By George Ferguson
It was the halfway point for many football teams on the Hi-Line. Consequently, this past weekend saw plenty of teams positioning themselves for the stretch run to the playoffs in their respective divisions.
The Harlem Wildcats kept their playoff hopes alive on Friday night in Poplar. The Wildcats squeaked out a 22-20 victory over the Poplar Indians to even up their District 2B record at 2-2. The Wildcats are 2-3 overall on the season.
With 48 seconds remaining in the game and Poplar leading 20-14, Tom Cochran scored a game-tying touchdown and then ran in a two- point conversion that lifted the Wildcats to the victory. Cochran also scored two other rushing touchdowns on the night. The Indians scored all 20 of their points in the second quarter to take a 20-8 halftime lead before Cochran brought the Wildcats back in the second half.
In Wolf Point, the Chinook Sugarbeeters picked up their first win of the season by drubbing the Wolf Point Wolves 20-2. The 'Beeters were paced by a Michael Mereness 70-yard TD scamper and a couple of long pass plays. The Wolves managed to get on the board in the second quarter on a blocked punt that turned into a safety. The 'Beeters are now 1-4 overall and 1-3 in district play and will host Poplar on Saturday night.
The Big Sandy Pioneers continued to climb the Northern C ladder on Friday night by thrashing the Heart Butte Warriors 62-0. The Pioneers have now reeled off three straight conference victories after starting the season 0-2.
Callen Heppner rushed for 104 yards and scored three touchdowns to pace the Pioneers. Skylar Pearson added 94 yards on the ground and one TD. Quarterback Gage Brumwell also scored twice on the night. Brumwell ran for one touchdown and also threw a 20-yard scoring strike to Matt Myers. Brumwell's two TDs came as part of a 27-point first quarter that set the tone for the rest of the game. Big Sandy is now 3-2 on the season, and will host the Chester Coyotes on Friday night.
On Saturday afternoon, the Chester Coyotes picked up a huge Northern C victory over the Centerville Miners, 44-26 in Centerville. The win was the third straight for the Coyotes in conference play.
The Miners grabbed an early lead on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Chase Pepos to Levi McCale. However, Chester ran off 20 unanswered first quarter points to take firm control of the game. The Miners mounted a late fourth quarter rally, scoring 16 points in the final period.
Chester was paced by Adam Stubbs, who rushed for three TDs in the first half. Shannon Norick also scored twice for the Coyotes in the victory. Chester is now 3-2 on the season and will visit Big Sandy in a key matchup on Friday night.
In six-man action on Saturday, the Rocky Boy Stars were drilled by the Highwood Mountaineers, 80-0 in Highwood. The Mountaineers scored 67 points in the first half, and managed to keep the Stars' offense out of the end zone for the entire game. Highwood got three scoring TDs from Mike Lee, including two interceptions that he took back for touchdowns. The Stars are now 1-4 and will host Geyser on Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile in Geyser, the J-I Rams fell to Geyser 40-23. The game was close at 12-8 after the first period and remained close until Ty McDonald picked up a J-I fumble late in the third quarter and ran it in for a touchdown. McDonald also scored again in the fourth quarter on a 4-yard run to cap off the victory. Zach Ramberg threw two TD passes for the Rams in the loss. J-I (1-4) will host Brockton on Saturday.
In Box Elder, the Box Elder Bears were downed by the Lambert Lions 59-24. The loss keeps the Bears winless on the season at 0-5. Marcus Standing Rock scored three times for the Bears. Lambert was led by quarterback Cole Thornton, who threw for four touchdowns. Thornton also ran a first quarter kickoff back 70 yards. Thornton's kickoff return gave the Lions the lead for good in the game. The Bears will visit Geraldine on Saturday.