The rough games continue to get piled onto the Havre High football team this season, but at least the week-by-week improvement is still being shown by the hardworking Blue Ponies.
This time, it was the Miles City Cowboys who handed the Ponies a tough loss in Miles City. Still in non-conference play, the Cowboys took down the Central A Ponies 35-14 on Friday night. The Ponies are now 0-3, while the Cowboys improved to 2-1 overall.
Havre High held its first lead of the season on Friday, going up on the Cowboys 6-0 in the first quarter. The early score came on an 18-yard pass from Dane Warp to Thomas Gruber, and the Ponies found themselves leading all the way into the second frame.
But the lead didn’t last, as Miles City scored 35 unanswered points to take a 35-6 lead into the fourth quarter. Gruber added one last score in the final frame, another TD pass from Warp, and this time coming from seven yards out.
“I don’t think there was any turning points,” Havre High head coach Jason Christenson said. “They (Cowboys) are just a lot stronger team than we are. They are no strangers to the weight room, and when we face teams of that nature, we are just not as big and strong as they are yet. But we did have an early interception, and that did hurt us a bit, and they did start to kind of get on a roll.”
Havre’s offense still made some noise, but just couldn’t find the end zone enough times for the win. Warp ended up passing 13 times for 168 yards, while also completing two touchdowns and throwing one interception. Gruber was the top receiver, and grabbed seven catches for 102 yards and both TD’s. Thurman Holdsclaw also caught two passes for 30 yards.
Rushing the ball, Tristan Manuel rushed four times for 12 yards, while Warp rushed seven times for 10 yards. But Holdsclaw led the rushing game with 10 carries and 88 total yards.
“ We had players step up,” Christenson said. “Gruber had a phenomenal game, and when teams focus on our best player, Thurman Holdsclaw, we need other players to step up and take on a leadership role. Gruber really did a nice job of that. Other kids are starting to step up, and once everybody starts doing that and starts really playing hard, we will win some football games.”
And the scoreboard doesn’t show it, but the Pony defense did continue to improve.
The Ponies allowed 192 rushing yards and 148 passing yards, but the 35 points was lower than weeks prior. Christenson saw the continued improvement, and knows it is something to build on.
“I thought we held a pretty good offense,” Christenson said. “I mean we didn’t allow as many points as we did the last couple of weeks. We made some improvements, especially on our run defense, and I know they rushed for almost 200 yards, but we missed less tackles and that is a huge improvement. We just had a couple coverage breakdowns that we have to get cleaned up.”
Chet Shrauger led the Blue Pony defense with six tackles and on quarterback sack. Holdsclaw and Tyler Adams both had five tackles each, while Adams had a fumble recovery and Holdsclaw had one sack. Gruber also had four tackles and two pass breakups, while Zach Plum also had four tackles and another interception.
The Ponies will attempt to get their first win of the season on Friday, when they return home to host Sidney.
Miles City 35, Havre 14
Havre 6 0 0 8 – 14
Miles City 0 21 7 7 – 35
HAV – Thomas Gruber 18 pass from Dane Warp (kick failed)
MC – Alec Haughian 8 run (pass failed)
MC - Timmy Regan 33 pass from Alec Haughian (Beau Peaslee pass from Alec Haughian)
MC – Alec Haughian 16 run (Trevor Harbaugh kick)
MC – Alec Haughian 6 run (Alec Harbaugh kick)
MC - Devin Begger 11 pass from Alec Haughian (Alec Harbaugh kick)
HAV – Thomas Gruber 7 pass from Dane Warp (Jake Williams pass from Dane Warp).
Passing – Dane Warp 13-22-168
Rushing – Thurman Holdsclaw 10-88, Tristan Manuel 4-10, Dane Warp 7-10
Receiving – Thomas Gruber 7-102, Thurman Holdsclaw 2-30.