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Spartans Win And Are In Their 6th State Championship Game


The 2020 Scobey varsity football team found a way to play another day, and the next — and last — time is scheduled to be on the biggest of stages.

With a come-from-behind 44-28 victory over the Shelby Coyotes Saturday, November 14, on Plainsmen Field, the Spartans (10-1, 516-154, 46.9-14.0) have earned a berth in the Class C 8-Player State Championship Game. Their Saturday, November 21, opponent is the Flint Creek Titans (11-0, 606-70, 55.0-6.3), a cooperative agreement team consisting Drummond High School and Granite County (Philipsburg) High School, which are located northwest of Butte. The kickoff in Drummond is set for 1 p.m. (Radio: KCGM 95.7 FM. Internet streaming: nfhsnetwork. com). For a preview of the title game turn to page 8.

On a cold and windy day where the wind-chill factor dipped to 3 degrees above zero, the Spartans of 8thyear head coach Brock Berryhill dug down deep within themselves to find a way to overcome three deficits against a solid opponent: 15-14 and 22-14 in the second quarter and 28-22 midway through the third frame.

Touchdowns by Addison Stentoft on a 26-yard catch and run and a 1-yard plunge by Jayce Tande had Scobey ahead 14-0 early in the second quarter.

The strong west/northwest wind causing a short kickoff and a fumble recovery gave the Coyotes possession at Scobey’s 33 and 28 yard lines, which they quickly turned into a 15-14 lead with just over 5 minutes left before halftime. Still kicking into the wind, a Scobey punt sailed just 7 yards and Shelby had possession at the Spartans’ 27. Seven plays later it was 22- 14. The Spartans made it 22all when driving 65 yards in 2:24, passing nine times and rushing just twice, which was a preview of what was to occur in the second half.

By intermission Scobey had rushed the ball 18 times for 81 yards, which is an effective 4.5 average, and was 10-of-17 for 134 yards in the passing game. After a Scobey 3-andpunt to open the second half, Shelby used its first posses sion of the third quarter to score in five plays for a 28-22 lead. It was around this point where Berryhill decided to go with the passing game. On the ensuing possession the Spartans, still going into the strong wind, passed six times on eight plays but failed to convert on fourth down at Shelby’s 3-yard line. As luck would have it the Coyotes fumbled on the next play and Opheim’s Cole Taylor made the recovery at the 5-yard line. On the first and only play ofthe possession senior Jayce Tande found sophomore brother Boen Tande on a diving touchdown reception in the northwest side of the west end zone. The elder Tande then passed to Caden Handran for the 2-pointer and a 30-28 lead.

Shelby, starting at Scobey’s 37 due to the Spartans kicking off into that wicked wind, countered with an 8-play march down to the 7-yard line where it opted to try a 14-yard field goal on 4th-and-2. It barely made it off the kicker’s foot before Josh Hammerly blocked it, keeping the score at 30-28 instead of a 31-30 lead Shelby if it had sailed through the uprights (with the wind at the Coyotes’ backs it probably would have!).

After Scobey failed to covert on a 4th-and-6 from the Shelby 7 on the ensuing drive, the Coyotes converted on a 4th-and-1 on the first play of the fourth quarter. They rushed the ball on the first six plays of the possession but on 3rd-and-9 from the 19 decided to air it out. Linebacker Colter Oie snuffed it out with an interception at the 31 and returned it 26 yards to the 5-yard line. Three passes later Tande hit Handran for a touchdown and the 2-pointer for a 38-28 lead with 10:33 left on the clock.

Shelby went 3-and-punt on its next offensive try, Scobey was intercepted by Trenton Emerson and Hammerly recovered a fumble six plays into the Coyotes’ third drive of the final quarter.

The Spartans, which went pass-happy on its first

six possessions of the second half, returned to its rushing attack when taking over at the Shelby 39 with 6:30 left to begin running down the clock. Payton Leibrand rushed the ball off the left end on the first

play for a huge 28-yard gain down to the 11. Following two more rushes Tande hit Handran with a fourth-down pass in the corner of the east end zone producing the final

score of 44-28 with 4:18 left in the game.

Nicholas Holum and Owen Fishell teamed up to limit the kickoff return to 9 yards and a Shelby penalty moved the visitors back to their own 5. After Taylor knocked down a pass Boen Tande recovered a fumble at Shelby’s 13, which allowed the Spartans to run off another 1:41 of game clock down to 2:20 left.

The Coyotes were advancing the ball with passes of 11, 6 and 13 yards and a rush for 12 but another pass knockdown by Taylor and a quarterback sack by Gage Hallock spelled the end.

As noted Scobey decided to go mostly with the pass in the second half and completed 13-of-24 for 141 yards while rushing just 11 times for 25 yards (2.2). Shelby had 28 rushes for 74 yards (2.6) and completed 7-of-14 passes for 77 yards in the second half.

That’s the semifinal sto ry… now the Spartans get to write their own 2020 championship history.

THE STATS STORY Scoring First Quarter SCOBEY — Addison Stentoft 26 pass from Jayce Tande (Colter Oie run), 5:00. SCORE: Scobey 8 Shelby 0. DRIVE: 6

plays, 50 yards, 1 first downs, 2:15 time of possession. BIG

PLAYS: In addition to Stentoft’s catch-and-run for the tally, Payton Leibrand’s 21-yard rush on 3rd-and-4 from Scobey’s own 36 produced the majority of the gains. Second Quarter SCOBEY — J. Tande 1 run (run failed), 9:38. SCORE: Scobey 14 Shelby 0. DRIVE: 4 plays,

50 yards, 2 first downs, 1:15 time of possession. BIG PLAYS: Sten toft catching another 26-yard aerial on the initial play of the drive and J. Tande’s 28-yard scamper down to the 1-yard line.

SHELBY — Cameron Brusven 20 run (Aidan Torgerson run), 8:49. SCORE: Scobey 14 Shelby 8. DRIVE: 3 plays, 33

yards 1 first down, :36 time of

possession. KEY: Scobey’s kick-

oa into a very strong northwest

wind sliced to the north sideline giving the Coyotes good position at the Spartans’ 33-yard line.

SHELBY — Tabris Correa 13 pass from Trenton Emerson (Brusven kick), 5:11. SCORE: Shelby 15 Scobey 14. DRIVE: 6

plays, 28 yards, 1 first down, 1:50

time of possession. KEY: Another

short-field situation for the Coy otes, who recovered a fumble in Scobey territory.

SHELBY — Brusven 4 run (Brusven kick), 2:34. SCORE: Shelby 22 Scobey 14. DRIVE:

7 plays, 27 yards, 2 first downs,

1:06 time of possession. KEY: Yet

another short field for Shelby as

a Scobey punt heading into the strong wind covered only 7 yards.

SCOBEY — Parker Cromwell 3 pass from J. Tande (Caden Handran pass from J.

Tande), :10. SCORE: Scobey 22 Shelby 22. DRIVE: 11 plays, 65

yards, 4 first downs, 2:24 time of

possession. KEY: On 4th-and-20 from Shelby’s 27-yard line scrambling quarterback Tande passed deep to Handran who was immediately tackled at the 3-yard line for a fresh four downs. Scobey needed only one as Tande con- nected with Cromwell on the next


Third Quarter SHELBY — Brusven 3 run (kick blocked), 9:32. SCORE: Shelby 28 Scobey 22. DRIVE:

5 plays, 30 yards, 1 first down,

1:23 time of possession. KEY: A Scobey 10-yard punt into the strong wind gave the Coyotes yet another short field and they took

advantage of it.

SCOBEY — Boen Tande 5 pass from J. Tande (Handran pass from J. Tande), 7:34.

SCORE: Scobey 30 Shelby 28.

DRIVE: 1 play, 5 yards, :07 time of possession. KEY: Scobey failed on 4th-and-goal from the 3-yard line but Cole Taylor recovered a Shelby fumble on the next play

giving the Spartans possession at the 5. Then the elder Tande threw to his younger brother who had to dive for the score in the northwest corner of the end zone.

Fourth Quarter SCOBEY — Handran 5 pass from J. Tande (Handran pass from J. Tande), 10:35. SCORE: Scobey 38 Shelby 28. DRIVE: 3 plays, 5 yards, :13 time of possession. KEY: The two-possession advantage was set up by perhaps the play of the game, which was Oie’s interception at Shelby’s 31yard line and returned 26 yards to the 5.

SCOBEY — Handran 11 pass from J. Tande (pass failed), 4:18. SCORE: Scobey 44 Shelby 28. DRIVE: 5 plays, 39

yards, 1 first down, 2:12 time of

possession. KEYS: Scobey took possession on Josh Hammerly’s

fumble recovery and on the first

play of the drive Leibrand ripped

oa a 28-yard rush heading to the northeast corner of the field.

Team Statistics Rushes-yards — Scobey 29-106 (3.6), Shelby 62-192 (3.0).

Passing yards — Scobey 275, Shelby 95. Total yards — Scobey 381, Shelby 287. Passing — Scobey

23-41-1-275, Shelby 9-20-2-95.

First downs — Scobey 15, Shelby 15. Return yards — Scobey 34, Shelby 71. Penaltiesyards — Scobey 7-32, Shelby 3-30. Fumbles-lost — Scobey 3-2, Shelby 7-4. Punts-yardsaverage — Scobey 3-50-16.6, Shelby 3-73-24.3. Quarterback sacks by-yards lost — Scobey 3-18, Shelby 4-41. 3rd down conversions — Scobey 3-14 (.214), Shelby 4-16 (.250). 4th down conversions — Scobey 2-6 (.333), Shelby 3-7 (.428). PAT rush/pass conversions: Scobey 4-6 (.667), Shelby 1-1 (1.000).

PAT conversion kicks — Scobey 0-0 (.000), Shelby 2-3 (.667).

Total turnovers – Scobey 7 (2 fumbles, 1 interception, 4 downs), Shelby 10 (4 fumbles, 2 interceptions, 4 downs). Time of possession — Scobey 23:15, Shelby 24:45.

Individual Statistics (Scobey) Rushing — Leibrand 7-61, J. Tande 16-48, Oie 6-(minus 3).

Passing — J. Tande 23-41-1-275.

Receiving — Handran 10-115, Stentoft 8-109, Oie 1-28, P.

Cromwell 2-14, B. Tande 1-5, Rio Booth 1-4. Punts – P. Cromwell 3-50-16.6. Punt returns — None.

Kickoa returns – None. Fumble recoveries — Hammerly 1-0,

Leibrand 1-0, B. Tande 1-0, Cole

Taylor 1-0. Interceptions – Oie 1-26, Handran 1-8. Quarterback sacks — Taylor 2-(minus 11), Gage Hallock 1-(minus 7).

Pass knockdowns — Taylor 3.

Blocked field goal attempt –

Hammerly 1. Blocked PAT kick — P. Cromwell 1. Unassisted tackles — Leibrand 7, Oie 6, Hallock 5, Hammerly 4, Handran 4, Stentoft 3, Taylor 2, Zakariah Traeholt 2, P. Cromwell 1, Owen Fishell 1, Gage Southland 1. Assisted tackles — Oie 9, Leibrand 7, Hammerly 5, Taylor 5, Southland 4, Hallock 3, Stentoft 3, Handran 2, P. Cromwell 1, Fishell 1, Nicholas Holum 1. Tackle for loss – Taylor 2, Hallock 1 Southland 1.

GAME-DAY EXTRA POINTS Game time: 12:58-3:29 p.m., Nemont Smart Phone Time.

Weather: Mostly cloudy,

west/northwest wind in the 20-25

mile per hour range and 29 degrees above zero for a wind-chill of 3 above zero at opening kick- oa. Thirty-one degrees and still

very windy at game’s end with wind-chill factor still the same.

On-field officials: Sidney pool (Referee: Sidney’s Jea

Mead. Umpire: Fairview’s Derek Gackle. Linesman: Sidney’s

Bruce Beiswanger. Line Judge: Sidney’s Gary Sinks. Back Judge:

Sidney’s Tyrel Graves).

WITH THE SCOBEY SPARTANS holding a 38-28 lead with 6:30 left in the fourth quarter senior Payton Leibrand ripped off a 28-yard rush on the team’s 14th possession of 16 total down to the 13-yard line. Four plays later the Spartans scored, producing the final 44-28 score. Also pictured is senior Parker Cromwell, ready to execute a block where needed. – Leader Photo, mike