From the second the football was in motion at Scully Field in Ennis on Friday night, the Mustangs were in control.
Ennis’ first football game of the season was Aug. 25 against Absarokee, and the Mustangs were able to start the year with a W, taking an early lead and expanding on it, ending the game with a final score of 74 – 22.
“It was a good first game for us,” said head coach Chris Hess. “(We) worked out some rhythm with our starters and had great overall effort.”
With only 18 seconds of time off the clock, the Mustangs were on the board thanks to a 33 yard touchdown run by senior Corbin Wood. Brayden Oberg made good on the two point conversion, and the scoreboard reflected the Mustang lead, 8 – 0.
Ennis’ defense took to the field with the same vigor as the offense, holding the Huskies and forcing them to punt without a first down. Mustang John Fortier returned that punt for another touchdown moments later.
By the end of the first quarter, seven Mustangs made it into the end zone with a variety of plays, from touchdowns to two-point conversions to a safety, and Ennis was up, 40 – 0.
The Huskies struggled to move the ball, and as the clock ticked down and the buzzer signaled half time, they entered the locker room without any points. Ennis, on the other hand, had 54.
Thanks to the Mustangs’ impressive lead, younger players hit the field, many playing in their first regulation game.
“Our younger guys played the majority of the game when we went up and did a fantastic job battling back from some early mistakes,” Hess said. “(They scored) some points and (made) some great defensive stops.”
The Huskies were able to battle their way onto the scoreboard in the third quarter, but the young Mustang team was undeterred – as the fourth quarter commenced, Oberg returned a Absarokee kickoff 64 yards for a touchdown.
The teams traded trips to the end zone to round out the game, and when the final buzzer sounded, the scoreboard showed a resounding Mustang win, 74 – 22.
The Mustangs averaged 18.7 yards per play, and had 318 total yards of offense.
Quarterback Tanner Wood connected with his receivers three times for 140 yards and three touchdowns, while up and coming quarterback Daniel Johnson, completed two of two passes for 55 yards and one touchdown.
Oberg ended the night with 65 rushing yards, followed by C. Wood, who had 62 yards. Oberg also tied with Will Gilmore to lead the Mustangs on defense – each had six tackles, followed by Gus Dickinson who had five.
Next week, Ennis welcomes Broadview-Lavina to the Madison Valley on Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.
AWAY FOOTBALL GAMES ROUND UP
Falcons struggle offensively against Plains
The Twin Bridges Falcons hit the road for their first game of the season, traveling to Plains on Aug. 25, where they fell to their opponents, 0 – 20.
“We struggled to get anything going offensively throughout the game,” said head coach Brett Nordahl. “Penalties and untimely turnovers stopped a few drives that could have given us a little momentum.”
The Falcons did, however, inspire Nordahl for what is to come this season.
“I saw some very promising things on both sides of the ball,” he said. “This was the first time that many of our starters have had to play an entire game.”
Nate Konen led the Falcons in tackles with nine, and senior Logan Jones had two fumble recoveries.
The Falcons take on Arlee this Friday, Sept. 1 at home in Twin Bridges. 7 p.m. game start?
Panthers win first varsity football game in 4 years
The 2017 season started with a bang for the Sheridan Panthers – the football team won its first varsity game in four years on Aug. 26.
The Panthers headed to Fromberg, where they beat their opponents, 43 – 30.
“(The team) is very excited and ready to get going for the next game,” said head coach Jake Steiner. “We started out strong and just kept going.”
This year’s Panther team is more experienced than years past, and Steiner said their hard work is paying off – the team is growing up and it is “working out,” Steiner said.
“They did really good on offense and a lot better on defense,” he said. “We still have stuff to work on, but it’s easier to work on stuff after the first victory.”
Be sure to join in the excitement in Sheridan – the Panthers’ first home game is this Friday, Sept. 1 against Augusta at 7 p.m.