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Area football teams suffer a tough opening day


September 1, 2009

Daniel Horton Havre Daily News [email protected]

Football across the Hi-Line has returned, and once again taken center stage. But in 2009's opening weekend, only three teams made their gridiron debuts locally. On Friday, the Chester/J-I Hawks got Northern C 8-Man play started as they took to the road to face the Simms Tigers. But after the Hawks jumped out to a big first-quarter lead, the Tigers were able to come from behind to capture the 40-26 victory. In the first quarter, the Hawks were able to get on to the scoreboard twice before the Tigers could break through the goal line. Kord Ramberg got the Hawks on top after a four-yard run, going up 6-0 after a failed two-point conversion. And Brandon Graff came through with another four-yard rushing touchdown to put the Hawks up 14-0 after also rushing for the two-point conversion. Tim Crawford got the Tigers on the board after a 20-yard reception from Kyle Tschetter, but the Hawks would score one more first-quarter touchdown. Ceddy Pogue reeled in a 67-yard pass from Graff, and after another failed two-point conversion, the Hawks ended the first quarter of play with a 20-6 lead. But the Tigers came away with a scoring streak of their own, shutting out the Hawks in the second quarter while putting up 14points of their own to tie the game at 20-20 a the half. The Tigers continued to roll, as they struck first in the third quarter to take the lead. But Graff leveled the playing field once again, this time tying the game at 26-26 on a 55-yard touchdown run. It was a good start to the season for the Hawks, but down the stretch they couldn't fend off the talented Tigers. And in the fourth quarter, the Tigers managed to shut out the Hawks once again while putting two more touchdowns in the books. The Hawks are off to a 0-1 start to their season, but on Friday, they are back in action as they host rival Sunburst. The Hays-Lodge Pole Thunderbirds were in action this weekend, but also lost their Class C, 8-Man season opener. On a tough road trip, it was the Froid/Medicine Lake Honkers who handed the Thunderbirds a 34-20 loss. The Honkers controlled the scoreboard and the Thunderbirds for the first three quarters. In the first quarter, the Honkers took a dominating 22-0 lead, and then pushed it to 28-0 in the second, and 34-0 in the third quarter. But in the fourth quarter the Thunderbirds did everything they could to fuel a late comeback victory, before falling just short. Vance Werk really stepped up for the Thunderbirds, throwing three fourth-quarter touchdown passes. To get on the board first, Werk completed a 69-yard pass for six points. And outdoing an already impressive touch down throw, Werk came out again and completed a 75-yard pass for six more. With a two-point conversion successful, the Thunderbirds now trailed 34-14. But the clock wasn't in the Thunderbird's favor. As time ran out, Werk put six more points on the board with a 34-yard touchdown pass, putting a good note at the end of a disappointing afternoon. Now sitting at 0-1 to start the season, the Thunderbirds won't play again until Saturday, September 12 when they will host Culbertson/Bainville. Wrapping up the weekend, the Chinook Sugarbeeters also found themselves on the wrong end of the scoreboard. The Beeters opened their season on the road, but the Stanford-Greyser Wolves marched took a 34-0 shutout win over the Beeters. In Class C 8-Man, the Beeters have grown to be one of the more consistently dominant teams. But in an uncharacteristic performance, the Beeters got their season off to a surprisingly rough start. The Wolves entered the game and took control from the very beginning, scoring four first-quarter touchdowns and one two-point conversion. The first three scores came on a 3-yard run, a 5-yard run and a 1-yard run. And ending the first quarter, the Wolves put on in the end zone on a 21-yard pass. The Beeter's defense stepped up after a shaky first quarter. They shut out the Wolves in the second and third, but the Beeter offense couldn't find the end zone. And in the fourth quarter, the Wolves added to the barrage by adding 10 more points on a touchdown and safety. The 0-1 start to their season wasn't ideal for the normally dominant Beeters, but on Friday they will travel to Fort Benton in an attempt to get their season back on track.


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