The Shelby Coyotes celebrate after winning a hard fought 16-13 quarter final battle against the Whitehall Trojans Saturday afternoon in Whitehall.

Photo by Justin Whitted

For the second week in a row, Wyatt Brusven kicked the Coyotes to victory in post-season action. The junior kicker nailed a 32-yard field goal with just 17 seconds left in Saturday’s quarterfinal game in Whitehall to give the Coyotes a 16-13 win over the undefeated Trojans. Shelby will host their semi-final game with Missoula-Loyola on Saturday. Kick-off is slated for 1 p.m.

The weather proved to be a little challenging last Saturday for players, fans and the grounds crew in Whitehall. Temperatures hovered near freezing and 18 inches of snow had to be cleared from the field before the early afternoon game. 

Shelby quarterback Aaron White went down in the first quarter with an injury but returned shortly to lead the Coyotes to their second post-season win. Whitehall scored first on a two-yard run early in the first quarter. Shelby answered in the second quarter with a 9-yard touchdown pass from White to Brusven but Brusven’s kick was no good, leaving Whitehall with a 7-6 lead at the half. 

Whitehall added to its lead in the third quarter on a one-yard run, but they missed their extra-point kick to go up 13-6. With seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter the Shelby defense stopped the Trojans on the three-yard line and marched the ball down the field ending in a four-yard touchdown run by White. Brusven’s second kick attempt was good to tie the game at 13-13.

Whitehall was moving the ball for a go ahead score when Zach Torgerson picked off a pass to set up the winning 32-yard field goal by Brusven. 

“The defense played outstanding with multiple red zone stops, the biggest of which was goal line stand in fourth quarter which led to game tying TD,” said coach Mike White. He praised Brusven for being a reliable weapon, coming through two weeks in a row for the Coyotes, adding, “Zach Torgerson ran the ball hard, which helped wear them down.”

This will be the first semi-final game for the Coyotes since 1989. “The kids are excited to be playing a home game again in front of a big crowd. They are looking forward to playing an improved Loyola team after falling earlier in the year to them, 9-0​,” said White.

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