Lodge Grass, Montana (Sept. 29) — Just as the Lodge Grass community was basking in the glow of the beautiful autumn Friday morning and the school spirit-lifting sights of the homecoming parade, the bad news came.
Due to what the Saint Labre Braves Facebook page referred to as “unforeseen circumstances," the surging Lodge Grass Indians were having the rug pulled out from under them. With no homecoming opponent, the excited fan base would have to wait and the perfect fall weather would not be celebrated with high school football. And then the good news came: Lame Deer was willing to play Lodge Grass again.
On just a few hours notice, the Morning Stars, fresh of a 60-point loss to the same Lodge Grass team, were willing to travel to play again. Like Joe Frazier, who was willing to step in the ring again with George Foreman after getting knocked down six times the first time, Lame Deer was up for a rematch. And, after all, what better way to get back at the team that spoiled your homecoming than by spoiling theirs.
Kick-off was pushed back one hour 7 p.m., the tailgate fires were lit, and a perfect evening for football in Lodge Grass would actually feature football.
So far this season, the Lodge Grass offense has been led by seniors Silas Howe, Myron Little Light and Todd Amyotte. However, starting quarterback Little Light would not suit out for homecoming due to an injury suffered in the first matchup against the Morning Stars.
Stepping into the role of quarterback would be freshman Keenan Flying, who did well in relief for Little Light in the second half at Lame Deer. A seemingly tall order for Flying considering the revenge factor facing a team you had just embarrassed a week earlier and the pressure of a large hometown crowd expecting highlights. Overall, quite a stage had been set for the LGHS Friday night lights under the full moon and perfect 50-something degree temperatures.
Immediately, Lame Deer came out trying to establish itself physically by running the football, but with limited success as the Lodge Grass defense stood firm and, similar to the first matchup, forced a turnover on downs in the Stars opening drive.
The Indians took over and Silas Howe made things eerily similar to the first game with a 54-yard touchdown run that was, as goes the similarity theme, called back due to a holding penalty. Freshman Keenan Flying showed early he was up to the challenge and threw two would be touchdown darts to Todd Amyotte that were both uncharacteristically dropped, ultimately forcing a turnover on towns.
Lame Deer took over at their own 33-yard line, but the Indians defense did not budge and the Stars were forced to punt, giving it up to LG to start at their own 28-yard line.
The first quarter ended scoreless with Lodge Grass in possession of the football and driving.
The Indians got on the scoreboard early in the second quarter with a 14-yard Todd Amyotte reverse sweep. Lame Deer but could not get anything cooking on offense and attempted a punt fake that was gobbled up by the LG defense.
Lodge Grass then moved the football effectively on the ground with Silas Howe and junior running back Dana Spotted Horse, and a key fourth down conversion on a pass completion to receiver Adriano Hugs kept the drive alive. Flying then connected with Todd Amyotte for a 20-yard touchdown with a perfect throw into the back of the end zone. It was then Flying to Hugs for the 2-point conversion and 14-0 lead.
Lodge Grass forced another Morning Stars punt and Keenan Flying threw his second touchdown pass of the night to Todd Amyotte, scoring his third touchdown, this time a 21-yarder, to put LG up 20-0. Lame Deer put together an effective drive and threatened to score before the half ended, but the Lodge Grass defense held and the Indians took the 20-0 lead into the half.
Lodge Grass received the kickoff to open the second half and the offensive fireworks continued, including a 36-yard strike from Flying to Amyotte, setting up a 10-yard touchdown pass from Flying to Amyotte, his fourth, and a Silas Howe 2-pointer to put the Indians up 28-0. The rout, once again, was officially on.
Lame Deer then drove down to the LG 10-yard line, but the Orange Crush was too much for the Stars. Triggered by sacks and tackles for loss and led by senior Sean Turns Plenty, along with Todd Amyotte, the Indians stopped the Morning Stars on downs at their own 15-yard line with a quarterback sack that could have been credited to three different Indians.
Two plays later, Flying threw his fourth touchdown pass of the night, a 65-yard bomb to Adriano Hugs, and once again Silas Howe put the cherry on the icing with a 2-point conversion, setting the game clock into mercy mode, 36-0.
In a relatively short fourth quarter, Adriano Hugs added to his best game of the season with an interception. Lodge Grass’s Silas Howe scored from 30 yards out on a toss sweep and with a successful 2-point conversion the Indians set the scoreboard at 44-0, which mercifully was the final score.
The Indians defense played very well, and, as all good defenses do, got better as the game wore on.
Very importantly, for the first time this season LG did not turn the football over and on offense showed a diverse array of weaponry to complement the Star running back Silas Howe.
Standing out was freshman Keenan Flying, who did extraordinarily well with not only managing the offense, but as quarterback made some excellent throws and may very well get the start against the conference-leading Forsyth on Oct. 6. The Dogies are coming off a 50-12 win over Ekalaka, a team that defeated LG, 52-30, in the season opener, and are, perhaps, the biggest football rival for the Lodge Grass Indians.