By Jim Orr
The Courier 

Scotties Smother Malta, 35-0

Balanced Offense, Stifling Defense, Swarming Special Teams Do The Trick

 

Mark Hebert / Phillips County News

Glasgow blockers open a nice big hole in the Malta defense last Saturday. Pounding running back Tanner Roness takes advantage of it.

It can get better than this – as in winning the Montana Class B championship – but this one tastes sweet for the football Scotties.

The 6-0 squad shut out Malta on Saturday, 35-0, its widest margin of victory in the storied rivalry since 48-0 in 1975. This Friday's 2B game at 2-4 Wolf Point looks like a tuneup for the postseason.

"Our goal all along has been getting to the state championship," Scotties coach Greg Liebelt told The Courier. "We believe that we have the personnel where we can be there at the end ... When you've got a good group and execute, it shows."

The 2014 Mustangs learned this the hard way when the Dawgs rolled into town.

Never before have the Scotties clocked the Mustangs two years in a row, building 35-point leads that triggered the running clock. This time is happened late in the third quarter.

The Scotties have beaten Malta two straight seasons a number of times, but never by so many points back-to-back. Last year's score was 38-6.

And now the Scotties are ranked No. 2 statewide in Class B in the MaxPreps standings, between No. 1 Forsyth and No. 3 Fairfield.

The win at Malta was an all-around gem for GHS – balanced offense, stifling defense, swarming special teams. The Scotties gained 337 offensive yards – 171 receiving, 168 rushing – and gave up 87. They even tried out a hurry-up offense after giving it a look in practice last week.


"We have a special group," Liebelt said. "Everybody is on the same page."

Fired up Scottie fans showed up in force. It sounded like a home game for the visitors in Malta of all places. The Mustang faithful were quiet, feeling as blue as their team's uniforms.

Scottie QB Jason Thibault opened the scoring on a 1-yard keeper TD with 4:42 left in the first quarter. The 2-point conversion attempt failed to keep the score at 6-0.

"Jason threw the ball really well," Liebelt said. "He moved the ball on the ground and in the air. Even defensively he played well (at linebacker)."

With 10:10 left in the second quarter, Thibault found 6-foot-5 receiver Chase Fossum cutting across the end zone for an 8-yard TD pass. Cache Younkin kicked the extra point and it was 13-0.

With 6:43 left in the half, sophomore Benji Phillips continued his emergence as an increasingly key running back this season with a 5-yard run into the end zone. Younkin's kick made it 20-0.

Thibault time arrived again with 3:55 to go in the half. He scored another TD with a 19-yard dash down the left side. Younkin converted the extra point kick. The Scotties led 27-0 at the half.

The Mustangs did show some game in spurts, but the Scotties would have none of it. Glasgow recovered Malta's onside kick to open the second half. And when Malta started moving the ball a bit, Glasgow shut them down. Linebacker Jake Hentges' contributed two big sacks to the cause.


The final scoring came with a 5-yard TD pass from Thibault to Jake Page with 1:39 left in the third quarter. Parker Kulczyk added a 2-yard, 2-point conversion run to his fine day at RB – and that was that.

With the clock running, the fourth quarter was a quickie. Final score: 35-0.

Liebelt said the Wolf Point game, 7 p.m. Friday, will provide an opportunity for GHS coaches to evaluate their players and see what the backups do with some playing time. He said "performance will determine" how much game time individual players get as the season progresses – not who won starting positions earlier in the season.

"I expected success at Wolf Point," Liebelt said. "I expect us to come out and execute and be sharp."

Glasgow vs. Malta

GHS Stats

Passing: Jason Thibault 19-28-17, 2 TD; Kevin Schindler 0-4-0

Receiving: Jake Page 7-58 TD, Chase Fossum 5-55 TD, Zach Miller 3-25, Tanner Roness 2-19, Parker Kulczyk 1-11, Benji Phillips 1-3

Rushing: Roness 11-50, Phillips 11-48 TD, Kulczyk 6-44, Thibault 5-24 2 TD, Hunter Losleben 1-4

 

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