Football Roundup

Doreen Heintz
Sports Editor

Grass Range-Winnett football players (from top) Chris Campbell, Jacob Jessen and Zane Stahl gang tackle Roy-Winfred’s Ryan Russell.                                                                                                   Photo by Doreen Heintz

Fergus loses battle of the Eagles

he Eagles of Sidney showed the rest of the Eastern-Central A Division they are a force to be reckoned with when they defeated Fergus, 38-0, in Sidney on Friday night. The Sidney game marked the midpoint of the season for the Golden Eagles in the Eastern-Central A.
Fergus looks to get back to winning this Friday in Hardin when they play the Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Hardin fell to Custer County, 27-0, on Friday.
With the loss to Sidney, Fergus dropped into a tie with Belgrade in the Eastern-Central A standings. Both Central A schools have 2-3 records. In order to qualify for the Class A playoffs, a team has to be in sixth place or higher.
The loss to Sidney marked the second game in a row the Golden Eagles’ offense has not been able to put any points on the board.
“We had some good things happen during the game,” said Fergus Coach Vic Feller. “We moved the ball well at times, and we stopped them at times. We just need to get more consistent in all aspects of the game.” 
Against Sidney, Fergus had only 101 yards passing and 110 yards rushing in the contest. The week before against Custer County, the Eagles only passed for 66 yards and rushed for 97. Earlier in the season, Fergus rushed for 392 yards against Havre.
On the other hand, Sidney rushed for 284 yards and passed for an additional 174 yards.
Wesley Jamieson and Mitchell Norslien led Fergus in rushing with 45 yards each. Cody Henderson caught three passes for 40 yards, and Jake Clinton had two receptions for 36 yards.
Fergus turned the ball over three times against Sidney with two interceptions and one fumble.
“One interception was on a fourth-and-long call and was good as a punt,” added Feller.
Three Fergus defenders had double-digit tackles in the game. Jameson led the team with 13 total tackles, eight solo and three assists. Matt Welsh contributed 11 total tackles with nine solo and two assists, while Grady Gilpatrick had 10 total tackles, seven solo and three assists.
Fergus hopes to get its offense untracked Friday night in Hardin.
“We need to put together a complete game,” said Coach Feller going into the Hardin contest. “Offense, defense, and special teams are going to have to play hard and mistake free.”

Grass Range-Winnett celebrates homecoming win
Homecoming came in a big way in Grass Range on Saturday when the Rangers took on Roy-Winifred. The Rangers dominated both sides of the ball to take a 60-0 win in the contest. The win upped the Rangers’ conference mark to 3-0,  with big games against Bridger and Reed Point-Rapelje looming in the near futures. The Scouts and Renegades are also undefeated in conference play.
This Saturday in Grass Range, the Rangers host winless Northern Cheyenne at 1 p.m.
“We prepare like we would for any other game,” said Coach T.J. Smith about the contest. “The emphasis is not on winning, rather on winning the play and playing to the best of our ability at all times.”
Smith is surprised how dominant his offensive and defensive lines were against the Outlaws.
“For not having the experience I thought we were going to have, our line has been pretty good,” said Smith.
Two players who started on the line last year for the Rangers did not come out this year.
“Ryan Drollinger, Toston Browning and Chris Campbell have worked extremely hard this year,” Smith added. “Before this year, Chris was the only player with any experience on the varsity line and that was minimal.”
In the game against Roy-Winifred, the Ranger defense was able to harass the Outlaw quarterback to keep him from being comfortable in the backfield.
“Most of our practice time is spent working on defense and tackling,” said Smith. “However, we really did not know what they were going to come out and do, as we had not seen film on them.”
The Rangers jumped to a 33-0 first quarter lead against Roy-Winifred on two touchdown runs by Zane Stahl. Caleb Hess added a two-yard run. Two passing touchdowns, one from Charlie Keith to Stahl and one from Caden McCarthy to Ryan Drollinger added the two other touchdowns.
The Rangers added a defensive TD in the opening minute of the second quarter. Campbell intercepted a Cody Bergum pass and rumbled 18 yards to the end zone. After Hess ran in the PAT, Grass Range-Winnett had a 40-0 lead. A running clock moved the game quickly along to the final horn.
The Rangers did add three more scores in the second half. Campbell scored on an 18-yard pass from McCarthy, Jacob Jessen had a 4-yard run for a score, and Jessen then added an 18-yard interception return for the final margin of victory.
Grass Range-Winnett does have two losses during the season. The two came earlier in the season and were non-conference.
“We started slow against Geraldine-Highwood and fought back,” said Smith about the team’s opening season loss. “In the fourth quarter, the score was 44-39; however, we could not finish to get the win.”
The Rangers also lost to Terry. The game against Terry was played when Custer-Hysham was not able to field a team and had to forfeit to the Rangers.
“Against Terry, we just did not show up to play at all,” said Smith. “Terry was a wakeup call and since then our boys have gained a new sense of focus.”

Titans sit alone atop the eight-man southern division
With Tri-City’s 42-19 win over Lone Peak and Ennis topping Joliet, the Moore-Hobson-Judith Gap team sits alone in first place in the Southern C Eight-Man division. Lone Peak and Joliet suffered their first losses of the weekend against Tri-City and Ennis.
“We knew we had the potential to be there,” said Tri-City Coach Jake Stevenson about the standings. “We just wanted to make sure we were patient and took things one week at a time.”
The Titans face another stiff challenge during their homecoming game against Joliet in Hobson on Saturday night. Sometimes teams have a difficult time staying focused with all the other homecoming activities.
“Homecomings aren’t quite as busy as they once were,” said Stevenson. “I think we will stay focused. Our routine doesn’t change as far as practice is concerned, so that helps as well.”
Stevenson knows Joliet is another formidable opponent in the Southern C.
“Joliet is very talented,” he said. “They have two great receivers in Brett Robinson and Rylan Olson and a quarterback (Taylor Rowlinson) who passes the ball on a dime. They also have 215-pound linemen up front to lead block for a good running back (Trey Oswald). They don’t do much wrong and are pretty disciplined. It will definitely be a challenge. I’m glad we have them at home versus on the road.”
In the win over Lone Pine, sophomore quarterback Zackary Thomas had a big day. Thomas rushed for four touchdowns and 148 yards. He also passed for another touchdown.
Senior Sawyer Connerton led the Titan defense with 12 tackles and two sacks.
“I think every team gets better every week,” added Steveson. “Staying healthy is a big factor when bench numbers become an issue. We’ve been lucky there, but we still have a lot of the season left to play.
Besides homecoming for Tri-City this weekend, Denton-Geyser-Stanford and Roy-Winifred will also be celebrating homecoming. The DGS homecoming game will be played in Stanford with a 1 p.m. kick-off time. The Bearcats’ opponent is Absarokee.
Roy-Winifred also plays at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Outlaws face Custer-Hysham for their homecoming game.




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