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'Beeters, Thunderbirds, Wildcats all fall on the gridiron


September 11, 2019

Benton Elliot looks for an open receiver during first half action in Centerville Saturday afternoon.

It was a tough week on the gridiron for the Chinook Sugarbeeters, Hays Lodge/Pole Thunderbirds and Harlem Wildcats as all three failed to find the win column. The Sugarbeeters play in the ever tough Northern C and their schedule to start the season is brutal by any standard. The 'Beeters were in Centerville on Saturday to take on the Miners and turned in a gritty performance, but fell short in a 48-32 loss. The Thunderbirds scored a pair of late touchdowns in a 70-12 loss to the Longhorns in Fort Benton. Harlem was also on the road, falling to the Poplar Indians 34-0 in their season opener.

The Sugarbeeters faced another Class C top tier contender on Saturday as the Miners return All-State performers on both sides of the ball and are considered by many to be a favorite to earn a top seed out of the Northern C.

The 'Beeters are a young team and have showed a lot of heart in their first two outings this season. That was evident on Saturday when they never stopped playing hard and finished the game strong.

The Miners got on the board first to take a quick 6-0 lead. Freshman Brendan Fetter answered right back for the Sugarbeeters taking the ensuing kickoff and racing 65 yards to paydirt to tie the contest at 6-6.

Centerville scored on a long run and following the two-point conversion held a 14-6 lead. Junior quarterback Benton Elliot then connected with sophomore Toby Niederegger on a 64 yard pitch and catch to bring the 'Beeters back within two at 14-12.

The 'Beeters had a touchdown called back and a few breaks go the way of the Miners and found themselves down 42-12 midway through the third quarter.

Junior Reese Elliot led a defense that continued to hit hard and make tackle. Elliot recorded three sacks in the second have and the 'Beeters defense stopped the Miners on four consecutive possessions while the offense cashed in.

Niederegger raced 65 yards to the endzone on a jet sweep and senior Sam Dumas followed with a touchdown carry from one yard out. Elliot and Niederegger again connected for a long scoring play that covered 70 yards and brought the Sugarbeeters within ten at 42-32. The Miners added a late score to seal a 48-32 win over Chinook.

Niederegger finished with a school record 238 yards and two touchdowns receiving. Elliot completed 10 passes for 224 yards in the contest.

Senior JT Hauer led the defense with 9 solo tackles and 11 assisted, Elliot recorded three sacks, senior Kurtis Hamilton had one for the 'Beeters.

Sophomore Toby Niederegger caught 6 balls for a school record 238 yards against the Miners.

The Hays/Lodge Pole Thunderbirds were in Fort Benton Friday night to challenge the Longhorns. Fort Benton is a top tier team this fall with talent and depth on both sides of the ball.

The Thunderbirds are a young, up and coming team that have definitely put the work in this summer, but Friday night was a reminder that they still have work to do.

Fort Benton took a 56-0 lead into the fourth quarter but this Thunderbird team still had some fight in them, Junior Wyman Bringinggood scored from one yard out and Lane Kirkaldie hauled in a 58 yard scoring strike from freshman Daniel Henry to make the final score 70-12 in favor of the Longhorns.

The Harlem Wildcats finally opened their season this past weekend. Harlem traveled to Poplar to take on the Indians in a Northern B clash. Despite some positives the Wildcats were blanked on the scoreboard 34-0.


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