A night to remember
Glacier Wolfpack wins first home game, 41-21, over Senior

Published: Saturday, August 29, 2009 12:55 AM CDT By DILLON TABISH/The Daily Inter Lake
Wiley Fusaro
Glacier High School senior running back Wiley Fusaro carries the ball down field as Billings Senior defensive players Scotty Owens (left) and Johnny Nielsen try to bring him down in the first quarter Friday night at Legends Stadium.
Allison Money/Daily Inter Lake

The wait ended just after 9 o'clock on Friday night. That's when the filled stands at Legends Stadium rose up and cheered on the victorious Glacier Wolfpack football team as the "Go Glacier" fight song echoed over the loudspeakers on a clear night. The Wolfpack won its first home game in the program's third year of existence after rattling off 34 points in the second half to beat Billings Senior 41-21 in the Class AA season opener. "It's history. It's history first of all," Glacier head coach Grady Bennett said afterward as the team huddled together as pictures were taken. "I'm just so proud of this group of kids and obviously the seniors for their hard work and what they've been through and their leadership." The Wolfpack got hit with a splash of cold water in just the second play of the game when Billings' Greg Wyatt sprinted down the sideline for a 75-yard touchdown that gave flashbacks to Glacier of the team's previous first-quarter struggles. But a holding penalty canceled Wyatt's touchdown and gave the Glacier defense new life. After that, Billings punted and the Glacier offense lumbered onto the field. Led by quarterback Shay Smithwick-Hann, the offense put together a machine-gun drive that finished with a five-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Chery. "I think after we marched down the field right away on that first drive and it was fairly easy I think they almost kind of relaxed a little bit," Bennett said. "I was really proud of how they rallied back and realized OK, let's go get this thing, and boy they just dug in."

The game was knotted at 7-all after the first half until the Wolfpack offense hit overdrive and cruised to 21 unanswered points. Smithwick-Hann had two rushing touchdowns in the red zone and Taylor Hart added another in the opening of the fourth. Hart motored off a game-high 82 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Billings couldn't solve the Wolfpack defense in the second half and barely crossed the 50-yard line until midway through the fourth.

This was Billings Seniors' first appearance in Kalispell in 30 years and first against Glacier. "I was disappointed but Glacier's a good team," Billings head coach Mark Sulser said. "The speed of the game really picked up for them as they gained momentum and belief. That was a big win for them. They're off to a good start."

Smithwick-Hann finished 16-for-24 for 160 yards passing. Wiley Fusaro rushed for 54 yards on 11 carries and Joshua Criner had a game-high 56 yards receiving for Glacier. "Credit that offensive line, we handed the game over to them in that third and fourth quarter and they just dominated the line of scrimmage," Bennett said. "It was fantastic to see."

Billings 0 7 0 14 — 21
Glacier 7 0 14 20 — 41

First quarter
Glacier — Shay Smithwick-Hann 5 yard pass to Bryan Chery (Brendan Hagen kick), 6:10
Second quarter
Billings — Chad Newell 8 run (Cooper Kounenhoven kick), 8:53
Third quarter
Glacier — Smithwick-Hann 1 run (Hagen kick), 4:42
Glacier — Smithwick-Hann 19 run (Hagen kick), 2:15
Fourth quarter
Glacier — Taylor Hart 6 run (Hagen kick), 11:46
Billings — Greg Wyatt 5 run (Kounenhoven kick), 9:21
Glacier — Hart 2 run (kick failed), 5:33
Billings — Jeff Aders 28 pass to Danny Desin (Kounenhoven kick), 4:42
Glacier — Hart 26 run (Hagen kick), 2:10
First downs 12 14
Rushes- yards 38-98 35-178
Passing yards 147 160
Passing (com/att/td/int) 13-23-1-0 16-24-1-1
Fumbles-lost 4-1 0-0
Penalties 9-54 6-65
Punts 5-147 3-124
Individual stats
Rushing — Billings, Newell 6-52, Aders 11-43, Greg Wyatt 11-26, Scotty Owens 7-13, Jordan Klatt 1-10; Glacier, Hart 13-82, Wiley Fusaro 11-54, Smithwick-Hann 8-45, George Werk 3-11.
Passing (com/att/yds/int) — Billings, Aders 13-22-147-0; Glacier, Smithwick-Hann 16-24-160-1
Receiving — Billings, Kyler Yovetich 3-44, Desin 4-43, Owens 3-38, Klatt 1-9, Newell 2-13; Glacier, Fusaro 2-44, Josh Criner 6-56, Colter Hanson 3-24, Connor Fuller 1-10, Chery 1-8, Hart 2-12.