By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The Havre Blue Ponies are on a two-game win run, while the Browning Indians are on a run of their own.
However, the Indians run consists of at least 13 straight losses, dating back more than two seasons.
Theyve really changed a lot this year, said second-year head coach Dan Olson about the Indian team. They have a new coach and hes really doing some good things this year.
The Blue Ponies, 2-2 in the Central A and 2-3 overall, downed Central A Belgrade 21-19 Friday at home to notch their second straight win.
The Ponies defensive game was on fire, as it held the Panthers to just 17 yards passing in the game. The Havre defense leads the league in passing yards gained.
Seniors Jesse Suek, Tyler Bebee, Willie Hullett and junior David Knight posed a tough defensive threat for the Ponies last week.
Senior Pony Doug Kallenberger broke up a huge Belgrade scoring drive late in the game.
Offensively for the Blue Ponies, senior quarterback Ricky Brown went 14-of-27 for 215 yards in the victory. During the course of two wins, he has gone 22-of-40 for 392 yards.
Against Belgrade, Brown had two interceptions, one touchdown and ran in a one-yard scamper for a score.
Junior running back Brent Finneman had 14 carries for 71 yards, including one touchdown.
Senior Nate Baltrusch had seven receptions for 103 yards and one touchdown.
David Heberly, at tight end, had two receptions for 20 yards and junior Danny Wirtzberger stepped up and grabbed two balls for 33 yards.
The offensive line and Pony pass protection was much-improved behind the strength of senior Michael Holden and junior Matt Sasaki.
Browning, 0-5 overall, has a different look offensively. Last year, the Indians ran nearly every play from the shotgun and ran a huge passing game.
However, under new head coach Matt Johnston, the Indians run multiple offensive formations.
Senior halfback JoVan Fisher, who is one of the states top sprinters, leads the offense for the Indians.
Junior fullback Dusty Racine, at 6-foot, 205 pounds, will also play a key role offensively.
They are much improved, Olson said. Well have to work on Fisher and keep him under wraps.
The Ponies have struggled with key injuries this season, but look to be healthier this weekend.
Sophomore running back Kevin Harada suffered a season-ending knee injury earlier this season. Senior Chris Klobofski, who also suffered a knee injury, will look to return to the lineup this week.
Senior Landon Grant, a starting defensive end for the Ponies, will be out with a thigh injury.
Some are a little sore, but were starting to get some of these kids healthy, Olson said.
As far as playoffs, the Blue Ponies need to win the rest of their games and Lewistown, who defeated the Ponies 13-7 earlier this year, would have to lose the rest of their games.
Were not out of it yet, Olson said. But right now, we need to take care of our own end.
Fridays matchup is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. at Browning.