Broadus, Montana (Sept. 15) — There is a billboard that says “Stay in Wavin’ Broadus” and the Powder River County Hawks were seemingly all too happy to welcome the Lodge Grass Indians to serve as their 2023 homecoming opponent.
Riding a two-game winning streak against their old Southern 3-B rivals - the average margin of victory was nearly 30 points in those two Hawk victories. The Broadus cheerleaders even diplomatically welcomed the Crow Reservation boys in their native language with a sign reading Itchik Daloom to wave in - for the first time since 2019 - the Indians of Lodge Grass to Broadus for a high school football game.
Notably, the last time Broadus hosted LGHS in football was in 2019 when the Indians stomped the Hawks 46-8 in a hard-hitting game which prompted the officials to ask Lodge Grass to not play so rough.
Broadus came into the 2023 contest at 0-3, having lost home games to a resurgent Plentywood team (40-0) and conference rival Forsyth (22-8), along with a pelting at Fairview, 75-8. The Indians, meanwhile, battled valiantly last week against the Carter County (Ekalaka) Bulldogs under the Friday night lights of Lodge Grass but 5 turnovers spelled doom in a 50-32 loss to open the season.
For the Hawks and Indians, somebody’s “O” would have to go.
Broadus struck first and got on the scoreboard early with the first of the game’s many big plays, a long pass to a streaking tight end, followed by a successful 2-point conversion. The Indians bounced back with a sustained drive resulting in a 7-yard touchdown rush by senior running back Silas Howe to draw within 8-6.
LG subsequently gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown and then fumbled the resulting kickoff from Broadus, very quickly dissolving the momentum gained from Howe’s touchdown run and putting Broadus up 22-6, which after a bit of ratcheting down by both teams, was the score at the end of the first quarter.
The Indians opened the second quarter with another Silas Howe rushing touchdown, this time from 1-yard out, to draw within 22-12. The 2-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful. Broadus quickly answered with another touchdown pass to pad the Hawk lead to 30-12.
Yet another LG turnover, this time an interception, followed by another Broadus touchdown on a quarterback keeper, put the Hawks up 36-12 with plenty of time remaining in the second quarter.
At this point in the game, the Indians defense, a key in all Lodge Grass victories and the heart of the LGHS Ironman football tradition, began to stiffen. Defensive playmakers included junior Alonzo Little Nest with a quarterback sack, junior Myron Backbone with a fumble recovery and senior John Nomee with an interception - all of which were enough to stymie the Hawks offense and there was no further scoring in the quarter as Broadus took a 36-12 lead into the half.
Lodge Grass opened the second half with an excellent offensive drive, but a lost fumble on the Hawks 1-yard line, the third LG turnover of the night, ended the Indians scoring threat.
Senior playmaker Todd Amyotte stole the football right back with a fumble recovery near midfield, stopping a Broadus drive. On offense, Amyotte then made a 23-yard circus catch while laying on the ground after senior quarterback Myron Little Light’s pass bounced off of the back of the Hawk defender’s helmet.
However, yet another costly turnover (an interception) ended the Lodge Grass drive. The Indians defense, playing stronger and stronger as the beautiful early autumn evening wore on, kept Broadus in check. Sophomore Hunter Kindness registered a quarterback sack to highlight the defensive efforts as the quarter came to a close with no scoring by either team.
Many teams, down by 24 points going into the final 12 minutes would fold and crumble. The Lodge Grass Indians are made of different stuff and a key drive-ending fourth down stop of a Broadus drive at the LG 23-yard line shifted momentum heavily in the Indians favor.
Silas Howe capped off an impressive drive with a 5-yard touchdown rush, his third of the game, to draw the Indians within 36-18, however Lodge Grass could not get the critical 2-point conversion which would have closed the game to within two possessions.
The LG defense, now wavin’ in the challenge presented by the Broadus offense, provided another stop and forced the Hawks to punt. The Indians then marched 65 yards down the field, highlighted by a shifty 20-yard run by the speedy Howe, and culminating in a 4-yard Howe touchdown run (his fourth of the night) and a successful 2-point conversion by Howe closed the gap to within 10, at 36-26.
By this time, the clock became a major factor and Lodge Grass simply ran out of time in their comeback attempt, falling short 36-26, but LG scored the game’s final 14 points and held Broadus scoreless for over two and a half quarters.
Lodge Grass, now 0-2 on the season, suited out a total of 23 players against Broadus and were injury-free. The Indians will play next at burgeoning rival Plenty Coups on Monday, Sept. 18 with a 4 p.m. kickoff in Pryor in what the Crow Country Sports Network has deemed the “Mountain Crow Bowl”.
Broadus (1-3) will travel to Ekalaka (2-1) to take on the Bulldogs on Sept. 22.