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Rams overpower Ponies in Billings


October 21, 2019

406 Sports

The Havre Blue Ponies and Billings Central Rams do battle last Friday night at Herb Klindt Field in Billings. The Blue Ponies fell to the Rams 42-22, but still have the inside track on a Class A playoff berth. Havre plays Lewistown Friday night, which is also HHS's homecoming game. Kickoff is set for the 7 p.m. inside Blue Pony Stadium.

The Havre High football team finally got back on the field last Friday.

After a full two weeks off, the Blue Ponies went down to face off against the Billings Central Rams last Friday night in a Eastern A showdown.

Unfortunately, the road game did not go as planned for Havre as the Ponies fell to Billings Central 42-22 inside Herb Klindt Field.

Despite the loss, there were some plus sides for the Ponies.

The Rams had shut out Havre the last two years. This time, the Blue Ponies put up 22 points against Central, proving that even if the last two years were rough, this year was meant to be different for Havre.

Havre High head coach Ryan Gatch was proud of his team’s efforts against the Rams and knows the game was a tough one.

“We played pretty well at times,” Gatch said. “We saw a lot of real positive things, and some things we got to clean up. But it was a fun game to be a part of.”

The game against Billings Central started off a bit shaky for the Ponies.

The Rams got the ball first and after a great kickoff return to the Havre 30-yard-line, Billings Central wasted no time and scored on a Marcus Wittman quarterback sneak.

The Ponies got their chance next at their own 20. After a strong start to the drive, an illegal block-in-the-back penalty and a few incompletions handed the ball back to the Rams. But, the Havre defense went to work and disrupted Central's plans to score again, with junior Kellen Detrick making a big stop in the backfield to get the ball back.

The Blue Pony offense then went to work from their own 36. Senior quarterback Reese Bulkley had a pass and a run play, then senior running back Mason Dionne and Detrick picked up 40 yards combined on three rushing plays. Then, Detrick capped off the 64-yard drive with a 12-yard run to the endzone.

After a failed PAT, Havre was down 7-6.

Billings Central answered on its next possession however.

After some good passing attacks and a QB keeper by Wittman, Michael Hayden ran 10-yards to add another score to the board for the Rams 14-6.

With 8:19 left in the first quarter, Havre then marched 80 yards to score again. Strong runs by Dionne and Bulkley, along with a good catch by sophomore Orion Thivierge, led to Dionne breaking out on a 22-yard run for the score. A Bulkley QB keep gave Havre the two point conversion and the score 14-14.

Billings Central looked to score again, but the Blue Pony defense forced them to punt. Then, the Rams snap went over the punter’s head and Havre recovered the ball on the Billings Central three-yard-line. A great opportunity to take the lead was in the Pony’s grasp.

But, the Ram's defense stepped up. After a bad snap by Havre put them back at the Rams eight, Billings Central stopped two consecutive passing plays to turnover the ball. Central followed with a 92-yard drive ending with a 25-yard Wittman to Charlie Parkan connection to put the Rams up 21-14 at the half.

Gatch knew the failure to capitalize on the botched punt snap was tough for his team.

“We should have scored right before the first half,” said Gatch. “They (Billings Central) came out and had a great defensive stop. During the game, they only created two plays where we had negative rushing yards and that was one of them.”

After the half, things got more difficult for the Ponies.

The Rams got the ball after Havre was forced to punt again and Derek Damjanovich rushed for 67 yards to score again. Central led at 28-14. The Blue Ponies had another unsuccessful drive and the Rams scored right after with another Wittman to Parkan 35-yard pass to extend their lead 35-14.

In the fourth quarter, Havre started off with another turnover on downs. Billings Central answered with an 89-yard drive and a Wittman four-yard QB keep for a 42-14 lead. After that, the Ponies found a spark in its offense once more.

Havre marched 78 yards down the field to the goal-line, where Detrick got his second score of the night with a one-yard push into the endzone. However, With only 11-seconds left in the game, all the Ponies could do was watch the Rams go into victory formation.

Even with the loss, Gatch was happy to see some positives from his team.

“Our guys are running the ball up front real well,” Gatch said. “Bulkley is doing a good job managing the game and Dionne is pounding it right now. He’s looking real good. Detrick and Thivierge ran the ball real well, so we got a lot of good things going on.”

With the loss to Central, Havre fell to 3-4 in the Eastern A. The Blue Ponies will take on a tough opponent the Lewistown Golden Eagles, a team Havre is right behind in the Eastern A standings.

Havre High and Lewistown will kick off for the Blue Ponies' long-awaited homecoming game Friday at 7 p.m. in Blue Pony Stadium.

Billings Central 42, Havre 22

BCC– Marcus Wittman 1 run (PAT good)

HAV – Kellen Detrick 12 run (PAT no good)

BCC– Michael Hayden 10 run (PAT good)

HAV – Mason Dionne 22 run (Conversion good)

BCC– Charlie Parkan 25 from Wittman (PAT good)

BCC– Derek Damjanovich 67 run (PAT good)

BCC– Parkan 35 from Wittman (PAT good)

BCC– Wittman 4 run (PAT good)

HAV– Detrick 1 run (Conversion good)

Havre Individual Stats

Passing –Reese Bulkley 5-11 for 58, Mason Dionne 0-4

Rushing – Mason Dionne 28-163, Kellen Detrick 6-56, Orion Thivierge 3-35, Reese Bulkley 8-23, Randy Tommerup 1-5

Receiving – Brock Nystrom 2-36, Orion Thivierge 1-13, Kellen Detrick 2-9.


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