Montgomery beats Bucktail for first win in 21 games
FARWELL?- Losing 21 consecutive games is a tough thing for a football team to go through. Snapping a 21-game losing streak might be even tougher.
Maybe that’s why Montgomery’s head coach, Tom Persing, looked a little teary-eyed but refreshed, following the post-game Gatorade shower he received from his players Friday night.
Montgomery topped Bucktail, 12-8, earning the program’s first win since the Red Raiders beat Hughesville in Week 5 of 2011.
“The kids deserved every bit of it,” Persing said. “They work hard, and put the time in. We only have 19 kids, but all 19 of them are at practice every day.”
“I told them if they work hard and do what they have to do, the wins and losses will take care of themselves.”
Montgomery’s hard work ethic and intensity paid off early, as the Red Raiders strung together a 12-play, 7 minute drive that led to the game’s first touchdown when Tyler Betz scampered to the end zone on a 13-yard carry.
That drive seemed to take some of the emotion and energy out of the Bucks early on.
“That is what we try to do. We can’t out-power anybody, because we aren’t big enough. We are designed to keep the ball moving and keep the chains moving,” said Persing.
“We figure if we can keep the other team’s offense off the field we have a shot at playing teams close and being competitive. It’s starting to work well for us.”
Throughout the second quarter the Buck’s slowly began to establish their run game, which was largely focused around quarterback sweeps from their speedy field general, Trent Risley, who had 100 rushing yards.
Risley’s ability to pass the ball was limited by the rainy weather, but he was able to heave a 30-yard scoring touchdown to William Hopkins with 2:15 left in the second quarter, which gave the Buck’s an 8-6 lead at half, following a successful two-point conversion.
Revitalized, the Buck’s emerged from the locker room looking like a new team in the second half, dominating throughout much of the third and fourth quarter.
But the Red Raiders refused to go down without a fight.
On the tail-end of what would have been a great 12-play drive for the Buck’s in the fourth quarter, Montgomery took advantage when Risley fumbled the ball at the Red Raider’s 5-yard line, and ended the drive in its tracks.
“Fortunately they held tough and played big when it counted. They did what they needed to do to hold them off,” said Persing.
The ensuing drive for Montgomery was capped by a bruising 30-yard touchdown run from Kobe Gallentine with just two minutes left in the game, which sealed the win for the Red Raiders.
“Hopefully this continues, but we are going to enjoy this win,” Persing said. “Some of these kids have never seen a win, so it’s great for them.”