By Jim Orr
The Courier 

The Dream Ends In Final Seconds

Scotties Lost First Game Of Season in State Quarterfinals; Conrad Advances


Lih-An Yang / The Courier

Daylon Jay makes a catch on Conrad's game-winning touchdown drive despite Scottie Jason Thibault's all-out effort to prevent it. GHS fans can only watch.

What the Glasgow football team won was the heart of an invigorated Scottie Nation. What they lost was their first game of the season and a shot at the state Class B championship that many considered so possible.

The Scotties ran into the Conrad Cowboys and a one-man destruction crews named Shane Larson, a running quarterback if there ever was one. The visiting No. 7 Cowboys upset the MaxPreps top-ranked Scotties, 32-27, on Saturday when Larson ran for his fourth touchdown of the day.

Seven seconds remained on the clock. The Scotties were 7 seconds from the semifinals. That was one difficult post-game speech coach Greg Liebelt had to give his team.

"I think what's most important is to put it in perspective," Liebelt told The Courier. "Although it was a disappointing finish, looking back it was a tremendous season. Lots of good memories with the kids. Although we didn't reach our ultimate goal, I hope they look back at the great things we did accomplish.

"I told them that as disappointing as it was at that time, look back after a few days at what a terrific season it was, what a great experience it was, and the excitement we were able to generate. It was hard to say a lot at that time."

The loss came after GHS, 10-1, clawed back from deficits of 12-0 and 20-6 in the second quarter to take a 27-26 lead at Scottie Field with 5:23 left in the game. But another fourth-quarter comeback against Conrad, like that which Glasgow pulled off two weeks earlier, was not in the works.

Glasgow lost three fumbles and made too many, as Liebelt put it, "miscues."

Larson led the Cowboys on a game-winning 62-yard drive, mostly with his feet but with one key pass to receiver Daylon Jay that put Contrad at the GHS 28 with 59 seconds left. Larson gained the rest of the yardage on his own, the dagger being a 3-yard run with those 7 seconds left.

For the day, Larson ran 37 times for 218 yards and four touchdowns. He threw to tight end Hunter Mycke for Conrad's other touchdown, a 70-yard play, in the opening quarter. Cowboy RB Blake Underdahl left the game after aggravating his sprained ankle in the first half, but it didn't matter.

Conrad (8-2) now travels to Townsend (9-1) in the semifinals this weekend. The other semifinal has Huntley Project (11-0) at Bigfork (9-1).

Huntley replaced Glasgow as the No.1 team in the MaxPreps Top 10. Conrad is No. 6. And the Scotties? No. 2.

"It was a terrific honor to be able to coach this team, and I told them that," Liebelt said. "It wasn't from a lack of effort that we're not still playing. The ball didn't bounce our way that day. We had too many miscues, Conrad came up with better luck when they needed it, and defensively we couldn't handle it ... We tried to make some adjustments at the half, but the defense was kind of hit and miss with him (Larson). They'd make a stop and then he'd get loose again."

Even in defeat, Glasgow displayed bursts of firepower that were a team trademark in 2014.

Quarterback Jason Thibault scored the team's first TD on a 10-run in the second quarter, and then a dazzler kept the Scotties in the game with 31 seconds left in the first half. Thibault threw to TE Jake Page for 8 yards, then Page pitched to Benji Phillips and the sophomore running back was off on 62-yard TD play.

Glasgow's other scores came on 20-yard passes from Thibault to Tanner Roness and Keil Krumwiede.

Thibault ended up completing 10 of 17 passes for 153 yards and 3 TDs.

He also ran 9 times for 80 yards and a TD. Phillips gained 57 yards on 11 carries and Roness 83 yards on 12.

Glasgow's receiving leaders were Phillips with 4 catches for 82 yards and 1 TD, Krumwiede with 3 catches for 43 yards and a TD, Page with 2 catches for 8 yards, and Roness with his TD reception.

"There were so many great stories this year," Liebelt said. "New guys like Andrew Frasen, Jake Page, Trevor Toavs made important contributions, plus Kyle Humbert emerged. There was the 10-year win streak. They were a really talented group of football players who got better as the season went on and became a formidable force."

Then there were the fans and assistant coaches. Liebelt offered every one of them a "huge thank you."

Lih-An Yang / The Courier

Keil Krumwiede's 21-yard reception TD put Glasgow ahead of Conrad 27-26 with just over a minute left in the game.


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