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Red-hot Hawks zero in on playoff bid


October 17, 2019

John Hamilton

HERE COME THE BLUE HAWKS! The Thompson Falls Blue Hawks take the field running through a homecoming banner at Previs Field Friday. Hawks play a rare Thursday game at Troy this week.

Zeroing in on an 8-Man football playoff bid, the Thompson Falls Blue Hawks cannot afford to falter now.

Sitting in a tie for second place with Mission (both teams are 5-1 in Western Conference play and 6-1 overall), the Hawks hit the road this week for a rare Thursday night game at 1-5, 1-5 Troy, while Mission hosts 4-2, 5-2 Flint Creek in a crucial league tilt Friday.

When you are in the middle of a fight for playoff position, every game becomes critical, especially when you are also battling a points-allowed tiebreaker, which is being used in the 8-Man ranks this season.

"We want to keep the fire, to keep playing hard the rest of the way, we cannot afford to let down now," Blue Hawk coach Jared Koskela said. "I have a feeling that Troy will be ready for us, it would make their season if they could knock us off."

Sitting at 1-5 in conference play, the Trojans will have had two weeks to prepare for the Hawks as Troy is coming off a bye week.

The Hawks reached this point in the season with another conference win Friday, pummeling the visiting Charlo Vikings 57-18 on homecoming night at Previs Field.

The Hawks built a 42-12 lead by halftime and then survived some second-half shenanigans by the visiting Vikings to post the win. Some questionable tackling techniques by Charlo, at the Charlo coach's behest, led to one unsportmanslike penalty on a player and eventually to the ejection of the visiting coach.

"It got a little weird there at the end," Koskela said. "Emotions were running a little high, I will say that."

Nate Wilhite scored Thompson Falls' first touchdown of the evening on a three-yard run with 8:19 left in the first quarter.

After Charlo answered with a fine 44-yard touchdown pass from Wrangler Gaustad to Braydon Zempel, Brandon Zimmerman took the ensuing kickoff, spun out of a tackle in front of the Hawk bench and sprinted down the sideline to complete the 63-yard scoring play to put the Hawks back in the lead.

Zimmerman scored again on a 14-yard run before the first quarter ended and

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the Hawks went into the second period with a 22-6 lead.

John Hamilton

UTILIZING A BLOCK from teammate Justin Miller, Hawk running back Roman Sparks looks for yardage against Charlo.

Roman Sparks scored a touchdown on a two-yard run and then caught a 10-yard pass from Trey Fisher for another score before Fisher added a five-yard scoring run of his own as Thompson Falls built the lead to the halftime margin of 42-12.

Wilhite added another touchdown on a four-yard run and Trae Thilmony caught a 15-yard scoring toss from Sparks to complete Thompson Falls scoring in the second half.

Fisher wound up rushing for 134 yards on 11 carries, Wilhite added 92 yards on 14 totes, Sparks 31 yards on seven carries, Justin Miller 16 on three and Zimmerman 14 on two.

Defensively, Fisher had 11 tackles including a quarterback sack, Matt Duplechain also had 11 tackles, Thilmony seven, Wilhite and Sparks six each, Zimmerman four and Derek Andersen and Brad Lantz three apiece.


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