7-1 'Beeters Blow out Cascade 44-13, Advance to Montana State C 8-man Playoffs
October 20, 2021
The Chinook Sugarbeeters started their 2021 Northern C Eight-man Football Playoff run with a home contest against the Cascade Badgers.
The 'Beeters (6-1) entered the contest as the Pool B Subdivision No.2, Cascade (5-3) carried the A Subdivision No. 3 seed. The winner would advance to the State Tournament as either the Northern C No. 3 or No. 4 Seed.
The Badgers won the coin toss and deferred to the second half giving the 'Beeters possession to start the game. The teams defenses established themselves early on with punts coming from both teams on the first three offensive series of the contest.
Midway through quarter number one the 'Beeters started possession number two at their own 15 yard line and went to work. Junior Quarterback Levi Jensen got the drive started with a quick hitter to senior Wide Receiver Drake Berreth for a gain of six. Junior Runningback Tyler Schoen added a run to the 26 yard line for a first down.
Jensen then connected with senior Wide Receiver Toby Niederegger for a big 31 yard gain to the Cascade 33.
Four plays later the 'Beeters faced a 4th and 10 from the Badger 24 yard line. Senior Hunter Molyneaux rumbled 24 yards to paydirt giving the 'Beeters the games open points. On the PAT Berreth ran the option perfectly pitching the ball to Niederegger at the five to complete the two-point conversion. The 'Beeters took a 8-0 lead with 2:37 left in the opening quarter.
Senior Oskar Pula used his leg to start the second quarter punting the ball 50 yards for a touch-back giving the Badgers the ball at their own 15. The 'Beeter defense spent a lot of time in the Badger backfield Saturday night. On first down junior Flint Annis manhandled the Cascade Quarterback ripping the ball out of his hands giving the ball back to the 'Beeter offense at the Cascade 15 yard line.
Jensen picked up 9 yards on first down to get the 'Beeters down to the six. Following a penalty, Schoen rumbled down to the one yard line for a 'Beeter first down. Berreth took a Wildcat snap and scored easily moments later. Berreth then added a jump pass conversion to Pula for a 16-0 'Beeter lead with 7:44 remaining in the opening half.
After giving up good yardage to the Badgers, the defense stood tall and forced a Cascade punt. The 'Beeters would take over deep in their own territory at the two yard line.
Schoen rumbled out the 20 yard line to get the 'Beeters out of the shadow of their own end zone. A couple tough penalties forced the 'Beeters to punt and Pula used his leg once again to pin the Badgers back. Pula let a 56 yard punt go that was downed at the Cascade 4 yard line.
Three plays later Schoen broke through the line and tackled the runner for a Safety at the 4:03 mark of the second quarter and a 18-0 Chinook lead.
The 'Beeter offense kicked it up a notch and lit up the scoreboard to close out the first half.
Niederegger hauled in the kick by the Badgers following the safety at the Chinook 36 yard line. Niederegger caught the ball on the run and was never touched, scoring a touchdown on a 44 yard kickoff return. Jensen hit Pula on the conversion to give the 'Beeters a 26-0 lead.
The Badgers started their next drive at their own 30 yard line. On first down the Cascade quarterback fired a strike to his wideout only to see the ball bounce off his hand and into the waiting hands of Berreth for the Interception.
The 'Beeter offense took over after a nice return by Berreth to the Cascade 30 yard line. Schoen wasted little time finding the end zone, racing 30 yards for the score on first down. The conversion attempt was no good, leaving the 'Beeters with a 32-0 advantage at the 2:53 mark of the second quarter.
Schoen, Pula, Inman and Annis continued to apply massive pressure to the Cascade quarterback forcing overthrows on the Badgers first three plays from scrimmage resulting in a Badger punt.
Back in business at their own 34 yard line, the 'Beeters kept their foot on the gas. The drive started with a nice pass from Jensen to Schoen for eight yards. Schoen then carried for seven more yards to the 'Beeter 39. Jensen then used a nice pump fake to get the defense on their heels and ran for 12 yards to the Badger 29.
Jensen dropped back in the pocket and lofted a perfectly thrown ball to Molyneaux for a beautiful 29 yard touchdown strike and a 38-0 lead with 1:10 remaining. A running clock ended the first half.
Much like the start of the contest the teams traded possessions on their first drives of the second half. On Chinook's second possession, the 'Beeters turned the ball over giving the Badgers great field possession at the 'Beeter 20. Moments later Cascade found the end zone for their first touchdown of the contest. Cascade then added the conversion kick, cutting the 'Beeter advantage to 38-7.
The 'Beeters answered immediately. Molyneaux got a running start, fielded the ball at the 'Beeter 10 yard line and raced untouched 70 yards for yet another 'Beeter score. The conversion kick was no good, leaving the 'Beeters with a 44-7 lead at the 11:00 mark of the fourth quarter.
The Badgers managed a big play to start their next drive, converting a pitch and catch for a 66 yard gain to the 'Beeter two yard line.
Chinook's defense stuffed the Badgers on their first three plays but a fourth down four yard touchdown run narrowed the 'Beeter lead to 44-13 midway through the fourth quarter.
The Badgers came up big on defense blocking a 'Beeter punt and giving the Cascade offense the ball back at the 'Beeter 22.
Looking to hold the Badgers in check, junior Lane Hassler plowed into the Badger backfield for an huge eight yard loss. Schoen picked up another sack for the 'Beeters forcing a fourth and 22. Cascade's pass fell harmlessly to the ground, essentially ending the game with a running clock.
The 'Beeters had a balanced attack both on the ground and through the air. Schoen had 10 carries for 58 yard, Molyneaux added 34 yards and a touchdown and the team collectively ran for 141 yards and two scores. Jensen threw for 109 yards and a couple of scores as well. Defensively the 'Beeters had five sacks, junior Braxton Inman had two as well as a fumble recovery. Schoen recorded a safety and Berreth an interception.
The final score of 44-13 punched the 'Beeters playoff ticket into the Montana Class C 8-man Football playoffs. To determine their seed in the 16 team tournament a coin flip would be required.
'The 'Beeters lopsided win over the Badgers and the Belt Huskies one sided win against the Shelby Coyotes left the two teams in a tie. The coin flip took place immediately following the conclusion of the 'Beeters win over the Badgers.
The result of the coin toss left the 'Beeters with the No. 4 Seed and a first round contest in Fairview against the Warriors.
Chinook Head Coach Mike Jones was pleased with his teams effort, "I thought our team played really well as a unit and was able to work together as best as we have seen all season. Special teams and our defense was the difference maker in this game. I think we made some spectacular plays both returning kicks and changing field position. Defensively we were flying around with physicality and causing havoc. "
The Warriors are a very familiar opponent to the 'Beeters having faced them a number of times in the post season through the years. Jones is focused on whats ahead, "Looking forward we have a couple weeks to prepare for a playoff game in Fairview. I think that we have shown that we are a team that have flashes of brilliance and we will definitely come prepared." He went on to say, "I think our division is one of the toughest and we have a match up with another tough division as a first round opponent. Top to bottom in both the east and north there are some really good physical and athletic teams."
What does his team need to do to be successful, "We really need to check in both physically and mentally, Fairview is always a tough place to go in and play. I think our boys are physical, smart, and athletic; we are ready to go out there and compete in the always difficult 8-man playoffs."