The Cut Bank Wolves dropped a heartbreaker in overtime to the Bigfork Vikings last Friday at home, 12-6. The Wolves fell to 0-2 on the season with their first conference test ahead of them this weekend as they will host top-ranked Fairfield.
The first half was a defensive battle as the teams went into the half locked up at 0-0.
Bigfork opened the scoring in the third quarter with a touchdown reception but the Wolves forced a miss on the PAT and trailed 6-0. Cut Bank moved the chains downfield and responded with a short touchdown run by sophomore fullback Dillon Gray to close out the quarter. The PAT was blocked and teams were knotted up at 6-6 going into the final stanza.
Both teams had opportunities to score in the fourth quarter but big defensive stops from both squads left the teams tied up at 6-6 at the end of regulation forcing overtime. Each team got a scoring chance from the 10-yard line and the Vikings wasted little time finding the end zone during their possession. Cody Racki blocked the PAT to put the gap at 12-6, giving the Wolves a chance to take the win with a touchdown and PAT.
Cut Bank moved the ball to the one yard line with two downs to play but a false start penalty moved the ball back, giving the Wolves a third down with six yards to go. Cut Bank would fumble on the ensuing snap and the Vikings recovered to seal the 12-6 victory.
“Overall the kids fought their butts off all game long and never quit,” said head coach Dylan Johnston. “Bigfork is a very good football team and they found a way to win. I was impressed with the way we practiced all week and the way the kids took ownership of our mistakes from last week, and we corrected quite a few of them.”
Hayden Hedges was named the Offensive Player of the Game as he ran the ball well for the Wolves, including a 45-yard dash to put the Wolves in scoring position.
“Offensively, we struggled with our exchanges partly due to the wet conditions,” said Johnston. “When we were able to get the ball rolling the kids lined up and executed well. I was very proud of the way our offensive line blocked and when we lined up in our double tight end formation and pounded the rock they moved dudes out of the way and let our athletic running backs hit the holes with a full head of steam.”
Defensively, Dayne Barbie was named the Player of the Game as he recorded a sack and multiple other tackles for loss.
“The Embody brothers had a great game plan dialed in and the kids played extremely hard, tough nosed football defensively,” said Johnston. “I loved the way we flew around and gang tackled whenever possible.”
The Wolves open conference play this weekend at home with the Fairfield Eagles, the defending State Champions, coming to town.
“Coach Meyer and his staff will have their boys ready to play, and I can guarantee our boys are going to come out and respond to the challenge,” said Johnston.