When heading into the postseason it is extremely important for a team to maintain consistency. They want to hold teams down with their defense and run away from teams with their offense. And for the Chinook Sugarbeeters, Chester/J-I Hawks and Big Sandy Pioneers, that is exactly what they did.
On Saturday, the state playoffs brought three games to the Hi-Line. And with the Class C 8-Man Beeters, Class C 8-Man
Hawks and Class C 6-Man Pioneers all playing at home in first round action, Hi-Line fans saw three big wins. The Beeters defeated Culbertson-Bainville 62-16, the Hawks defeated Scobey-Opheim 36-0 and the Pioneers defeated Hysham 47-6 to move onto the next round.
In Chinook the defending state champion Beeters did what they have done all season long, they dominated the competition in every aspect of the game.
“We were satisfied with this win and thought we executed very well,” Chinook head coach Matt Molyneaux said. “We feel this is how we need to play if we are going to continue being successful. But we also feel that we need to work on being more of a threat through the air.”
The Beeters' running game has outshined everybody this season. With Ben Stroh in the backfield and Zach Molyneax with great scrambling and running ability, they have been nearly unstoppable. That was the story on Saturday, when Stroh carried the ball 13 times for 101 yards and three touchdowns and Molyneaux carried the ball eight times for 125 yards and two rushing scores. Stroh’s TD runs came from 16, nine and three yards out, while Molyneaux’s TD runs came from 13 and 43 yards. Thomas Reid also had a 24-yard rushing score for the Beeters.
But in a game, where the Beeters held a 50-0 lead at halftime, Chinook did find some success in the air.
Dylan Surber reeled in a 26-yard pass from Molyneaux, while Brandon Riphenburg grabbed two scoring tosses from Molyneaux from 26 and 63 yards out.
The Beeters' defense also had another outstanding game, with a handful of turnovers that led to scores, and allowing just two scores on the afternoon, one in the third and one in the fourth when the game was already out of reach.
“The defense played well,” Coach Molyneaux said. “We did a real nice job with the execution and it was a nice accent to the offensive production.”
Chinook improved to 9-0 and will face No. 3 out of the west Drummond on Saturday in Chinook. Drummond upset No. 2 out of the south White Sulphur Springs, 26-12 in the first round. Chinook's quarterfinal game kicks off at 1:30 p.m. Saturday/
Culbertson 0 0 8 8 — 16
Chinook 30 20 6 6 — 62
CHI — Dylan Surber 26 pass from Zach Molyneaux (pat failed)
CHI — Zach Molyneaux 13 run (Brandon Riphenburg pass from Zach Molyneaux)
CHI — Ben Stroh 16 run (Robby Klingaman run)
CHI — Riphenburg 26 pass from Zach Molyneaux (Brandon Riphenburg pass from Zach Molyneaux)
CHI — Zach Molyneaux 43 run (pass failed)
CHI — Ben Stroh 9 run (Robby Klingaman pass from Schmitt)
CHI — Brandon Riphenburg 63 pass from Zach Molyneaux (pass failed)
CUL — Larsen 40 run (Cochran pass from Larsen)
CHI — Ben Stroh 3 run (run failed)
CHI — Thomas Reid 24 run (run failed)
CUL — Cochran 35 pass from Larsen (Cochran run)
Chester/J-I 36, Scobey-Opheim 0
The 8-Man Chester/J-I Hawks also dominated at home without missing a beat from the regular season to post season.
“That was a very satisfying win for us,” C/J-I head coach Jim Vinson said. “Our defense played extremely well and offensively we controlled the line of scrimmage and we only had to punt the ball the one time. And I think in playoff football when you get down to the best 16 teams in the state and you only have to punt the ball one time, that is pretty good football.”
And like the Beeters, the Hawks produced the majority of their offense on the ground. Erik Kelly had another huge outing for the Hawks and racked up 155 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. Kelly also grabbed a receiving touchdown from Leonard Pugsley, for all five of the Hawks’ touchdowns on Saturday. Kelly’s rushing TD’s came from 14, 10, five and 37 yards.
Overall, it was an ideal game for the No. 5 Hawks. They shutout the opposing offense, and put up 12 points in the first quarter, 16 in the second and eight in the third to dominate the competition. They found success in the air and on the ground on offense, and only allowed a couple big plays, with no scores on defense. Jordan Oraw led the defense with 11 tackles.
“I was extremely happy,” Vinson said. “The kids did a great job on Saturday.”
Moving forward, the Hawks are looking forward to their second round matchup with Twin Bridges. Twin Bridges is the No. 1 team out of the south and is coming off of a big win of their own, defeating Lincoln 40-6 in the first round. Saturday’s game will be in Twin Bridges.
Scobey-Opheim 0 0 0 0 — 0
C/J-I 12 16 8 0 — 36
C/J-I—Erik Kelly 18 pass from Leonard Pugsley (pass failed)
C/J-I —Erik Kelly 14 run (run failed)
C/J-I —Erik Kelly 10 run (Leonard Pugsley run)
C/J-I —Erik Kelly 5 run (Jordan Oraw run)
C/J-I —Erik Kelly 37 run (Jordan Oraw run)
Big Sandy 47, Hysham 6
The Pioneers were the only local Class C 6-Man squad to make the state playoffs this season. And they too found a way to roll right into the post season with relative ease.
And the 47-6 win over the Hysham Pirates came just how the Pioneers wanted it. They have had a very well balanced team all season long, and got that again on Saturday against Hysham. The Pioneers scored on the ground, in the air and on defense, as they improved to 8-1 on the season.
Quarterback Trevor Lackner had a big game for the Pioneers. He passed for two scores and returned an interception for a third, as the Pioneers put up six points in the first, 22 in the second, 13 in the third and six more in the fourth. Lackner connected with Jessie Bailey for a 27-yard score and Kaden Beck on a 32-yard score. And Lackner’s interception return went for 56 yards on the pick six.
Bailey also had a five-yard rushing score, while Justin Stevens had two rushing TD’s. Stevens punched in a score from seven yards and one from 10 yards. Davis Tuttle also reeled in a nine-yard TD pass from Jace Solf for the Pioneers.
Big Sandy will look to keep their constant and all around productivity going next weekend as they host a second round matchup. On Saturday the Pioneers will face Fromberg/Roberts, the No. 2 team out of the south. Fromberg/Roberts is coming off of a first round win over Lima.
Hysham 0 0 0 6 — 6
Big Sandy 6 22 13 6 — 47
BS — Justin Stevens 7 run (kick failed)
BS — Jessie Bailey 27 pass from Trevor Lackner (Dallas Briese kick)
BS — Justin Stevens 10 run (kick failed)
BS — Trevor Lackner 56 interception return (Dallas Briese kick)
BS — Jessie Bailey 5 run (Trevor Lackner run)
BS — Kaden Beck 32 pass from Trevor Lackner (kick failed)
BS — Davis Tuttle 9 pass from Jace Solf (pass failed)
H — Shad Snaak 20 pass from Mathew Kolb (kick failed)