Savage Heat top Heart Butte; VC next foe

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  • Nancy Winebrenner sells raffle tickets before the Hot Springs-Heart Butte football game last Friday night. Hot Springs is a Pink Ribbon Facility in observation of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. The gift baskets shown will be given away this Saturday, when the Lady Savage Heat host Charlo for Senior Night. (Joe Sova/Clark Fork Valley Press)

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    Hot Springs seniors, Tyler Carr (21) and Tyler Knudsen (32), team up to tackle Clifftin Bullshoe of Heart Butte during the Savage Heat’s Homecoming game. Hot Springs scored five times in the opening quarter en route to a 50-7 victory. (Joe Sova/Clark Fork Valley Press)

  • Nancy Winebrenner sells raffle tickets before the Hot Springs-Heart Butte football game last Friday night. Hot Springs is a Pink Ribbon Facility in observation of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. The gift baskets shown will be given away this Saturday, when the Lady Savage Heat host Charlo for Senior Night. (Joe Sova/Clark Fork Valley Press)

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    Hot Springs seniors, Tyler Carr (21) and Tyler Knudsen (32), team up to tackle Clifftin Bullshoe of Heart Butte during the Savage Heat’s Homecoming game. Hot Springs scored five times in the opening quarter en route to a 50-7 victory. (Joe Sova/Clark Fork Valley Press)

It was a nice evening for early October in Hot Springs last Friday, but lighting bolts were prevalent during the first quarter while the Savage Heat were hosting Heart Butte in Hot Springs’ Homecoming game.

The Savage Heat generated five touchdowns in the first six-and-a-half minutes of game clock time, building a 35-0 lead and rolling to a 52-7 non-conference victory.

Record-wise, it was Hot Springs’ second win of the day, since Lincoln — the originally scheduled opponent — is forfeiting the Lynx’s games since early in the second.

Therefore, the Savage Heat are 5-1 in the Western Division of Class C 8-man football — with White Sulphur Springs and West Yellowstone also sitting with one loss each. Noxon and Valley Christian are now tied for fourth place in the league.

White Sulphur Springs outscored Valley Christian 42-28 last weekend.

NOXON HAS a tough schedule to finish the regular season. The Red Devils host West Yellowstone this Friday for Senior Night at 7 p.m., then they play a critcal game Friday, Oct. 19 against Valley Christian in Alberton.

Hot Springs also has a key game this Friday as the Savage Heat face Valley Christian in Alberton at 7 p.m. Hot Springs caps the regular season Friday, Oct. 19 against Lima for Senior Night at 7 p.m.

“I’m pretty if we win we’ll make the playoffs,” Hot Springs head coach Jim Lawson said of Friday’s game against Valley Christian. “There are five of us fighting for four playoff spots. Our playoff fate will be determined on the last week (of the regular season).”

HOT SPRINGS is preparing for a very competitive game against Valley Christian, the school from Missoula, which is led by 195-pound senior quarterback Branson Becker.

“Valley Christian is a good football team. They have some weapons,” Lawson said, and Becker gives VC the option to run or pass.”

Becker is the younger brother of Colton Becker, who was one the best players in the state when the played at Valley Christian.

“Tackling is going to be huge this week, and pressure in the backfield and covering the receivers,” Lawson said.

Lawson was pleased with his team’s play from the opening kickoff against Heart Butte.

“We got off to a fast start again,” the coach said. “We had some defensive touchdowns. It was a well-rounded effort for us.”

Hot Springs scored on a two-play, 35-second drive on its first possession as Tyler Knudsen ran a sweep from 15 yards out. Brandon Knudsen ran for the one-point conversion.

Luke Waterbury ran four yards for a second Hot Springs TD on a fourth-down play. Tyler Knudsen kicked the conversion.

On the first play of Heart Butte’s next possession, Carr picked off a Warriors pass and returned it 16 yards for a touchdown.

AFTER A Heart Butte punt, Hot Springs scored its fourth TD on a 4-yard run by Kyle Lawson. Bert DeTienne caught the conversion pass from Brandon Knudsen.

Knudsen then intercepted an overthrown aerial deep downfield, circled around and returned the pick 40 yards for a Savage Heat touchdown. Jack McAllister’s conversion run extended the bulge to 35-0 with 3:30 left in the opening quarter.

In the second period, Hot Springs scored on a safety after a Savage Heat turnover inside the Warriors’ 5-yard-line, and added a TD on a 5-yard McAllister keeper. Brandon Knudsen passed to Jesse Uski for the conversion and a 44-0 halftime lead.

Kyle Lawson scored on a 58-yard run in the third quarter, and Heart Butte finally got on the board in the final period. Hot Springs added a safety in the final minute.

“We got a lot of kids involved,” coach Lawson said. “We held them (the Warriors) in check. A lot of kids scored for us.”

Brandon Kundsen paced the Savage Heat defense with nine tackles, and he intercepted three Heart Butte passes.

The Heat have been forcing numerous turnovers in recent games. “They’ve (the defensive backfield) been covering really well,” Lawson said.

Junior Nick Costa sat out last Friday’s game due to a knee sprain, and will likely not return to action until the Oct. 19 game against Lima, or for the first round of the playoffs.

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