Central Montana Sports Round-Up With Karl Koontz
Country Football on KMON Week #2
Things got rolling in Week #2 of the high school football season in Central Montana. KMON featured an 8-man game on Friday night followed by a 6-man classic the following evening. The second week of coverage also saw the return of Randy Bogden to the broadcast booth when he teamed with Robin McKnight in Cascade for the Badgers vs. Manhattan Christian Eagles. Saturday night Memorial Stadium provided a venue for a great show between the Great Falls Central Catholic Mustangs and the Reed Point-Rapelje Renegades.
Manhattan Christian has been a powerhouse Class C sports program for several years, playing in six of the last seven state basketball championship games and winning three of them. They’ve also dominated cross-country and golf over that time period and owned the All Sports trophy for small schools. However, this is their first year playing football absent the coop with Manhattan, so it’s a learning experience to shift to the 8-man game. Friday night the Eagles grabbed their first win of the year with a 52-14 win over Cascade.
The Eagles got up early and never looked back against the young Cascade squad. Perhaps the most notable part of the game was a clock malfunction which required the time to be kept on the field, reminding many of the old days when one wasn’t quite sure how many ticks remained on the game clock. The win evened Christian’s record at 1-1 and dropped Cascade to 0-2. With ten teams in the South-Central Division all games for these schools are conference games.
Saturday night Chris Kelly and Karl Koontz were treated to their second great game in as many weeks when Great Falls Central won a classic over the Reed Point-Rapelje Renegades in the Electric City. The 6-man affair included one tie and 8 lead changes. The defenses were impressive early, as demonstrated by the 14-12 halftime lead held by the Mustangs. Anyone familiar with 6-Man know how wide open the games can get.
The Renegades got things going in the third stanza, outscoring the hometown kids 20-6 in the period and carrying a 12-point lead into the 4th. Central Catholic showed tremendous heart though, rallying with two touchdowns in the last quarter while holding the visitors scoreless. The final tally of the game came on a 2-play, 61-yard scoring drive with 2:35 to go in the contest. Deegan Duffy hit Parker Keats for the game winner on a tipped pass in the north end zone. The pair hooked up on a pass for the extra point for the final margin of victory. Remember, in the 6-Man game a run or pass is worth 1 point on a TD conversion whereas a kicked PAT is worth 2. A final defensive stand near midfield allowed the Mustangs to kneel down for the win. GFCC evened their record at 1-1, with conference play set to start this week.
Here are some other results from the area:
Fort Benton 66 Rocky Boy 8 Big Sandy 75 Heart Butte 0
Shelby 54 Harlem-Turner 28 Power-Dutton-Brady 88 Box Elder 39
Manhattan Christian 52 Cascade 14 GFCC 33 Reed Point Rapelje 32
Choteau 20 Flint Creek 6 Centerville 53 Broadview-Lavina 7
Simms 54 Sheridan 0 CJI 46 North Star 27
DGSG 39 Valier 15
One Game Only This Week, Friday Night
This week KMON will carry one game and we hope it’s as good as the last two Saturday battles have been. Chris and Karl are off to Choteau County for an important Northern C 8-man game between the Belt
Huskies and Fort Benton Longhorns. These are two of the top teams in the region and it promises to be a great one. There are a couple other Friday night games of note. Simms travels up the road to Choteau for a critical game in the South-Central Division. Both teams are 2-0, the only unbeatens in the division so the winner will grab earlier pole position for the conference crown and #1 playoff seed down the line. Also, unbeaten 6-Man teams Denton-Geyser-Stanford-Geraldine (DGSG) and Big Sandy tangle on the Pioneers home turf Friday night. Here are the other games of interest in the area this weekend: Chinook @ Shelby, Harlem @ Rocky Boy, Deer Lodge @ Cascade, Centerville @ Highwood, GFCC @ Harlowton-Ryegate-Judith Gap, Hobson-Moore @ Roy-Winifred, Power-Dutton-Brady @ Chester-Joplin-Inverness, North Star @ Heart Butte, and Valier @ Sunburst.
Check on locations and kickoff times and take in a high school game this weekend. Or better yet, here’s a plan: Go watch your local game and tune in to the Game of the Week on KMON or on the KMON app.
Written by Karl Koontz