Last Friday night the Scotties traveled to Plentywood to play the Wildcats for an important game. At stake was the District 2B Conference title and the first and second conference seeds for the upcoming playoffs.
The winner (first place team) would host the first two rounds of the playoffs and the state championship game, provided they won all their contests. However, the loser of the game would basically be on the road for the entire playoff scenario.
The Scotties have had a tough time earning a victory up in Wildcat Country, with their last win in Plentywood coming back in 2005. But this time was different. Glasgow rallied after trailing 9-0 through one quarter for an impressive 24-15 victory.
The night air was cool and the full moon was shinning up in the sky as the Scottie players waited on the field with anticipation. Fans watching the game and listening on the radio were already on the edge of their seats.The game started out with the Scotties struggling to find their rhythm, and with Plentywood moving the ball through the air the Wildcats soon scored a touchdown on a long pass. After the extra point conversion, the Scotties were trailing behind 7-0.
Then, after a fumble near the Scottie goal line, Plentywood broke through Glasgow’s offensive line on the Scotties’ first play to tackle running back Johnathan Koessl in the end zone for a safety. The scoreboard read 9-0 with Plentywood up as the first quarter drew down.
As the second quarter began, the Scottie Express started to get on track with an eight play scoring drive capped by a one-yard QB sneak from Jason Thibault. Highlighting the drive was a 35-yard screen play to running back Tanner Roness, who broke a tackle behind the line of scrimmage. He then raced down the sideline before being brought down by a diving tackle.
Valentin Robert kicked the extra point after Thibault’s touchdown to bring the Scotties within two points, 9-7. Following Glasgow’s kickoff, the defense began to really shut down Plentywood’s offense and forced them to punt the ball after only three plays.
During their next scoring drive, there were two big 30-yard pass plays that helped set up the 10-yard TD pass from quarterback Thiabult to running back Koessl, who weaved his way through traffic and into the end zone. Following another successful PAT by Robert, the Scotties took the lead for good on the Wildcat Scoreboard at 14-9. Wide receiver Chase Fossum also had a big play on that drive.
In the third quarter, Glasgow received the opening kickoff and marched downfield in only five plays to score on a terrific pass from Thiabult to tight end Keil Krumwiede for 26 yards straight up the middle of the field. Robert nailed the PAT to increase the Scotties lead to 21-9. At this point, the Wildcats realized the Scotties they were facing were much different from the ones they had faced in recent years.
Glasgow’s defense again pressed Plentywood with a big interception by Koessl to get the ball back for the Scotties at Plentywood’s 27-yard line. However, the Scotties were not able to advance much further and attempted a 47-yard field goal that was blocked.
Glasgow stopped Plentywood on their next possession, and then took the ball on offense, where Koessl busted a 20-yard run through the left side of the line – due to great blocking by Luke Gunderson, Dallas Capdeville and Keil Krumwiede – to get into scoring position for a 29-yard field goal by Robert.
“The field goal was huge as it increased the lead to a three-score difference at 24-9,” GHS coach Greg Liebelt said.
Glasgow’s offense however, seemed to slow down after their last score and the team had to rely on their dominant defense to continue to smother the Wildcats and preserve the victory.
Plentywood was able to score one more touchdown following a fumbled handoff down deep in Glasgow territory to narrow the lead to 24-15. The Wildcats then went for a 2-point conversion , but the pass was intercepted by Fossum to maintain a two -core margin on Plentywood. As both offenses continued to trade punts the remainder of the game, the Scotties finally put the nail in the coffin when defensive end Jared Smith made a big hit on Plentywood’s quarterback, causing his pass to flutter where to where linebacker Capdeville made a diving interception to seal the victory.
“The defense continued to play awesome tonight not only by shutting down the Wildcats running game while creating three turnovers, but also by putting a lot of pressure on their quarterback,” Liebelt said.
He said Jared Smith and Ryan Grandchamp had their best games of their high school careers and were difference makers – along with many other defensive players.
“Tanner Roness made some punishing hits on the Wildcat players, while Koessl and Thiabult made big interceptions during the game,” the coach said.
The Scotties traveled home that night with the 2B Championship secured and their No. 1 seed in the playoffs starting in two weeks at home.
Glasgow will finish out its regular season schedule in Conrad against a District 1B opponent that has no bearing on the rest of the season or playoff bracket. Coach Liebelt said he plans on resting Thiabault due to an ankle sprain suffered during the Plentywood game. With Thibault sidelined, Kevin Schindler will get the start at QB, to allow Fossum to continue to play receiver and help the Scotties passing game.
The coaches plan on using the Conrad game to evaluate more nonstarters as the team turns up for the playoffs. Good luck Scotties, and congratulations on that big win in Plentywood!
Statistics for the Plentywood game were not available.