Hornets take Mitchell in Second Overtime


September 7, 2017

Courtesy Huddle Up Sports

Pine Bluffs Hornets celebrate scoring the winning touchdown on a one yard run by Isaiah Montanes at the end of the second overtime against the Mitchell Tigers in Mitchell, Neb. on Friday, September 1st.

It took not one but two overtimes for the Pine Bluffs Hornets to secure their victory, 20 to 14, over the Mitchell Tigers in Mitchell, Neb. on Friday on the first day of September.

With 1:06 minutes remaining in regulation #12, Seth Tangeman intercepted a pass from Mitchell quarterback #12 Thyne on the 34 yard line in Tiger territory.

The Hornets went for the end zone with their first play after the interception, but the pass fell incomplete. After another a running play which gained five yards, leaving a third and five, the Hornets took a time out. After the time out quarterback for the Hornets, #10 Haize Fornstrom ran for five yards gaining a first down. With another first down run, this time by running back Isaiah Montanes, then another, the Hornets played a run for no gain, and took their last time out. With 10 seconds left in regulation the Hornets tried a field goal for the win but the ball hit the left upright and the Tigers gained possession with 3.5 seconds left. They were subsequently shut down and the game went into over time.

The game between the two schools did not start well for the Hornets as the Tigers ran off two quick scores in the first half. #6 Gilliland, running back for Mitchell, scored the first TD for the Tigers on a nine yard run which was followed by the point after kick by Thyne. Then came a 73 yard run into the end zone by Gilliland again with Thyne making the extra point. Gilliland finished with 255 yards on 35 carries.

"Their running back, Drake Gilliland, is the best we will see all year. We wish him and the Tigers nothing but success the rest of the season," said Will Gray Head Coach of the Hornets.

It ought to be noted that while Thyne was perfect on extra point attempts, the Tigers had a couple of opportunities to extend their lead in the game by kicking a field goal, but when faced with a fourth down within the 35 yard line or less, Mitchell opted instead to try for a first down.

With the first half drawing to a close, things did not look bright for the Pine Bluffs boys until with three minutes left in the half, Haize Fornstrom made a one-yard end around to put the team on the board. #20 Andrew Fornstrom nailed the extra point.

#19 Brian Steger went down with a shoulder injury during the drive but was able to walk off the field, with a little assistance.

"Brian hurt his shoulder and is week to week. We will evaluate his status on Wednesday. As of today he is doubtful to play against Burns this week," Gray said.

The second half of the game was a back and forth with both teams moving the ball but unable to find the end zone. The passing game of the Hornets and the Tigers never got on track with Hornets only completing four passes on fifteen attempts and gaining 38 yards. Mitchell was less prolific with 13 yards gained, on four completions in fourteen attempts.

It was the running game that dominated in play, with the Hornets running the ball 58 times for 280 yards and Mitchell running 43 times for 248 yards. Montanes ran the ball 34 times and gained 165 yards, Haize Fornstrom gained 76 on 12 carries, Steger ran for 20 yards on eight carries and #25 Ismael DePaulitte gained 19 on four carries.

The first OT saw the Tigers with the first try at scoring. In overtime each team is allowed one chance to score. The ball is placed on the ten-yard line and each team has four downs to go those ten yards to score, or they may try to kick a field goal.

On Mitchell's second play, #15 Colby Lamb of the Hornets almost intercepted the ball. The ball was caught by Lamb but ruled out of bounds. The Tigers were stopped in their reach for points when #50 Wyatt Fornstrom sacked Thyne for a 12 yard loss.

When it came the turn of the Hornets, Montanes made a five yard gain on the first down, but thereafter the Hornets could make no further gains on second and third downs. Opting to try a field goal from five yards out to secure the victory, the team came up short sending the game into its second overtime.

The Tigers once again had first shot at the end zone.

Mitchell was no more successful in the second OT than they were in the first, due in part to another sack, On their fourth down in the second OT, Thyne of the Tigers was caught scrambling in the back field looking for an open man when #71 James Merryfield streaked and caught him on the 34 yard line for the loss.

The ball was turned over to the Hornets.

First down: Montanes for a five yard gain.

Second down: Montanes to the one.

Third down: Montanes TD!

"I thought it was one of the most physical games we've played in several years. Both teams played extremely hard, which is fun to be a part of. Coming from behind and winning in double overtime is hard to do, but the kids never lost faith in themselves or their teammates," Gray said."Obviously we have to take care of the ball better, which we will continue to work on throughout the season. We have a lot to get better at, but I was pleased with how they competed. At the end of the day all we can ask kids to do is compete, be physical, and execute. We took a step forward and got better. Mitchell is a very good team, and it makes it fun when two good teams take the field."


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