Plains gridders celebrate homecoming with big win

| September 30, 2020 12:00 AM

By CHUCK BANDEL

Valley Press

On a rainy night when holding onto the football became a challenge in itself, Plains High running back Gavin Regalado had the answer.

As in five running touchdowns and one receiving as the Horsemen celebrated Homecoming in grand style with a 64-20 romp over the Victor Pirates Friday evening.

With a solid defense stopping key Victor drives all night long, Regalado and his Plains teammates put on an impressive offensive display, beginning with the senior running back’s first score of the game.

With 7:37 to go in the opening quarter, Regalado crashed into the end zone to put the Horsemen on the scoreboard first. A successful extra point try gave the hosts an 8-0 lead and they were off to the races.

The slippery conditions contributed to a Pirates fumble on their next possession, recovered by the Horsemen at the Victor 20-yard line. A Regalado run took the ball to the 1 one play later and with 6:09 to play in the first quarter, the senior plunged over for his second touchdown of the quarter. Another successful extra point try gave Plains a 16-0 lead.

Victor responded with a long drive that ended when Pirate quarterback Carson Varner found an open receiver in the Plains end zone with just under four minutes to play in the quarter, putting Victor on the scoreboard for the first time.

Plains would fumble on their next turn with the ball, ending a long drive that was fueled by a 40-yard Regalado scamper. The fumble was recovered by the Pirates on their own 5.

The Plains defense then stepped up and forced the Pirates to punt from their own goal line but the punt slipped off the kicker’s foot and was recovered by the Horsemen at the Victor 20.

On the next play, Regalado broke free for a 20-yard TD run which, when coupled with another successful two-point conversion, gave Plains a 24-6 lead with 40 seconds to go in the first frame.

The Horsemen defense once again stifled Victor, this time forcing a turnover on downs that put the ball back in Plains’ control at the 34. Another Regalado run for 24 yards set up a 29-yard scoring strike from Horsemen quarterback Tristan Subatch to Regalado at the 8:43 mark of the second quarter, giving Plains a commanding 30-6 lead.

Unable to move the ball following the ensuing kickoff, the Horsemen got the ball back and quickly moved into scoring position where running back Clayton Hill ran 11 yards for another Plains touchdown with 6:14 to go in the first half.

Victor then put together a long march downfield, capping it with another TD pass from Varner, this one good for seven yards less than two minutes before halftime. A missed extra point attempt accounted for a 36-12 Plains lead.

Taking control of the ball at the 34 following the Pirate kickoff, Subatch ran and passed the Horsemen to a first-and goal-situation with 39 seconds to go in the half.

One play later, the lanky senior quarterback scored on a sneak from three yards out, giving the Horsemen a 42-12 halftime lead.

The second half opened with the Plains defense once again forcing Victor into a turnover on downs situation. After a fumble of their own, the Horsemen gave the ball back to the Pirates who put together a short drive that ended when they scored on a running play from the 3.

With just under six minutes to play in quarter number three, Plains fumbled again the Victor kickoff as the rain began to fall harder. However, the Pirates fumbled on their possession, giving the ball back to Plains.

A series of long runs by Regalado moved the ball to the Victor 1, where with 13 seconds to play in the third quarter, the Horsemen running back scored yet again.

He was not done yet. A fumble on the ensuing kickoff was recovered by Plains with 13 seconds still to play in the third quarter. On the next play, Regalado broke free for a 37-yard run which set up another first-and-goal situation as the quarter came to an end.

Heading into the final quarter, the high school mercy rule was in effect, keeping the clock running non-stop due to a 35 or more point lead.

Just three seconds into the fourth quarter Hill plunged over the goal line to give the Horsemen a 58-20 advantage.

Regalado capped off his productive night behind the hole-opening offensive line as he ran in from five yards out to close out the game scoring binge.

The win improved the Horsemen to 2-1 on the year. Next up for the Horsemen is their Sanders County rivalry match at unbeaten Thompson Falls Friday night.