Central Montana Sports Round-Up With Karl Koontz
Country Football on KMON Week #10 (10-29-23)
Win or go home. It’s that simple this time of year
This past weekend marked Week #1 of the 2023 Montana high school campaign. For the small schools, sixteen teams under the Big Sky head earned the right to extend their seasons. On Friday and Saturday, that number was cut in half. It was a mixed bag for teams in the Golden Triangle, as a total of five teams from the area 6-Man and 8-Man divisions stayed alive.
Game Day on Saturday
For the KMON broadcast teams, it’s sometimes tough to decide where to go each week for games. The goal is visit many of the great communities in the broadcast area, but it’s also to find really good games to cover. On Saturday, Chris Kelly and Karl Koontz got both. It was a chilly day in Fort Benton, but the game the crew got to call was one of the best of the year. The homestanding Longhorns, the #2 seed out of the North, hosted the Lone Peak Big Horns, the #3 from the Central Division, in a contest that no one who saw it will soon forget. It was defensive affair the first half, with Lone Peak carrying a 7-0 lead into the locker room. A late goal line stand by Fort Benton gave them momentum for what turned out to be a wild second half. Fort Benton scored on their opening possession of the 3rd quarter and that lit a fire under both offenses. The teams traded touchdown from then on in a game that included 10 lead changes. Fort Benton delivered the coup de grace with a gutsy 65 TD drive with 33 seconds remaining to electrify the crowd with a 36-33 victory. There were a number of brilliant individual performances. For the winners, running back Cade Ball and Truman Giese were outstanding of offense while Layne Wallace and Damian Ort put on a show defensively. In a losing effort, Julek Shipman was rugged as could be for the Big Horns as the QB and defensive back, and Ebe Graybow displayed incredibly athletic talent as a receiver and D-back. David Perdue ran a kick back for a score and was also a stalwart on defense. When it came to the Fun Test, this classic passed with flying colors
Here’s a rundown of the rest of the 8-Man games around the state
On the top half of the bracket, Arlee outlasted Flint Creek 36-16, Fairview blasted Shelby 70-16, and Superior upended Forsyth 54-20 to join Fort Benton in the 2nd round. The bottom half of the bracket saw Ennis remain unbeaten with a 30-15 win over Charlo, Circle ran away from Ekalaka 73-18, Wibaux got past Valley Christian 58-31, and defending state champ Belt took care of business with a 60-0 blanking of Park City. That means the Round of 8 match-ups will be Fairview @ Arlee, Superior @ Fort Benton, Circle @ Ennis, and Wibaux @ Belt.
In the 6-Man games, CJI ended DGSG’s season with a 55-8 win at home, Froid/Lake beat Shields Valley 72-8, Harlo-Ryegate took down Bridger 59-14, Hot Springs bested Valier 40-6 on one side of the bracket, while Centerville handled Power/Dutton/Brady 43-6, West Yellowstone clipped Savage 44-27, MonDak ended Big Sandy’s hopes of a repeat title with 30-6 victory, and Custer/Hysham/Melstone put the clamps on Lincoln 63-23. The 2nd Round games in the 6-Man ranks will feature Froid/Lake @ CJI (Chester), Harlo-Rygate @ Hot Springs, West Yellowstone @ Centerville, and MonDak @ Custer/Melstone/Hysham (Hysham).
MHSA brackets have been updated here. So there a several local games high school football fans can take in this coming weekend. It’s a short trip for area fans to check out the 6-Man action in Centerville of Chester and a couple 8-Man games in Belt or Fort Benton.
All the second-round games are set for Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
The KMON broadcast team is again faced with the question of where to go. The plan at press time is to head back to Chouteau County for the Longhorns match-up against Superior. Don’t miss a minute of the action. 560 AM and on the KMON app.
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