St. Regis, Clark Fork football squads win big

by CHUCK BANDEL
| September 2, 2020 2:45 PM

By CHUCK BANDEL

Mineral Independent

With an opponent found for a cancelled non-conference game, the big question for the St. Regis/Mullan, Idaho football team was what will the running game look like this year?

Gone from the backfield was all-stater Ian Farris, a speed merchant with a nose for the end zone.

Backfield by committee was the answer, buoyed by junior Adam Ball and Luke Trogden, who along with sophomore quarterback Caleb Ball ran for more than 100 yards each in the co-op Tigers 70-36 thrashing of Lakeside high Friday night in Plummer, Idaho. 

Lakeside, a long-time rival of Mullan prior to merging with Montana-based St. Regis, was a late replacement for a scheduled game against Seeley. 

When Covid-19 restrictions forced Seeley to cancel that game, Lakeside agreed to a non-conference 8-man football encounter.

They probably wished they hadn’t.

St. Regis/Mullan kicked off to open the game and quickly forced a Lakeside fumble on the return, which was turned into a touchdown by the Tigers’ special team. A successful two-point conversion gave St. Regis/Mullan an 8-0 lead with just a few ticks off the scoreboard clock.

Utilizing an aggressive, swarming defense, the Tigers held Lakeside on their first possession and got the ball back quickly.

From that point on, the St. Regis/Mullan backfield trio started running and never stopped.

With 10:44 left in the opening 12 minutes, the Tigers had already built a 16-0 lead. That lead grew to 24-8 before the end of the first quarter and blossomed into a 56-22 halftime advantage.

Adam Ball, a highly regarded running back/linebacker who missed most of the season last year due to a wrist injury, finished the game with four rushing TDs. He was joined in the scoring onslaught by Trogden who added three running scores on the night.

Lakeside was able to score in the second half when mostly junior varsity team players were on the field for the Tigers.

The game was played before a limited number of fans, some of whom had to watch the game from behind a cyclone fence due to Lakeside’s tight Covid restrictions.

The Tigers put a sudden end to Lakeside’s football season last year, winning a quick 8-0 playoff elimination game that lasted just a few minutes under the first to score and hold off the other team format.

St. Regis/Mullan head coach Jesse Allen was mostly pleased with his team’s performance despite a few early season miscues.

“It was overall a solid game,” Allen said. “We had five fumbles and have to clean that up, along with some missed blocking assignments, but otherwise it was a solid effort by our guys.”

Riley Trogden added a kickoff return for score for the Tigers, while quarterback/defensive back Caleb Ball, in addition to running for more than 100 yards, scored once and was credited with two forced fumbles.

Up next for the co-op Tigers is a road game against Mullan rival Wallace, this Friday at 7 p.m. in the historic Idaho mining town.

In other Mineral County football action:

Clark Fork Mountain Cats 56, Victor 12

Clark Fork, coming off an appearance in the 2019 Class C 8-man championship game, rolled to a 56-12 win last Friday over Victor.

Quarterback Bryan Mask threw for three touchdowns and ran another in the rout.

Orion Plakke scored two touchdowns, one running and one receiving. Silas Acker and Danner Haskins each added a TD catch and Jake Calloway had a TD run.

The Mountain Cats return to play at home Friday against Thompson Falls, a 38-32 winner over Mission Friday.