Maroons steal one from HHS
After a hard fought battle, the Havre High football team took a devastating blow by a player the Blue Ponies had worked so hard to keep out of the end zone.
Saturday in Butte, the Central A Blue Ponies fell 24-20 to the Southwest A Butte Central Maroons. With the loss the Ponies record now sits at 1-1.
Late in the fourth quarter the Ponies led the Maroons 20-17. The lead came after the Ponies overcame a 10-0 deficit in the first half. But after Zach Kasperick scored on an 11-yard rushing touchdown with 3:18 left in the contest, the Ponies saw their hopes of a comeback win dashed. Kasperick rushed 27 times in the game and racked up 144 yards, but his heroic game winning touchdown was his only score of the game.
"It was kind of disappointing, we just got outplayed I guess," Havre High ehad coach Jason Christenson said. "I would put that more on myself than the kids. (Kasperick) was hurting us pretty bad in the first half and we just didn't adjust to it soon enough. We made the adjustment in the second half and it was working, but you just aren't going to keep (Kasperick) out of the end zone. He carried the ball twenty something times, and if you hand him the ball that many times he is going to score, he is just a good athlete."
The Ponies were looking for a little revenge on Saturday.
Last year the Maroons defeated the Ponies 42-13 in Havre. It was a tough loss a season ago, but this time around the Ponies had the tools to win. But after a slow first half, the Ponies come back tactics left them just short of the win column in week two.
The Maroons took advantage of the Ponies' mistakes and lackadaisical start. In the first quarter the Maroons scored on a 27-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead. And in the second quarter the Ponies lost a fumble in their own territory, which resulted in a Wyatt Kingston 33-yard touchdown reception from Brady Tippet, putting the Maroons up 10-0 at the half.
"I don't know what it was honestly," Christenson said. "I don't know if our energy was down or our enthusiasm was down. We just didn't come out ready to play and it seemed like we were going through the motions and we just weren't crisp, especially on offense. It really hurt us in the first half.
"We reassured the kids that we weren't out of the game and 10 points isn't anything to make up," Christenson added. "But we were hurting ourselves in that first half and we were letting Butte Central control the tempo of the game. I think the kids finally realized and woke up a bit and started playing our style of football."
The Ponies came out in the second half and looked more like themselves, more like the team fans watched play last Saturday in Havre against Whitefish.
Brayden Grimson got things rolling in the third quarter with a score. Grimson reeled in a 48-yard pass from Justin Jensen, cutting the Maroons' lead to 10-7. And later in the second quarter the Ponies' Casey Schaub grabbed a 31-yard pass from Jensen for yet another score. At that point the Ponies held a 13-10 lead, but the Maroons added a third quarter score of their own to take the 17-13 lead. Schaub also scored on a 16-yard run in the fourth quarter before the Maroons cut down the Ponies in the final minutes.
Jensen led the way through the air for the Ponies' offense, completing 17-of-34 passes for 290 total yards. He also threw two touchdowns. Grimson caught three balls for 94 yards and a score, while Schaub caught three balls for 60 yard and a score. Zack Plum also had four catches for 75 yards and Thurman Holdsclaw had three catches for 23 yards.
On the ground, Schaub led the way with 11 carries for 106 yards and a touchdown, while Ryan Brandt had eight carries for 65 yards. Jensen also carried the ball six times for 19 yards.
While up 13-10, the Ponies had another shot the end zone, but their drive was stopped in its tracks on the Maroons' 30-yard line with an interception. It was Jensen's first interception of the year.
As devastating as the loss was, the Ponies are not in any hot water. Moving forward the Ponies have simple fixes thus far. There was no major factor or problem with the Ponies ability that cost them the game, instead Christenson said they just have to be ready to play earlier, and have to put together four quarters of their style of football
"The kids fought back and fought hard for a half," Christenson said. "But it was a good learning experience for us and for what we need to work on. We have to get the kids' enthusiasm up and get them fired up at the beginning of the game. I keep preaching that we have to play four quarters of football and maybe this opened their eyes up. A team that we were better on paper than beat us, and I think that was a real wakeup call for our kids."
The Havre High defense was led by Holdsclaw who had seven tackles and two sacks. Schaub had nine tackles, while Kameron Pribyl and Evan Flathers had six tackles each.
The Ponies will get back to action on Friday when they return to the Blue Pony Stadium in Havre to host the Miles City Cowboys.
Butte Central 24, Havre 20
Havre 0 0 13 7 — 20
Butte Central 3 7 7 7 — 24
BC — Danny Peoples 27 field goal
BC — Wyatt Kingston 33 pass from Brady Tippett (Danny Peoples kick)
HAV — Brayden Grimson 48 pass from Justin Jensen (Grant Pattison kick)
HAV — Casey Schaub 31 pass from Justin Jensen (kick failed)
BC — Connor McGree 8 pass from Brady Tippett (Danny Peoples kick)
HAV — Casey Schaub 16 run (Grant Pattison kick)
BC — Zach Kasperick 11 run (Danny Peoples kick)
Havre Individual Stats
Rushing – Casey Schaub 11-106, Ryan Brandt 8-65, Justin Jensen 6-19
Passing – Justin Jensen 17-34-290
Receiving – Braydeon Grimson 3-94, Zack Plum 4-75, Casey Schaub 3-60, Thurman Holdsclaw 3-23