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Bobcats rebound with dominant playoff victory

by CHUCK BANDEL
Valley Press | November 2, 2022 12:00 AM

The good teams all have it and all do it.

So it should be no surprise that the Superior High Bobcats would bounce back in a big way at the expense of first round playoff opponent Forsyth, 52-6 Saturday afternoon in a Montana 8-player football game.

A week ago, the Bobcats were on the other end of a shellacking, their first loss of the year, 58-0, to conference rival St. Ignatius in a much ballyhooed battle of unbeatens.

Many teams would have folded up the tent and broke camp, but not Superior.

Instead, they came out, shook off some initial jitters and proceeded to dismantle the Dogies from eastern Montana.

The win earned Superior the right to keep playing toward the state B 8-player title with a game this coming weekend in Culbertson, a 64-16 Saturday winner over Lone Peak. That game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start in Culbertson.

Both teams came out somewhat flat in the Superior-Forsyth battle, with defense ruling both sides of the ball. At the end of the first quarter, the score stood tied at zero, something of a rarity in the high-octane offense of 8-player football.

That would change in the second quarter as Superior began to unleash it’s potent offense.

The Bobcats struck first when senior quarterback Orion Plakke accounted for the first of four touchdowns he had a hand in. Plakke strolled into the end zone from six yards out to break the scoring drought and give the Bobcats a 6-0 lead. The two-point after touchdown conversion was good and Superior was beginning to roll.

The Superior lead, however, lasted less than a minute as the visiting Dogies struck back with a 28-yard TD run of their own. A failed PAT try left the Superior lead intact at 8-6 with 11:05 to play in the first half.

On the next Superior drive, Lucas Kovalsky reeled in a 20-yard TD pass from Plakke, who then ran for the extra point to make it 16-6 in favor of the Cats.

Superior then scored from opposite ends of the size spectrum, first when 240-pound senior Chandon Vulles blew a hole through the Forsyth line on a 10-yard touchdown jaunt, then a one-yard plunge by 130-pound senior running back Decker Milender. When the dust settled, there were 29 seconds to play in the first half, and Superior’s lead had mushroomed to 32-6.

Superior came out in the second half and quickly expanded their lead as the Bobcat defense continued to stifle Forsyth on every possession.

The Bobcats first time with the ball in the second half came to a lightning quick conclusion when Plakke broke free on the outside and galloped 52 yards into the Dogies end zone. Milender ran for the extra point giving the Cats a 40-6 advantage with 10:30 to go in the third quarter.

Things didn’t get any better for the visitors in the third quarter. With just under nine minutes to play, Milender picked off a Dogies pass and sprinted 45-yards for a pick six touchdown at the 8:59 mark. The PAT try failed, leaving Superior ahead 46-6 and putting the continuous Mercy Rule clock in action.

Plakke capped the game’s scoring in the fourth quarter with a four-yard hop into the end zone.

The four touchdown effort by Plakke came on 9-12 passing for 108 yards and one TD to go with his 95 yards rushing and three touchdowns on the ground for the day.

Milender, meanwhile, had one touchdown on a 47-yard rushing day, and added another 41 receiving yards on four catches.

Several Cats also had solid days on defense, led by senior Issac Miller’s 13 tackles. Wyatt Haworth, the 6-4, 255 pound senior two-way line standout, had seven tackles including two sacks, and Milender had six tackles, recovered three Forsyth fumbles and scored on the pick six.

The win lifted Superior to 9-1 on the year, while Forsyth dropped to 4-3 in what turned out to be it’s last game of the season.

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