Herders capitalize late, win 15-7 in season opener

If the first Friday night football game wasn’t hyped by parents, students, teachers and players enough, why not add a little drama to the mix? That’s what the Sweet Grass County High School players decided to do in their Aug. 25 season-opener against Roundup.

With the clock ticking away, the Herders (1-0) managed to convert on third- and fourth-down numerous times, able to score twice and ultimately hand Roundup (0-1) its first loss of the season, 15-7. Head coach J.V. Moody believed it was just the second time in the past 10 years the Herders had won their season opener. 

“It was a defensive battle,” Moody said. “We couldn’t get our short passing game going. They seemed to have an answer for everything. But our strongest point was our defense. When the fourth quarter came around, we were still rearing to go.”

Despite the lack of an aerial assault, Blake Finn managed to go 9-for-18, with 124 yards, a touchdown and just one interception. John Rennie made his presence felt out of the backfield, as he rushed for 104 yards on 22 carries and another score. 

After the Herders were first on the board, thanks to a 26-yard score from Finn to Casey Gunlickson, Roundup came back for their only — and rather lengthy — lead of the game, a 16-yard strike from Brody Grebe to Kelson Eiselein, with 10 minutes remaining in the first half, making it 7-6. 

That’s when both defenses took control. 

For the Herders, they wouldn’t find the end zone, but the eventual lead, until 6:31 left in the game, when Rennie punched it in from a yard out. After failing to convert the 2-point conversion, the Herders led just 12-7, and the game still on the line.

For more of this story, pick up a copy of this week’s Big Timber Pioneer on newsstands now, or subscribe online at bigtimberpioneer.net.

BOX SCORE

Sweet Grass County 15, Roundup 7

At Roundup

Score by Quarters

SGHS 6 0 0 9 — 15

RND 0 7 0 0 — 7

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

SGHS — Casey Gunlickson 26 yard pass from Blake Finn (PAT no good), :29.

Second Quarter

RND — Kelson Eiselein 16 yard pass from Brody Grebe (Ryder Klein kick), 10:10.

Third Quarter 

No Scoring.

Fourth Quarter

SGHS — John Rennie 1 yard rush (2-pt conversion failed), 6:31.

SGHS — Junior Mosness 29 yard field goal, 4:15.

TEAM STATISTICS

SGHS RND

Rsh-yds 34-131 32-234

Comp-Att-Int

9-18-1 6-14-3

Passing 124 41

Total Off. 255 275

Fmb-lost 2-0 1-1

Pen-yds 4-25 10-81

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

RUSHING — SGHS: John Rennie 22-104, Blake Finn 8-12, Orry Carroccia 3-10 Casey Gunlickson 1-5; RND: Brody Grebe 17-156, MaKale Kembel 5-42, Jared Robinson 9-33, Ryder Klein 1-3.

PASSING — SGHS: Finn 9-18-1-124; RND: Grebe 6-12-1-41, Tanner Rae 0-2-0-0

RECEIVING — SGHS: Gunlickson 2-62, Hayden Mosness 2-26, Carroccia 3-17, Jason Smith 1-16, Rennie 1-3; RND: Kelson Eiselein 3-32, Kembel 2-9, Klein 1-0. 

By STEPHEN KALB-KOENIGSFELD / Pioneer Staff Writer

 

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