For Havre High and Montana State University-Northern football players and coaches, it might seem like the playing surface at Blue Pony Stadium is cursed right now.
On Friday night, the Blue Ponies suffered six interceptions at the hands of the Miles City Cowboys in a 34-14 loss.
Then came Saturday’s struggles for the Lights. MSU-N turned the ball over on offense seven times, and Montana Tech had four interceptions in a 17-13, defensive win at Blue Pony Stadium. The win was only Tech’s second in its last four trips to Havre.
But Tech had three INTs of its own, and that leads me to believe, it was just one of those weekends. One in which things just didn’t go the home team’s way.
And while neither the Blue Ponies, nor the Lights will make excuses, there were factors which played in to Friday and Saturday night’s difficulties.
First, both of Havre’s head coaches gave credit where credit is due. Both Miles City and Tech have very good defenses, and that’s always going to come into play, and from my vantage point, both the Cowboys and Orediggers came into Havre and played very good defense — that goes without saying.
But don’t forget about the weather, which played a role in both games.
Friday night’s game had plenty of time in which rain was pouring down on Blue Pony Stadium and that never makes it easy to throw the deep ball. And in Saturday’s outing, the usual Havre fall wind was in full effect and several balls hung in the air when both MSU-N and Tech were going towards the west endzone of the stadium.
Again, football players don’t make excuses. That’s one of the reasons they are football players and why we all respect them and the game itself. And there were no excuses, no complaints coming from the Ponies or the Lights this weekend.
But when the dust settled on two exciting games in Havre, and I had time to reflect on what I’d seen — it wasn’t the picks or the fumbles, the rain or the wind which stood out to me.
Instead, the focus for me is that there are two talented football teams playing in Havre this fall. They are both young, they are both inexperienced in some areas, and that’s just a fact. But after watching them both play this weekend, no matter what the scoreboard said when the final horn blew, it is clear, both the Ponies and Lights are headed for great things, this season and beyond.
Both of Havre’s football teams have bright futures ahead of them and the Ponies will have better nights under the lights and the Lights will have better days in the sun at Blue Pony Stadium.
And that’s what I’ll take away from this weekend of football in this great football town.
George Ferguson is sports editor of the Havre Daily News.