By George Ferguson
As time begins to wind down on the 2002 high school football season, the playoff pictures are beginning to unfold and each game becomes a little more crucial. Nowhere will that be more evident than in Big Sandy on Friday night.
The Big Sandy Pioneers will host the Chester Coyotes in a pivotal Northern C showdown. Both teams are riding three game winning streaks and a ton of momentum into Friday's battle.
"This is a huge game for a lot of reasons," said Big Sandy head coach Scott Chauvet. "It's particularly big because the winner of this game will most likely have a real firm grip on a playoff spot and it's a real big rivalry as well."
Both teams bring identical 3-2 records into the game. The Pioneers and Coyotes have won their last three games fairly handily, after dropping their opening two games of the 2002 campaign.
Chauvet attributes his teams turnaround to maturity of his younger players.
"We're a veteran team for the most part," Chauvet said. "But early in the season we had a couple of key guys go down with injuries and it has taken a few games for those younger kids to mature in their place."
"But they have matured and gelled as a team and it's showing on the field right now." Chauvet added.
The Coyotes and Pioneers will kick things off in Big Sandy, Friday night at 7 p.m.
The Glasgow Scotties took a major step towards a District 2B title on Friday. The fifth ranked Scotties downed the eighth ranked Malta Mustangs 33-26 in Glasgow. The Scotties got three touchdowns from senior quarterback Steven Falcon in the victory. The victory raises the Scotties record to 5-0 on the year with three regular season games left.
The football field in Brady must have a lot of cleat holes in it after Saturday's contest between the Brady Bulldogs and the Geraldine Tigers.
The Tigers downed the Bulldogs, 64-32, to remain unbeaten on the season in Six-Man action. In the contest, the Tigers racked up an astonishing 370 yards rushing on the day. Michael Clark scored six times to lead the way for the Tigers. Clark scored on runs of 22, 20, seven, and two yards and also caught a pair of TD passes on the day.
Perhaps the craziest game in the state was in Custer on Saturday as Custer defeated the Belfry Bats 74-72.
With one second left in the game, the Bats had the ball fourth down and goal on the one-inch line trailing by two points. However, Belfry quarterback Josh Krupp's final pass of the game was intercepted by a Custer defender in the end zone to end the wild affair.
Meanwhile, scoreboards just keep rolling up points around the rest of the state. Roberts downed Willow Creek 91-0, and Highwood shut out Rocky Boy 80-0. Harlowtown also put up 76 points on Denton.
Flathead High School sophomore Zoe Nelson is building quite a resume for her future. Despite the fact that Nelson is only in her second year of high school, she is the defending state AA girls cross country champion and has not lost a race yet this season. Nelson, who won the Mountain West Classic in Missoula on Saturday, has set course records in five consecutive races. On Saturday, Nelson crossed the finish line a full minute ahead of the second place runner Jamie Geissler of Spokane's Mead High.
Sunburst standout Carly Kleinert continues to rack up stats as the 2002 high school volleyball season rolls on. This weekend Kleinert had 82 kills in four matches for the Refiners as they went 4-0 at the Belt Showcase.
Conversely, it has not been a good start to the 2002 volleyball campaign for C.M. Russell High in Great Falls. The Rustlers had just one win on the season, but this week that victory was taken away from them because they used an ineligible player in an Aug. 31 win over Helena High. Apparently it was discovered that senior Martina Bannon, a transfer student from Canada, is in her fifth year of competition, making her ineligible to compete according to the MHSA.
Bannon's parents are appealing the ruling. CMR was also fined $50 by the MHSA and with the forfeit their record drops to 0-10 on the season.