St. Regis-Mullan football rolls to easy win

| November 4, 2020 12:00 AM

By CHUCK BANDEL

Valley Press

In Idaho eight-man football, teams play on a regulation 100-yard field as opposed to the 80-yard fields used in Montana and the trio of Tigers which spearheads the St. Regis, Montana co-op team with Mullan, Idaho uses every yard of it in a 58-14 thrashing of Clark Fork, Idaho, Friday afternoon in Mullan.

Before the visiting Wampus Cats gained a first down, the triple-threat backfield which has propelled the Tigers to a lofty No. 2 ranking in Idaho eight-man football this season, had clawed its way to a 28-0 lead.

Things went bad for the visiting Wampus Cats from the opening kickoff, which was fumbled and recovered by St. Regis/Mullan on the Clark Fork 6.

On third-and-goal from the 1, junior running back Luke Trogden broke through the Wampus defenders for a touchdown with 10:12 remaining in the opening quarter. Sophomore quarterback Caleb Ball ran a successful two-point after touchdown try giving the hosts an 8-0 lead.

Following the ensuing kickoff, the swarming Tigers’ defense forced a punt, giving them the ball on the Clark Fork 46. Two plays later Trogden threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to fellow running back Adam Ball.

A missed extra point try left the Tigers with a 14-0 lead just under four minutes into the game.

Clark Fork was once again unable to move the ball and punted for a second time, this one a muffed punt that put the Tigers in business on the Wampus Cat 40.

Several plays later Caleb Ball raced around end on his way to a 20-yard touchdown run, which, along with a successful two-point PAT boosted the St. Regis/Mullan squad to a 22-0 lead with just under six minutes to play in the opening stanza.

For the third possession in a row, the Tigers’ defense forced a Clark Fork punt. With just over two minutes to play in the quarter, Caleb Ball broke free on a 36-yard touchdown run, giving St. Regis/Mullan a 28-0 lead as time ran out in the first quarter.

After once again being forced to punt, Clark Fork’s beleaguered defense held and forced the Tigers to punt from their own 5. A penalty on the Tigers set the Wampus Cats up with the ball on their own 10 yard line, where two plays later Clark Fork got on the scoreboard with an 8-yard touchdown run. The PAT run was good, cutting the Tigers lead to 28-8.

St. Regis/Mullan got the ball on its 40 after the kickoff. Luke Trogden sprinted through and around a host of defenders for a 48-yard touchdown scamper that put the Tigers in front 36-8 with seven minutes to go in the half.

Clark Fork opened the second half with an onside kick attempt that was jumped on by the Tigers, whom appeared to score from 50 yards out. That touchdown run was wiped out by a penalty on the home team.

However, the Tigers regrouped and quickly moved toward the Clark Fork end zone, a drive capped by a 10-yard TD run by Riley Trogden that boosted the Tigers’ lead to 42-8 with just under two minutes gone in the third quarter.

Riley Trogden, a standout senior defense back, halted the ensuing Clark Fork drive when he intercepted a pass at the St. Regis/Mullan 5 and returned it to the Clark Fork 40.

Clark Fork returned the favor on the Tigers’ next drive with an interception. But they were unable to advance and punted.

With the ball on their 35, the Tigers used a pair of long runs by Caleb Ball and Luke Trogden to move the ball to the Clark Fork 28. From there Caleb Ball hooked up with his brother Adam on a 28-yard TD heave that gave the home team a 50-8 lead and put into play the Idaho 40-point lead mercy rule which keeps the clock running.

The Tigers once again recovered an onside kickoff attempt and moved the ball from the Clark Fork 48 to the 32 as time expired in the third quarter.

A few plays later the Tigers scored once again, this time on a Caleb Ball to Luke Trogden pass good for 13 yards and a touchdown. The successful PAT run gave the Tigers a 58-8 lead.

Clark Fork scored on a 10-yard pass play with two minutes to go, but Clark Fork ran out the clock on its next possession leaving the final score 58-14.

The win boosted St. Regis/Mullan to 7-1. They now await a time and place for a first round Idaho 8-man playoff game, most likely at home due to their second place standing in the statewide polls.