' losing streak was extended to five games after they were drilled 67-30 by top-ranked Highwood.
The Mountaineers buried the Bears in the first quarter by scoring 40 unanswered points and Box Elder never got back into the contest.
Aaron Henry paced the Bears scoring touchdowns on a 79-yard kickoff return, a 45-yard reception and throwing for one as well.
The Bears (0-5) will travel to Rocky Boy on Saturday.
The J-I Rams suffered a devastating defeat on Saturday at the hands of the Augusta Elks. The Rams were shut out 74-0. The Elks scored 39 points in the first half and tacked on another 22 points in the third quarter on their way to the rare shutout win.
J-I (1-4) will visit the Lambert Lions on Saturday afternoon.