Wolfpack stuns Sentinel

Posted: Saturday, October 3, 2009 2:00 am

MISSOULA - The Glacier defense forced six turnovers and the Wolfpack stunned the No. 3-ranked Missoula Sentinel 24-17 to claim its biggest Class AA football victory in program history on Friday. The Wolfpack (4-2) trailed 14-7 at halftime but came out and scored 17 unanswered points in the second half while the defense cuffed Sentinel's offense. "It was just beautiful how they rallied and stayed together and never quit," Glacier head coach Grady Bennett said. The defense shined for the second week in a row. They recovered two fumbles and intercepted four passes. Glacier held Sentinel to a field goal in the second half. Boyce Ballard, Justin Schenck, Brendan Hagen and Kyle Montini had interceptions for Glacier. "The story of this game tonight is our defense," Bennett said. "Even going down 14-7 at halftime, it kind of seemed like we were down 35-7. But our defense just settled in and the kids just kept making play after play after play." The night saw a number of first-time accomplishments for Glacier - first defensive touchdown, a 35-yard interception return by Ballard; first time beating a ranked opponent; first winning streak, now at two games. "It's so neat to watch these kids be a part of history," Bennett said. "This is so special. Every milestone, every moment is a new standard." Taylor Hart scored Glacier's first touchdown on a one-yard run in the opening quarter. Hart finished with 45 yards on 18 carries and Shay Smithwick-Hann totaled 108 yards on 13 carries. George Werk started the rally with a touchdown in the third quarter off a trick-play pass from Colter Hanson. Werk finished with three catches for 61 yards.

Spartans stunned: Upstart Wolfpack knocks off No. 3 Sentinel

By NICK LOCKRIDGE of the Missoulian | Posted: Saturday, October 3, 2009 12:10 am

vs Flathead
Missoula Sentinel receiver Ben Roberts stretches out for a reception against the Kalispell Glacier Wolfpack at Missoula County Stadium on Friday. Roberts made five receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown during Sentinel’s 24-17 loss to the Wolfpack.
Photo by KURT WILSON/Missoulian

Missoula Sentinel entered Friday's Class AA football game with one of the best defenses in the state. After 48 minutes, Kalispell Glacier was the one with bragging rights. The Wolfpack gave up two first-quarter scores to the third-ranked Spartans before clamping down on their homecoming hosts and rallying for a 24-17 victory at Missoula County Stadium. Junior linebacker Boyce Ballard returned an interception 35 yards for a score on the last play of the third quarter to give Glacier a 24-14 lead. The Wolfpack's Brendan Hagan kicked a tie-breaking field goal just eight seconds prior to the pick, which was one of four on the night for Glacier. "That's the first defensive touchdown in Glacier history, and it was a pick-six" said Shay Smithwick-Hann, the Pack's senior quarterback. "That was the turning point for us. They have a good defense and we had a tough time against their plan, but we kept after it." Glacier (4-2) tallied 261 yards of offense and 191 of that came on the ground, including 105 in the first half. Smithwick-Hann finished with 108 yards rushing and 43 through the air. His longest run, 66 yards, helped set up the Pack's first score. After that, it was pretty much all defense. "We didn't play well offensively," said Glacier coach Grady Bennett. "(The Spartans) took some things away that I thought we'd have. But holy smokes, give some credit to our defense." The Pack gave up just one scoring drive in the final three quarters, a 32-yard field by Sentinel's Justin Meyer that cut Glacier's lead to a TD with 2:26 to play. After the Spartans' defense forced a three-and-out, their offense started driving down the field with three straight completions by sophomore quarterback Riley King. But on first down from the Pack's 23-yard line, Hagan picked off King to seal the deal. "This is a big win," Smithwick-Hann said. "This puts us in the playoff picture. Our goal is to finish above .500 and make the playoffs. We've never had a winning season, we've never been in the playoffs. So this is good. Sentinel's going to be in the playoffs, too." King finished with 407 yards passing and a pair of touchdown passes, but he was also picked off four times. "Riley's been a helluva player for us, but you got to remember he's still a sophomore," said Sentinel offensive coordinator Dane Oliver. "We got to find a way to stop the bleeding." "I'm just so proud of those kids on the defensive side of the ball," Bennett said. The Spartans were held to just 54 yards rushing on 27 attempts, and fumbled twice in the second half. They had three drives end in the red zone in the first half after going up 14-7 - one was on a botched field-goal attempt. The Pack tied the score at 14-14 following a double pass from Smithwick-Hann to Colter Hanson to George Werk. King was 26-for-45 passing. His 14-yard toss to senior Brian Maus with 5:56 to play in the opening quarter gave the Spartans a 14-7 lead. King also hit junior Ben Roberts on a 65-yard TD pass on third down on Sentinel's first series. Roberts, the leading receiver in Class AA, finished with five receptions for 108 yards. He didn't have one catch in the second half.

Glacier 7 0 17 0 - 24
Sentinel 14 0 0 3 - 17

First quarter
S - Ben Roberts 65 pass from Riley King (Justin Meyer kick), 11:10.
G - Taylor Hart 1 run (Brendan Hagan kick), 8:57.
S - Brian Maus 14 pass from King (Meyer kick), 5:56.
Third quarter
G - George Werk 27 pass from Colter Hanson (Hagan kick), 9:03.
G - FG Hagan 24, :08.
G - Boyce Ballard 35 interception return (Hagan kick), :00.
Fourth quarter
S - FG Meyer 32, 2:26.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
RUSHING - Glacier (42-191): Shay Smithwick-Hann 13-108, Taylor Hart 18-45, Wiley Fusaro 10-36, George Werk 1-2. Sentinel: (27-54): Ryan Mutzenberger 17-43, Riley King 4-15, Tyler Jacobsen 1-1, Justin McManus 2-(-1), Jace Prideaux 3-(-4).
PASSING - Glacier: Smithwick-Hann 5-17-0-43, Colter Hanson 1-1-0-27. Sentinel: King 26-45-4-407.
RECEIVING - Glacier: Werk 3-61, Joshua Criner 1-9, Fusaro 1-1, Hart 1-(-1). Sentinel: Ben Roberts 5-108, Jacobsen 6-99, Connor Woodill 6-77, Prideaux 4-48, Mutzenberger 1-27, Brody Miller 2-24, Brian Maus 1-14, Tyler Ramos 1-10.