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Hawks make progress on defense

by CHUCK BANDEL
Valley Press | September 21, 2022 12:00 AM

It has long been said that defense wins championships.

It’s been a debatable but generally accepted axiom that makes sense: stop the other guy from scoring and you will have a better chance of winning.

That seems to be what’s happening with the Thompson Falls Blue Hawks football team so far this year as they adjust to the world of 11-man football, up from the state championship 8-man trophy they took home in 2021.

The Blue Hawks 12-0 loss to Fairfield Friday evening may quite likely be part of a master plan to build and educate a defense to the concept of having three more players on the field on each side.

Indeed, each week the T Falls guys have seemed to make steady progress on the defensive side of the ball.

And what that can do is mean you don’t have to score in bunches, albeit a nice thing to be able to do, as was the case against the home standing Eagles.

Early on Friday, the two teams were waging a classic defensive battle, back and forth possessions and hard-fought yardage gains at every turn. Fairfield scored first, in fact, on a defensive play, an interception of T Falls quarterback Eli Ratliff that was turned into the only score of the first half by Fairfield.

The score was 6-0 Eagles at the half following the Eagles’ first quarter TD and a PAT attempt that was stopped by the Blue Hawks defense.

The second quarter produced several “turn over on downs” situations where the other team’s defense did not allow a fourth and whatever to become a first down. And the first half came to an end shortly after another pass was intercepted by Fairfield with just under two minutes to go in the first half.

The Blue Hawks defense stopped any more scoring damage. Eagles 6, Blue Hawks 0 at the half.

Neither team could put points on the scoreboard in the third quarter as the battle continued.

Finally, in the fourth quarter, Fairfield put six points on the board following a drive from midfield that was capped by a 45-yard scoring pass by the Eagles after the T Falls defender found himself out of position.

The point after was not good, making the final score 12-0. It was a significant march in the right direction for the Hawks in this re-adjustment season it has become.

Next on the schedule for the Hawks is a Homecoming contest this Friday night at 7 p.m. against conference foe Bigfork. It will be the Blue Hawks first home game since the season opener against Townsend in late August.

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