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Blue Pony playoff run ends in Dillon


November 11, 2019

406 Sports

Cole Truman and Dillon's defense tackles Havre running back Mason Dionne during the Beavers' 47-7 win at Vigilante Field on Saturday.

There are times when great seasons are defined by a championship win. A team that went all the way and won it all will be praised for the achievements it made throughout the year. But some seasons are defined by different moments and accomplishments.

For the Havre High football team, this year was defined by turning heads across the state, the talented players, making the playoffs and winning their first playoff game in four years. The Blue Ponies may have not made it to a championship game this year, but they certainly put on a show.

Havre’s season ended Saturday when the Ponies fell to the Dillon Beavers at Vigilante Stadium, 47-7. HHS head coach Ryan Gatch was proud to see his team fight till the end against the West’s No. 1.

“Dillon is a good football team,” said Gatch. “I thought our guys came and battled back. We tried to get a run-game going, we threw the ball a little more and tried to get that going again. But the reality is that Dillon is a good football team, and there’s a reason why they’re the number one team out of the West region. We’re fortunate to go down there and see how their program runs.”

The game started off rough for Havre. The Ponies fumbled the opening snap and Dillon took over on the Havre 20-yard-line. Juniors Kellen Detrick and Brock Nystrom tried to stop the Beaver drive, but quarterback Justus Peterson’s six-yard run to the endzone gave Dillon the lead 6-0.

Havre had another unsuccessful drive afterward and was forced to punt. But a bad snap over the punter’s head was recovered by the Beavers in the endzone for another score. With a Peterson two-point-conversion run good, Dillon led 14-0.

The Ponies found no luck in their next drive, but they got the ball back soon after when junior Bradyn Winchell grabbed an interception. Unfortunately, senior quarterback Reese Bulkley was intercepted on Havre’s next possession by Jace Fitzgerald.

The Beavers capitalized on the interception and Erik Westman rushed five yards to score another touchdown for Dillon with 1:40 left in the first quarter. The Beavers led 21-0. It would not be till the second quarter that a team found the endzone again.

“They took advantage of the turnovers that we had in the game,” Gatch said. “That’s kind of how the game started out and it didn’t start out real positive for us.”

After a lull in the scoring, Dillon took over on the Havre 45 at 7:10 in the second quarter. A 24-yard pass from Peterson to Cole Truman and a big run set up the Beavers at the Havre two. Peterson then rushed those two-yards to score again and extend Dillon’s lead 28-0.

Havre tried to follow with some points of its own but was unsuccessful again and punted. A 48-yard punt-return set the Beavers up on the Havre 21 and a Peterson to Truman connection saw another touchdown, but senior Kasee Henderson blocked the PAT. Still, it took Dillon four-seconds to score and continue to lead Havre 34-0.

The Blue Ponies’ woes continued and the Beavers scored two more times after two more Havre drives that resulted in punts. Dillon’s next score was a one-yard touchdown run to stay ahead 41-0 to end the first half. In the third quarter, it took the Beavers 7:30 to put together a 79-yard drive that ended with a 22-yard run to the endzone and a Dillon 47-0 lead.

The Beavers did not score the rest of the game, but Havre avoided the shutout with a 93-yard drive for a score in the fourth quarter. Seniors Mason Dionne and Bulkley pushed the team down the field and it was a 33 yard pass from Dionne to Bulkley that gave the Ponies points on the board with 47-seconds left in the game. They trailed Dillon 47-7 now.

From there, the Beavers assumed victory formation and the home-win 47-7. It was an emotional game for the HHS seniors, but not because of the loss. The Blue Pony seniors played their last game in high school football and made the last bus-ride home with the team, too.

Havre put up 52 passing yards, 76 rushing yards, 25 tackles, eight assists, one sack, two tackles-for-loss and one interception. Dionne led in both passing and rushing with 33 passing yards and 46 rushing-yards, while Bulkley led in receiving-yards with 33.

Sophomore Orion Thivierge had a nice defensive game with six tackles, one assist, one sack and two tackles-for-loss. Detrick and senior Quinn Springer pulled off a some stops on the Dillon offense, too.

Despite the quarterfinals loss, Havre has had a great season and Gatch is happy to see what his team did.

“I thought our season was a huge success,” said Gatch. “I think we’ve done a tremendous job of prepping week in and week out. I was very pleased with our players and their commitment to our program. I thought they did a good job of staying the course and really focusing in on our team. From having as much wins as we had in the Eastern A, hosting and winning a playoff game and then advance to the quarterfinals against the number one team out of the West region, that’s a heck of a deal, especially how far we’ve come.”

In the end, the Blue Ponies had a good year and one the seniors will remember as they move forward in life.

Dillon advanced to the Class A semifinals where the Beavers will host Laurel. Miles City hosts Hamilton in the other semifnal this Saturday.

Dillon 47, Blue Ponies 7

DIL – Justus Peterson 6 run (PAT no good)

DIL – Punt return touchdown (Conversion good)

DIL – Erik Westman 5 run (PAT good)

DIL – Justus Peterson 2 run (PAT good)

DIL – Cole Truman 21 pass from Justus Peterson (PAT no good)

DIL – 1 run (PAT good)

DIL – 22 run (PAT no good)

HAV – Reese Bulkley 33 pass from Mason Dionne (PAT good)

Havre Individual Stats

Passing – Mason Dionne 1-3 for 33, Reese Bulkley 3-11 for 19

Rushing – Mason Dionne 17-46, Reese Bulkley 4-17, Kellen Detrick 3-9, Orion Thivierge 1-4

Receiving – Reese Bulkley 1-33, Kellen Detrick 1-11, Mason Dionne 1-6, Orion Thivierge 1-2.


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