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Blue Hawks shock Cats 42-0

 

September 10, 2020

Courtesy Photo

THOMPSON FALLS SENIORS Celebrate the Hawks' 42-0 win over Clark Fork in Superior Friday. Cody Burk, Derek Andersen, Roman Sparks, Dane Chojnacky, Kade Paredee and Lucas Andersen enjoy the moment before loading the bus for the ride home.

Thompson Falls coach Jared Koskela didn't quite know what to expect taking his 1-0 Hawks into battle against 1-0 Clark Fork in Superior Friday, but he did expect a battle as Clark Fork was rated No. 3 in the initial Montana 8-Man rankings.

Revamping his defensive scheme to take away Clark Fork's vaunted passing attack, the No. 7 Hawks stunned the homestanding Mountain Cats 42-0 to score a key early-season Western Conference win.

By early this week, the Hawks were now ranked No. 4 and the Cats had fallen all the way down to No. 9.

Koskela said several things factored into the Hawks' favor once the game got underway.

"We studied them on film from last year and switched some things up," he said. "Then we went out and shocked their system, were able to take away a few things they like to do. By the second half they were wore out, and we dominated the line of scrimmage.

"Our line abused their line," he added, "and that was the main difference in the game."

The big Hawk win built up like a late-summer thunderstorm, gaining ferocity as the game played on. After taking an 8-0 lead when Derek Andersen scored on a one-yard fumble return in the first quarter, Roman Sparks then scored on a 5-yard run in the second quarter to give Thompson Falls a 14-0 lead at the half.

The Blue Hawks stormed out to two more TDs – the first on a 51-yard run by Kade Pardee and the second on a 4-yard jaunt by Sparks to increase the lead to 28-0 by the end of the third quarter. Another touchdown run by Sparks, on a 39-yard jaunt, and 9-yard scoring run by Elijah Ratliff produced the final scoring in Thompson Falls' 42-0 win.

Pardee and Ratliff were playing their first games of the season and both played large roles.

A senior, Pardee split time at quarterback with Sparks and completed 3 of 3 passes for 33 yards besides rushing for 154 yards and scoring the touchdown. A sophomore, Ratliff was key to shutting down Clark Fork QB Brian Mask and the Mountain Cat passing attack, pulling down a team-high eight tackles and intercepting Mask once.

Lucas Andersen added five tackles (including three quarterback sacks) and another interception, Derek Andersen made seven tackles and Trae Thilmony four, with three sacks.

Playing the other half of the QB position, Sparks completed 4 of 8 passes for 26 yards, in addition to picking up another 117 yards on 17 carries.

Jordy Fisher ran the ball seven times for 26 yards, Thilmony six for 24, Ratliff two for 21, Nathan Schraeder one for eight yards and Max Hannum one for five yards.

Thilmony caught two passes for 27 yards, Derek Andersen two for 17, Lucas Andersen two for nine yards and Sparks one for six.

The Hawks continue their Western Conference schedule this week hosting Seeley-Swan at Previs Field Friday night at 7 p.m.

 

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