Forsyth, Montana (Oct. 6, 2023) — On Sept 29th, Forsyth ended Ekalaka’s three-game winning streak. A week earlier, Forsyth ended Park City’s two-game win streak. For the third consecutive week, the Dogies would face a surging team on a win streak.
This time, it would be the Lodge Grass Indians coming to town to put their three-game winning streak to the test against a Forsyth team that was 4-0 in league play and coming off a 50-12 beat down of playoff-bound Ekalaka. The Indians had a chance to exact some payback against the program that ruined the LGHS homecoming in 2022 with a dominant 76-0 win. Not an easy task, considering the senior experience of the Dogies backfield and the fact the prior two Forsyth victories were won by a combined score of 102-31 against quality opposition.
So on a very brisk and “perfect for football” Friday night at Riverside Park in Forsyth, the Indians and Dogies locked horns. Lodge Grass took the opening kickoff and started the game at their own 17-yard line with senior quarterback Myron Little Light back in the lineup but were not able to mount a sustained drive and were forced to punt.
Forsyth took possession at their own 23-yard line and worked their way down the field for a touchdown and 2-point conversion, relying heavily on their senior standouts at quarterback and running back.
The Indians, who played a clean Homecoming game with no turnovers against Lame Deer, then coughed up the football losing a fumble at their own 25-yard line, ultimately setting up a second rushing touchdown by the Dogies and an early 16-0 lead for Forsyth, who controlled the clock with their rushing offense and a quick first quarter ended with the 16-0 score.
The LG offense was mostly sputtering early as Forsyth was keying in on star senior running back Silas Howe and the Indians could not get a scoring drive put together.
The Dogies got the ball back on a turnover on downs but senior Todd Amyotte counted coups by recovering a fumble for the Indians, halting a Forsyth drive and setting Lodge Grass up at their own 35-yard line. Little Light immediately connected with senior Adriano Hugs for a 44-yard reception, setting up LG with a first and goal.
The Indians immediately gave up some ground with a holding penalty, which ultimately doomed the drive as they once again turned it over on downs, ending the LG scoring threat. The Dogies took over and punched it in the end zone with a 34-yard run and another 2-point conversion to stretch the lead to 24-0 at the 4:34 mark of the second quarter.
At this point of the game, many teams would have rolled over. The Indians, however, were far from done on the night.
Starting at their own 19-yard line, Myron Little Light engineered a 61-yard touchdown drive, highlighted by a 19-yard touchdown pass to Adriano Hugs with under a minute to play in the half. Hugs was then open but slipped and fell on the two-point conversion attempt.
Hugs had a total of four receptions and Todd Amyotte three receptions on the scoring drive as the Indians took to the air with their usually dangerous rushing attack stymied and Forsyth did not seem to have an answer. Given a bit of bruising but also with scrappy play, including an interception by Adriano Hugs that was nearly returned for a touchdown on the last play of the half. The Lodge Grass Indians trailed Forsyth 24-6 at the end of the first half.
The Dogies received the second half kickoff and while they methodically drove down the field, LG made them earn their yardage. Ultimately, the Dogies - sticking to their physical rushing attack - got the football in the end zone again and made it 4 out of 4 on the 2-point conversion attempts to take a commanding 32-6 lead.
Still battling, Lodge Grass started their next possession at their own 21-yard line and again Little Light began to connect with his downfield targets Todd Amyotte and Adriano Hugs, including a 20-yard touchdown strike to Hugs, who was catching passes even while covered and looked unstoppable. Silas Howe then battled his way to the end zone for the 2-pointer and the Indians pulled back to within 18 points at 32-14 with plenty of time to keep the rally going. To come back against the number one team in the Southeast Division, Lodge Grass would need their defense to make a stop.
The Orange Crush did just that.
Led by Silas Howe and the speedy Todd Amyotte, LG stopped the Dogies on fourth down and 2 inside their own 10-yard line and gave the ball back to Little Light and the LG offense, who were heating up, having scored touchdowns on back to back possessions.
On fourth and 15, deep inside their own territory, Little Light threw an interception looking for a downfield target but the Forsyth defensive back had the football stripped away by Adriano Hugs to keep possession with the Indians in an exciting sequence of events. LG began having difficulties with the shotgun snap to Little Light and the Indians offense essentially abandoned their rushing attack and the third quarter ended with Forsyth defending a 32-14 lead.
On a key fourth down play to open the fourth quarter, the Indians lost the football on a fumbled exchange in an attempt to run a reverse and Forsyth took over at the LG 21-yard line. The Indians defense held strong, forcing a 4th down and 17 from the 38-yard line, but the Dogies were able to get a huge touchdown on a pass.
Junior Dana Spotted Horse stopped the Forsyth runner on the 2-point conversion attempt so the Dogies would have to be happy with the now 38-14 lead. A bad snap on LG’s first offense play on the ensuing drive, the fourth turnover of the game for Lodge Grass, set up Forsyth with a first down at the Indians 14-yard line.
The wear and tear of defending the tough Dogies rushing attack was now getting to the Indians and Forsyth ran it in for another score and a 44-14 lead. Lodge Grass did stuff the rush attempt up the middle on the 2-point conversion attempt.
On LG’s next drive, quarterback Myron Little Light was knocked out of the game on a hit from Forsyth as he was delivering the football downfield. Freshman Keenan Flying, fresh off his 4-TD pass homecoming performance, was placed back into the lineup. Trouble with the snaps in the shotgun formation ultimately stymied the LG drive and they turned it over on downs at their own 9-yard line with 6:41 left in the game.
With their backs against the wall, the Orange Crush stepped up, big time, and stopped Forsyth again inside their own 10-yard line, triggered by a quarterback sack by sophomore Colvin Wyles. With the ball at their own 16-yard line, Flying hit Adriano Hugs with a 64-yard touchdown pass. Flying then connected with Colvin Wyles for the 2-point conversion to cut the lead to 44-22 with under 4 minutes to play.
Lodge Grass had one last highlight for the night as the Indians kicker executed a perfect onside kick that went exactly 10 yards and bounced straight back to an LG player. Flying, however, under threw his intended receiver on the very next play, which was intercepted and was the fifth turnover of the night for Lodge Grass.
Against a worn defense, Forsyth ran it down the field once more for a rushing touchdown and 2-point conversion to make it a final, 52-22, Dogies.
Lodge Grass battled hard and scored the most points against Forsyth of any team from the Southeast Division. The Indians were held to only 35 yards rushing, led by Silas Howe with 8 carries for 20 yards.
The offensive star for the orange and black was Adriano Hugs, who finished his career night with 8 catches for 185 yards and 3 touchdowns, to go along with an interception, forced fumble and fumble recovery.