By Rob Everingham
Blue Sky/KG is right back where it was last year, and Chester is just one more step away, as both teams picked up wins this weekend in the Class C football playoffs.
The Eagles of Blue Sky have made it back to the top of the pile in six-man football in a rematch of last seasons title game.
Blue Sky pulled out a 36-34 win over Geraldine to advance and will host next weekends six-man state championship game.
Chester ran past Medicine Lake/Froid during the weekend 43-20 and will meet Denton at home in the the Class C football semifinals Saturday.
Geraldine got on the board first as Eddie Furlong kicked a 32-yard field goal. The Eagles answered, though, as David Jurenka broke free for a 37-yard touchdown run. T.J. Ironbear tacked on the extra-point, giving the Eagles an 8-3 lead after one.
In the second, Blue Sky scored first as Tyler Hutchinson caught a Justin Simonson pass. Ironbear converted the two-point kick, putting the Eagles up 16-3. Geraldine answered with a touchdown of its own and a two-point kick.
Blue Skys Dain Peterson scored the Eagles second touchdown of the second quarter, as he scampered 10 yards for the score, giving the Eagles a 22-11 lead at the half.
Geraldine struck first in the third quarter, but, again, Blue Sky answered as Joey Stuart hauled in a 14-yard Simonson pass. At the end of three the Eagles led 30-18.
Eric Marshall got into the action in the fourth as he ran the football in from the nine-yard line for the score. Geraldine scored twice in the fourth as it tried to come back from the 36-18 deficit, but did not have enough as the Eagles held on for the win.
Blue Sky head coach Gregg Wasson said his team came out and got the momentum and was able to keep it, while Geraldine had trouble getting some momentum going.
Wasson said that not only did his athletes step up as a team, but also individually.
They came through and played hard, Wasson said.
As for making it back to the state title game, Wasson said, it is a different team from the team last year, and, even though they have struggled at times, they knew they could accomplish their goal.
The Eagles will face unbeaten West Yellowstone Saturday in the Six-Man State Championship. Wasson said they know very little about West Yellowstone after just focusing on getting past Geraldine this past week.
Wasson said he has heard they have a good running back, but everything else will be learned as they go through the week.
The two teams did meet in the first round of the six-man playoffs two years ago, with the Eagles winning the game over West Yellowstone 31-12.
In the game between Chester and Medicine Lake, neither team scored in the first quarter.
Medicine Lake got on the board first in the second, but Chesters Jeff Graham answered as he returned the ensuing kickoff 73 yards for the score. Graham found the end zone again in the second quarter on a one-yard run.
Medicine Lake answered to tie the game at 14-14. Chester then scored twice as Graham ran in from four yards out, and then found Brian Schlepp on a five-yard passing play. Medicine Lakes only other score came in the second when Graham kicked a 45-yard field goal to put Chester up 31-20 at the half.
Neither team scored in the third, but Graham scored twice in the fourth on runs of one and two yards to seal the victory for Chester.
Chesters defense was the difference as it came up with seven turnovers. Graham, Schlepp, Brad Oraw, Scott Riggin, and Logan Lybeck all came up with turnovers.
Coyotes head coach Bill Schlepp said his team is really excited and he is happy they played hard in the game.
Defensively, Schlepp said they executed their game plan well, didnt give up any big plays and controlled the ball.
Graham had three touchdowns and a field goal, and, Schlepp said, he did a good job kicking and returning the ball. Schlepp said he also credits Sean Weinert for great middle of the field running.
The Coyotes face Denton Saturday in the semifinals. Schlepp said they havent seen them yet, but they know they have a lot of speed.
Schlepp said his athletes are starting to believe in themselves and are making it back to the top.
They are starting to believe it is a possibility again, Schlepp said.