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Blue Ponies looking to buck the Cowboys

Week Five: Bounce Back


September 27, 2019

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Havre's Bradyn Winchell makes a tackle during last Friday's Eastern A game between the Blue Ponies and Laurel at Blue Pony Stadium. Havre is on the road tonight, facing the undefeated Miles City Cowboys in Miles City.

The Havre High football team did not have the game the Blue Ponies were hoping for last Friday, but they'll look to start fresh tonight.

Havre will be playing another talented and tough team in the Miles City Cowboys. The Blue Ponies have not had the best of luck in the past against the Cowboys, but the team knows a new season can bring about new possibilities and opportunities.

Havre coach Ryan Gatch is looking forward to the upcoming road-game against Miles City.

"Friday we get another game, baby," said Gatch. "Let's go. We get to go on the road and we get to go play, so that'll be good."

The away game against the Cowboys will present another big challenge for Havre. Miles City is an undefeated team in Class A. The Cowboys have rolled past Glendive, shutout Hardin and came on top in a close game against Laurel.

The Cowboys are also ranked at No. 4 in Class A. With a very talented offensive core and a defense that shut down a Laurel comeback, the Cowboys are a team Havre must be very prepared for.

Miles City's junior quarterback Carson Hunter has played very well so far in the season. Against Laurel, Hunter threw a touchdown pass and ran into the endzone for two separate scores in the game. Hunter also led the offense to score multiple times against Hardin, proving the Cowboys are relentless in their pursuit to score on every drive.

Miles City's wide-receiving core is another key potency in the offense and has been a factor in many of their scoring drives throughout the season. Receiver Jess Bellows has proven to be a main option in the Cowboys' touchdown reception routine, as Bellows scored Miles City's first points of the game against Laurel. Bellows also had three touchdown receptions against Glendive and scored all three two-point conversion attempts, too.

Havre's struggles against many teams has been stopping the passing attack. A majority of the scores against the Ponies come from either passing or deep passing plays. Sidney scored on a 33-yard pass against HHS in week one, Hardin scored 12 on Havre in week three with two deep pass plays that went to the endzone and Laurel's passing game consistently disrupted the Blue Pony defense last week.

Stopping the Cowboys red-hot air-game will be a major focus for Havre going into the game and the defense will have to lock down on both pass rushing and guarding deep pass threats to stay in the game.

The Miles City defense is also a force to be reckoned with. Against Laurel, defensive standout Tyler Harms recovered a fumble in the Locomotives own endzone and scored for a big defensive play in the game. The Cowboys' defense held Hardin to zero-points and kept Glendive to just one score the whole game.

The Blue Ponies have found difficulties against potent defenses this season, too. Defenses downfield guarding wide receivers have been a nightmare for Havre and often results in many incompletions.

"Team continuity, team unity and eliminating our unforced errors," said Gatch when asked about what his team looks to focus on this week. "That's uncharacteristic of our team."

Along with the hopeful improvement of the Ponies' mistakes made against Laurel, the team still has a lot of offensive and defensive prowess to go around.

Senior running back Mason Dionne has put forth a lot of effort in the past few games. Dionne leads the team in rushing yards and is a threat to many run defenses in Class A. Against Hardin, Dionne racked up 158 total rushing yards and scored three touchdowns. When Havre played Glendive at home in week two, Dionne rushed for 69 yards and three touchdowns. Overall, Dionne is a potent force on the field and has proven to be one of the best running backs in Class A football.

Havre's passing game has also put up some very impressive showcases in the season. Senior quarterback Reese Bulkley has put forward a display as a triple-threat player throughout the year. Bulkley lead the team with 85-yards in rushing and 67-yards receiving against Glendive in week two. Bulkley has been useful to the Blue Pony offense in multiple ways, including quarterback, receiver, and a defensive player.

Havre's defense has a fire in it, too. Junior defensive linemen Kellen Detrick and senior Quinn Springer have racked up impressive numbers so far in the season and are especially known for their prowess in pass rushing. Other linemen like senior Kasee Henderson and junior Ethan Carlson have given the Ponies and edge on both sides of the ball in games.

Overall, one of the defense's big focuses in playing Miles City will be staying consistent in disrupting the Cowboys' passing game. Whether it's sacking the quarterback or breaking up the pass, the Blue Pony defense will have to give it their all against a powerful Miles City offense.

Gatch and his team face another mountain to climb this Friday, as the game against the Cowboys will test to see if Havre can keep up with and beat a high-ranked team. A win against Miles City would be a statement one for sure, proving the Ponies have what it takes to overcome the difficulties that come with facing strong teams.

Havre will be considered an underdog in tonight's game. But being the underdog has just kept teams motivated and hungry many times, and the Blue Ponies are always fired up and ready to go for another game of football.

"It's always been a big game when Havre and Miles City get together," said Gatch. "They (Miles City) have been playing really well. They are a big, physical football team. We know it's going to be tough, but we feel good about our chances going in."

Havre High kicks off against Miles City tonight at 6 p.m. in Miles City.

Tonight at 6 p.m.

in Miles City

Radio: 610 KOJM AM


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