Daniel Horton Havre Daily News email@example.com
Last Saturday the Havre High football team got off to a 1-0 start to their season by fighting tooth and nail to get a come-from-behind road victory over long time rival Whitefish. The touchdown-for-touchdown, big play showdown ended with a final score of 22-19 and a 67-yard kickoff return by Adam Briese. Tonight the Blue Ponies are back in action, and this time they have the honor of playing in their first home game of the season. At 7 the Ponies (1-0) kick off against Billings Central (1-0) at Blue Pony Stadium, where they hope to build on their strong start and get to 2-0. This week if the Ponies look a little different than normal, that’s because they are. Transfer student Brock Picard was named ineligible to play by the Montana High School Association, and he chose to transfer back to Polson. Although Picard would have been a welcome addition to the Ponies as a strong running back and linebacker, losing him isn’t going to hurt their chances of a great season. “It’s a situation where he could have definitely helped us, but on the other side of the coin we’ll be fine.” HHS head coach Kevin Sukut said. “We’re deep enough and we’ve got enough senior leadership that it shouldn’t effect us in a negative way.” Tonight the Ponies host last year's Class A state champions. This is the f irst t ime since the 2004 state championship game that the Rams have visited Blue Pony Stadium and it's going to take a well prepared Pony team, and almost perfect execution to walk away with a win. Especially since last season Billings Central went undefeated, walloped HHS in Billings and opened this year with a win last weekend. The Rams are riding a 13-game wining streak heading into tonight's game with the Ponies. Last Saturday the Ponies got away with a slow start. But a start like that against an opponent like the Rams will be devastating. “We need to come out with more focus, more intensity and more aggression.” Sukut Said. “Every week you go in and you look at your opponent on tape and you see what their strengths are, and then right away, starting with our defensive game plan we want to take their strength away from them as much as we can.” The Ponies need to do a good job of mixing the run and pass against the Rams. And if they really want to win the game, they will have to control the ball offensively. They need good time of possession, good red zone offense and for as long as possible, the Ponies need to keep the potent Rams' offense off of the field. There is definitely the proper motivation needed for the Ponies to have a big game. Last season they traveled to Billings Central and were outplayed in every phase of the game in a lopsided affair. “We respect them, but by no means are we intimidated by them.” Sukut said. “Our kids are ready to go and I think we have a lot to prove.” Sukut isn’t looking to one or any handful of players to step up tonight, instead, he is looking at the entire team. The Ponies are at their best when everybody executes and does their job, on offense, defense and special teams. “I look at our team as being a blue collar group of guys where we need every position to step up and get the job done.” Sukut said. At the beginning of the season Sukut mentioned goal setting. Every year the Ponies begin the season with their sights set on winning the division a n d ma k i n g i t t o t h e s ta t e championship. And tonight’s game between two teams picked to win their conference this season, may very well be a post season preview. “When you play tough teams like this it should be a situation where the kids and we as a program are really excited.” Sukut said. “You are matching up with the best, and we feel like we are perfectly capable of competing with these guys.” Tonight's showdown between the Blue Ponies and the defending state champion Rams will kick off at 7 at Blue Pony Stadium. The game can be heard locally on 610 AM KOJM.