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Havre High football's comeback falls short against Glendive


Last updated 10/4/2021 at 12:31pm

With the team riding a two-game losing streak, the Havre High football team was looking to course correct on Friday night when they faced Glendive on the road. However, the Blue Ponies fell behind 28-0 in the first half and went on to lose to the Red Devils, 49-37. While it was their third loss in a row, HHS head coach Ryan Gatch was proud of his team for battling back after the early deficit.

"We did a great job fighting back," Gatch said. "Proud of how hard our guys played and played through four quarters of football. It was a real testament to them."

With the loss, Havre falls to 2-4 on the season and 1-3 in the Northeast A. Not only is it their second year in a row where they lost to Glendive but the loss also put their playoff hopes in jeopardy. Glendive is now 2-3 this season and 1-2 in conference play with their win over Havre.

It looked promising for the Ponies early on when Kale VanCampen intercepted quarterback Parker Buckley on Glendive's first possession of the night. But even with good field position, the Ponies had to punt back to the Devils. The teams then went on to exchange possessions through most of the first quarter.

Glendive finally broke through on offense to march down to the Havre 30-yard line. Once there, Buckley rolled left and found Kobe Kutzler in the end zone for the score for a 7-0 lead with 4:35 left in the first quarter.

The Ponies responded with a drive of their own that got them to the Glendive 31-yard line. However, they failed to convert on fourth down and gave it right back to the Devils. Glendive again marched down the field and Buckley connected with Chase Crockett who took it 23 yards for the score to push their lead 14-0 with 9:26 left in the half. Gatch believes the Glendive offense was able to get going early because they were coming off their bye which gave them two weeks to prepare.

"They did a great job in preparation," Gatch said about Glendive. "Coach Ryan Buckley did a great job of preparing the players for that game to take advantage of some of the different coverage concepts we had."

When Havre got the ball back, they coughed up the football and the Devils recovered near midfield. A few plays later, Riley Basta caught a jump ball from Buckley for the 13-yard touchdown catch to make Glendive's lead 21-0.

The Devils continued to play strong defense against the Ponies as they got the ball back at their own 40-yard line. After just three plays to get to the Havre 25-yard line, Buckley hit Crockett in the end zone for his fourth touchdown pass of the game and a 28-0 lead with 4:23 left in the half.

Even though there were only a few minutes left in the half, the Ponies made the most of them. On the kickoff after the previous Glendive score, Havre's Orion Thivierge returned it 85 yards for the Ponies' first score of the day. While Havre still trailed, the play gave the Ponies the momentum they needed.

"What a jump start that was. That started the onslaught back," Gatch said.

When Glendive got the ball back, they coughed it up to Havre on the first play of their drive. Starting at the Glendive 34-yard line, it only took Havre a few plays to get in scoring position. At the Glendive 16-yard line, Ciaran Courtnage threw a screen pass to Crawford Terry who took it all the way to the end zone. However, Havre missed the extra point and they wound up only trailing 28-13 at halftime.

The Ponies took that momentum into the third quarter with a long drive that took up half the quarter. With such a long drive, Havre made sure to capitalize on it with a 1-yard touchdown run from Thivierge to cut their deficit to 28-20 with 6:03 left in the third.

However, Havre's defense could not keep it a one-score game as they allowed Glendive to march down the field for another touchdown to make their lead 35-20. During the drive, the Ponies had several opportunities to stop the Devils and get the ball back on offense but they allowed Glendive to convert those third downs.

"They got good players. They made some plays," Gatch said about the third-down conversions. "Every play they made was contested. There was nobody running wide open. Our players played well on defense even though they gave up some plays."

Havre still tried to get back in the game but were not able to take advantage of their opportunities. After they stopped Glendive on fourth down to start the fourth quarter, Havre started the drive at the Glendive 29-yard line. However, they could not get anything going and they settled for a 30-yard field goal from Lukas Fahl to make it 35-23 with 9:54 left in the game.

Through the last quarter, the teams exchanged scores. After Glendive scored another touchdown, Havre responded with another score from Thivierge to cut their deficit to 42-30 with just over four minutes left. But they could not stop Glendive as the Devils scored again for a 49-30 lead.

Thivierge scored again to cut Havre's deficit to 49-37 but at that point there was little time left. He ended the game with four total touchdowns and 119 rushing yards. Off the bench, Courtnage completed 79.1 percent of his passes for 205 yards and a score. With a short-handed roster this weekend that saw many young players get significant snaps, Gatch believed his team showed a lot of spirit in their comeback attempt.

"I was really proud of how hard the guys played because they showed a lot of resiliency," Gatch said. "It was fun to watch our offense get on track."

HHS football will try to snap their losing streak when they head on the road to play Polson Friday at 6 p.m.

Glendive 49, Havre 37

HAV 0 13 7 17 - 37

GLE 7 21 7 14 - 49

GLE - Kobe Kutzler 25 pass from Buckley (Francesco Comuzzi kick)

GLE - Chase Crockett 23 pass from Buckley (Comuzzi kick)

GLE - Riley Basta 13 pass from Buckley (Comuzzi kick)

GLE - Crockett 25 pass from Buckley (Comuzzi kick)

HAV - Orion Thivierge 85 kickoff return (Lukas Fahl kick)

HAV - Kale VanCampen 16 pass from Ciaran Courtnage (Kick failed)

HAV - Thivierge 1 run (Fahl kick)

GLE - Hostetler 5 run (Comuzzi kick)

HAV - Fahl 30 field goal

GLE - Espyn Hostetler 2 run (Comuzzi kick)

HAV - Thivierge 9 run (Fahl kick)

GLE - Hostetler 8 run (Comuzzi kick)

HAV - Thivierge 4 run (Fahl kick)

Individual Stats

Passing - Ciaran Courtnage 19-24-205-1-0, Tre Gary 1-4-11-0-0.

Rushing - Orion Thivierge 27-119.

Receiving - Kale VanCampen 2-66, Crawford Terry 9-48, Brody Nanini 8-76, Orion Thivierge 1-26.


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