Herders come down to the wire with No. 4 Manhattan

For the past two weeks, a pair of top-5 teams in Class B football have come to Big Timber and left in unnerving fashion. No. 4 Manhattan had the latest taste of near defeat, as it escaped with a narrow victory against upset-minded Big Timber, 24-22 on Sept. 8.

With two opportunities to take the lead, the Tiger defense remained stout with its back against the wall. An early-game injury to Junior Mosness — who was consequently the best kicker for the Herders (1-2, 0-1 Southern Region) — forced the Herders’ hand to go for it on two respective fourth-down plays, resulting in zero points. 

SGHS did all the small things right — win the turnover battle 2-1 and remained fairly disciplined, committing five penalties for 51 yards compared to the Tigers’ 10 penalties for 102 yards — but were outmatched in the end. 

“[The program is] changing, it’s changing for the better,” said Herder head coach J.V. Moody. “Again, we preach toughness and the kids bring it. And it’s top to bottom. We got some bad breaks, but it is what it is. We’ve got to eliminate the mistakes and the turnovers, but once we do that, we’re going to have a complete package.”

The lone Herder interception came on a tipped ball from SGHS quarterback Blake Finn. It came with 2:04 left in the third quarter, just minutes after Manhattan (2-0, 1-0 Southern Region) took the lead 18-14. With the ball on their own 40 yard line, Josh Neth picked the ball off at his own 48 yard line. The ensuing drive led to a touchdown and a 24-14 deficit. 

PHOTO GALLERY: Take a look at the best shots from the Herders' narrow defeat against the Tigers. 

Finn said better execution and limiting false starts and tipped balls will help the Herders find that ‘complete package.’

Manhattan ran a lot of motion plays, with dual-set tailbacks and counter plays — and a couple option plays mixed in — which provided a much different kind of challenge than what Colstrip brought to Big Timber.

“It was definitely a challenge, and we watched a lot of film,” Finn said. “We just have to be more physical than them and be in the right spot. We had a lot of next-man-up kind of guys.”

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.


No. 4 Manhattan 24,
Sweet Grass County 22

At Big Timber

Score by Quarters

MAN 6 6 6 6 — 24

SGHS 0 14 0 8 — 22

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

MAN — Cal Holgate 1-yard pass from Jake Dyk (KICK no good), 2:31.

Second Quarter

MAN — Holgate 57-yard pass from Dyk (2-pt conversion failed), 6:12.

SGHS — Blake Finn 8-yard run (Hayden Mosnesss 2-pt conversion pass), 4:34.

SGHS — Mosness 16-yard pass from Finn (2-pt conversion failed), 0:31.

Third Quarter 

MAN — Michael Nehring 9-yard pass from Dyk (2-pt conversion failed), 3:17.

Fourth Quarter

MAN — Nehring 8-yard pass from Holgate (2-pt conversion failed), 9:51.

SGHS — Orry Carroccia 33-yard catch from Finn (Mosness 2-pt conversion pass), 7:04.



Rsh-yds 30-59 40-160


13-28-1 17-34-1

Passing 269 218

Total Off. 328 378

Fmb-lost 0-0 1-1

Pen-yds 5-51 10-102


RUSHING — SGHS: Nathan Baker 15-41, Blake Finn, 4-13, Hayden Mosness 2-4, John Rennie 4-4, Orry Carroccia 2-(-1), Casey Gunlickson 3-(-2); MAN: Clay Johnson 24-97, Cal Holgate 8-35, Tracer Stone 2-14, Jake Dyk 5-12, Josh Neth 1-2.

PASSING — SGHS: Finn 11-22-2-228, Dawson Laverell 1-3-0-7, Gunlickson 1-1-0-34; MAN: Dyk 16-33-3-210, Holgate 1-1-1-8.

RECEIVING — SGHS: Carroccia 3-109, Mosness 6-101, Gunlickson 2-40, Baker 1-19, Rennie 1-0; MAN: Holgate 6-114, Nehring 5-43, Neth 3-28, Stone 1-12, Johnson 1-12, Nathan VanDyke 1-9.

PHOTO CAPTION: Hayden Mosness (10) celebrates with John Rennie (44) and Nolan Johnston (82) after catching a 16-yard touchdown pass to take a 14-12 lead against No. 4 Manhattan on Sept. 8. (Stephen Kalb-Koenigsfeld / Big Timber Pioneer)




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