Red Hawks Advance To State Championship Football Game
In a game that featured a huge display of fireworks provided from both offenses, Froid/Lake’s attack was too much at the end as the Red Hawks posted an 82-70 semi-final round victory over Harlowton/Ryegate/Judith Gap in six-man football action on Saturday, Nov. 11.
“Defensively, we struggled,” Froid/Lake coach Michael Reiter said after the win. “It’s awesome that we scored 82 points and won, but we can’t continue giving up more than 70 points.”
The Red Hawks will host Centerville in the state title contest at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, in Medicine Lake.
“Hopefully, when the lights are the brightest, they will play their best,” Reiter said of the Red Hawks.
Reiter said his team will continue working on tackling during the week of practice. “More and more,” he noted.
The semi-final round victory was anything but easy for the Red Hawks. They trailed 50-46 at the half against Harlowton/ Ryegate/Judith Gap. The Engineers then converted a fumble recovery into a touchdown for a 58-46 lead to start the second half.
For the second straight week, Froid/Lake needed to put together an impressive comeback to keep its season alive.
“It was just like Chester, just a little less dramatic,” Reiter said.
The Red Hawks responded as Mason Dethman took off for a 43-yard gain to the Engineer 13. Two plays later, Dethman connected with Daniel Forizs for a 12-yard touchdown. Dethman’s kick cut the gap to 58-54 with 8:20 left in the third quarter.
After each team came up short on scoring opportunities, the momentum went to the Red Hawks’ side when Nate Stentoft intercepted a pass and used his physical running ability to bring the ball back to the Engineer 31. On first down, Joseph Robertson broke loose for a touchdown. Dethman’s kick put Froid/Lake ahead by a 62-58 margin.
Robertson, a junior, stayed in the spotlight when he recovered a short kick on the ensuing kickoff at the Engineer 29. “He has made big game-changing plays for us all season,” Reiter said. “He’s been a weapon.”
Facing a third-and-nine situation at the 13, the Red Hawks reached the end zone when Dethman found an open Stentoft in the end zone. Dethman’s kick increased the lead to 70-58 with 32 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Engineers responded with a 65-yard scoring drive. A four-yard dash by Bergen Mysse closed the margin to 70-64 with eight minutes to play. Froid/Lake’s Cody Olson blocked the kick attempt.
The passing of Dethman to Robertson marched the Red Hawks into scoring range on their next possession. Dethman then accounted for an outstanding run as he changed directions en route to a 39-yard touchdown for a 76-64 lead.
Harlowton/Ryegate/Judith Gap, however, kept the heat on as Mysse passed to Joe Alvarez for a touchdown to pull the Engineers to 76-70 with still 4:32 to play.
The Red Hawks started their next possession at the 35 after Olson made a nice catch on a hard kick. A pass from Dethman to Jacob Martensen was good for a first down at the Engineer 27. After a four-yard gain by Robertson, Dethman battled for 18 yards down to the five.
From there, Stentoft scored for an 82-70 lead with 1:54 remaining.
An interception by Landen Kelm ended the Engineers’ next possession.
After the Engineers regained the ball, standout defensive plays by Dethman and Robertson ended the drive with only 52 seconds left.
The visiting Engineers led 14-6 at the end of the first quarter and increased the margin to 22-6 during the opening minute of the second quarter.
Froid/Lake’s offensive attack got going when Forizs caught a pass and raced 42 yards for a touchdown.
After the Engineers struck on a 25-yard run by Mysse, the Red Hawks fought back on a 38-yard scramble by Dethman to keep Froid/Lake close at 29-22.
A fumble recovery by Stentoft put the Red Hawks in business again. After a pass to Forizs to the Engineer 34, Dethman went the distance. Dethman’s kick was good for a 30-29 lead.
A 48-yard run by Mysse put the Engineers back ahead, but Stentoft fought in from the two with 4:34 left in the half. Dethman kicked the conversion for a 38-35 advantage.
The two squads then exchanged touchdowns with Froid/Lake’s score coming on a 20-yard gain by Dethman where the senior ran over a defender for a touchdown.
The Engineers ended the first half with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Gabe Dill to Alvarez for a 50-46 advantage at intermission.