'Beeter's hang on for season opening road win over Park City 30-24


September 2, 2020

The Chinook Sugarbeeters packed plenty of excitement into a Saturday afternoon, keeping their season opener entertaining until the final snap.

In many aspects the 'Beeters seemed to control every facet of the game in a down to the wire 30-24 season opening win over the Park City Panthers. In just as many ways they seemed to be in need of a big play to escape with a victory.

Watching the game Park City controlled the flow for much of the first quarter and the start of the second quarter but the 'Beeters were the ones controlling the tempo the remainder of the contest until a costly turnover made things interesting.

Chinook fumbled away its opening possession leading to a quick score from Park City and a early 6-0 deficit.

The 'Beeters had to punt away their second possession but then the defense started to assert itself. Chinook recovered a Park City fumble at the Panthers 34 yard line. Junior Hunter Molyneaux rambled for 11 yards and then senior quarterback Benton Elliot found sophomore Tyler Schoen for a 23 yard touchdown pass. the conversion was no good and the contest was tied 6-6.

The Panthers responded moments later with a 9 yard scoring pass to retake the lead 12-6.

Schoen returned the ensuing kickoff to the 35 yard line where the 'Beeter offense took over. Elliot rambled for a 12 yard gain as the first quarter came to an end.

Chinook found pay dirt on the third play from scrimmage of the second quarter. Elliot dropped back on third and nine and found junior Drake Berreth for a 29 yard scoring strike. Schoen ran the conversion in and the 'Beeters had their first lead of the contest.

The teams would trade turnovers before a 'Beeter possession ended with a blocked punt recovered by the Panthers with nine yards left to the end zone. A quick score gave Park City the lead back 18-14 with 1:24 left in the opening half.

Chinook recovered an apparent onside kick at the 40 yard line and let the offense go to work. Elliot hit Schoen for a 30 yard pass completion and then following an incomplete pass Elliot found Molyneaux on a 10 yard pitch and catch to give the 'Beeters a lead they would never relinquish. Schoen added the conversion run and Chinook headed to the halftime locker room with a 22-18 advantage.

Park City began the second half with possession at their own 15 yard line but a motivated 'Beeter defense held the Panthers in check and forced a quick punt.

The first 'Beeter drive of the second half began at their own 30 yard line with three straight carries by Schoen. On a big fourth and four Elliot picked up five yards to keep the drive alive. Soon after Elliot and Berreth connected on a 40 yard scoring play to add to the 'Beeter lead. Elliot found senior Damon Hannum for the two-point conversion giving Chinook a 30-18 lead.

Park City began their next drive at their own 13 and after a long pass play their offense seemed to be finding a rhythm. Stepping up to the challenge the 'Beeter defense stood their ground and got a stop on fourth down.

Chinook tried to get the running game going in an effort to take time off the clock but this time the Park City defense forced the offense into a punting situation. A nice punt from Elliot led to a Park City fumble that Hannum was able to fall on giving the 'Beeter offense back the ball.

Looking to put together a sustained drive, take some time off the clock and add to their lead the 'Beeter offense started their next possession at their own 19 a few running plays had the 'Beeters in a third and short but the offense benefited from a overzealous defense that jumped offsides giving Chinook a first down.

The 'Beeters closed out the third quarter with a 12 yard pass from Elliot to Hannum. A five yard run gave the 'Beeters a second and five at the Park City 29 when Elliot dropped back looking for an open receiver. Unfortunately the defense reacted and returned an interception 47 yards to close the gap to 30-24 with the bulk of the fourth quarter remaining.

Despite the lead being cut to just six the 'Beeters seemed in control of the flow of the game. They had ran nearly twice as many plays on offense and Park City only had recorded one sustained drive for a score with three of their touchdowns coming on short fields after turnovers.

Despite that the Panthers were right in the mix. With just under six minutes remaining in the contest the 'Beeters put together a 13 play drive that ended with a turnover on downs at the Park City 20 yard line.

The Panthers were a solid team a season ago and showed some resolve down the stretch putting together their longest sustained drive of the contest.

Park City slowly and methodically moved the ball down the field with a short passing game that was suddenly finding its mark. The Panthers moved deep into 'Beeter territory and had a first and goal from the 'Beeter five yard line with time winding down.

The Panthers appeared to have found the end zone with a completed pass but a holding call moved them back.

With just eight seconds remaining in the contest Park City and Chinook lined up at the seven yard line with the game on the line. Following timeouts by both coaches, play resumed. Schoen had scored previously on a receiving touchdown earlier in the contest but his biggest play may have been the final one where he intercepted the Panthers in the end zone to secure the 'Beeter win 30-24.

Elliot finished the contest completing 17-30 passes for 195 yards and four touchdowns with an interception. He also carried the ball 14 times for 55 yards. Schoen hauled in six receptions for 58 yards and a score. Berreth caught three balls for 71 yards and a pair of scores. Molyneaux added 4 catches for 37 yards and a score while Hannum caught four balls for 29 yards. Molyneaux carried the ball 10 times for 48 yards and Schoen added 14 carries for 26 yards in the win.


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