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Victory bell rings for Yellowjackets

Stevensville’s Chris Bergman stiff arms Libby’s Dylon Lane during the Stevensville Homecoming game. Stevi won, 33-25. Jean Schurman photo

Stevensville’s Chris Bergman stiff arms Libby’s Dylon Lane during the Stevensville Homecoming game. Stevi won, 33-25. Jean Schurman photo

The Yellowjackets rang the bell Friday night, with each player taking a turn at ringing the big bell that sits in front of the grandstand at Stevensville. The Yellowjackets held off Libby to win their Homecoming, 33-25.

Coach Hank Praast was pleased with his team’s performance in the first half and said that was the way they needed to play the entire game.

“We scored 33 points (in the first half) and then we kind of took the foot off the pedal just a little too much.”

The Yellowjackets are down to only 30 players due to attrition, injuries and ineligibility. All state player Jesse Sims didn’t suit up due to a wrist injury but he is expected to be back next week for the start of conference play. Zach Gavlak went down in the third quarter when he tweaked his ankle but he did return. He finished the game with 106 yards receiving on six receptions. He had a two-yard scoring run and a 27-yard touchdown pass from Jared Schultz.

Schultz also was not at 100 percent. Praast said Schultz was still recovering from a tough tackle last week and was pretty bruised up. Schultz had 191 yards in the air. He also scored the final ‘Jacket touchdown on a one-yard plunge.

Kyle Behner found the end zone first for Stevensville on a one-yard run. Behner finished the night with 62 yards rushing. He scored again late in the second quarter on a five yard run.

Chris Bergman kicked three PATs. Praast said that with the diminished numbers and youth of the team, seniors like Bergman were playing almost every down and didn’t get much rest.

“We are getting in shape, playing all the time,” he said. “The kids told me early on that it was our job to get to the playoffs. That’s what we’re working for.”

Hamilton defeated Frenchtown, 43-12, in the ‘battle of the Broncs’. Although Frenchtown scored first, Hamilton came back to score all 43 points before Frenchtown scored again. Josh Bauder of Hamilton took control of the offense. He threw for two touchdowns – a two yard pass to Alex Draper and a 23 yard pass to Adam Smith – and finished with 268 yards in the air on 29 passes. Smith also scored on a 38 yard run in the fourth quarter. Matt Turley had two scoring runs, one for 10 yards and the second on a one-yard plunge. Karill Apedaile hit all but one PAT and also kicked two field goals, one for 39 yards and the second for 34 yards.

While Stevensville got to ring their victory bell, Victor’s cannon was once again booming in Victor. The cannon, which set idle at the last home game, made its appearance sitting in a makeshift galleon on the side of the street. (It was Homecoming in Victor and the galleon was a float.) The Pirates scored four straight touchdowns in the second half to defeat Philipsburg, 38-20, in Western C action.

Matt Kittel completed 50 percent of his 36 passes and threw for 286 yards. He had one interception. He also carried the ball 12 times and had 64 yards rushing and one five yard scoring run. Kittel hit Nate Bishop from eight yards out for the first Pirate touchdown. He also connected with freshman Jesse Pearson from 22 yards out and seven yards out, Brady Tuttle from 15 yards out, and Bryce Krout from 20 yards out.  Victor improved to 3-1 in conference and overall play.

Darby fell to Superior, 72-26. Joe Caicedo had scoring runs of seven, 16 and 57 yards. Garrett McCormack scored a touchdown from two yards out.

Florence lost to Eureka, 28-7. Bryce Cobbs scored the Falcons’ only touchdown on a four yard run.

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