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Top-rated Bigfork gets best of Hawks on homecoming

by CHUCK BANDEL
Valley Press | September 28, 2022 12:00 AM

When the Thompson Falls Blue Hawks finish their quest to adapt to 11-man football, they will no doubt be on the other end of the score.

Their personnel, facilities and coaching staff will pull them through.

Along the way there will be some hard bumps, anything worth achieving is usually full of hard bumps.

So if nothing else, take solace in the fact that one day, probably sooner than most might thing, it will be the Blue Hawks scoring at will while their defense smothers an opponent.

For now, Thompson Falls has the growing pains to go through. We all had them.

Still, for the current players, coaches and staff, Friday’s 65-6 Homecoming loss to unbeaten Bigfork will be hard to swallow. Like lutefisk or Brussel sprouts.

Time will heal all wounds and someday the sprouts won’t be so bad after all.

Friday’s game got off to a bad start for the Blue Hawks to say the least.

In the blink of an eye, they had been tackled in the end zone on their opening possession, giving Bigfork an immediate, if not weird, two point lead via the safety they yielded.

Under rules associated with a safety, the team which gave up the safety is then required to kick off to the team which racked up the safety. That’s what occurred Friday in the opening minutes of play.

Bigfork took full advantage of the good field position the safety set them up in and promptly scored on a four-yard run for touchdown, then added the PAT to put the score at 9-0 before most people made it to their seats with the bag of popcorn.

Growing pains, folks, we all had them.

That, as they say, opened the can. When Bigfork got the ball back, they wasted no time scoring again, this time on a 13 yard run to make it 16-0. With just over five minutes to play in the opening quarter, the Valkyries popped another six yard touchdown into the end zone, upping their advantage to 23-0.

That’s when, if you believe, the rumbles of future days made an appearance for the Blue Hawks.

In the final minutes of the first quarter, Brandon Dorscher got open and snared a nice 21-yard pass from quarterback Bryson LeCoure, putting T Falls on the board and bringing the big crowd to life.

But on this night, that was to be the extent of the Thompson Falls offense against the tough, fast and big defenders from Bigfork. In the meantime, their offense kept chugging along.

Before the first quarter ended, the visitors had tacked another seven points on the scoreboard via a 67-yard touchdown bomb and an extra point kick. Heading into the second quarter, Bigfork held a commanding 30-6 advantage.

They would add two more TD’s in the second quarter, one on a 38-yard scoring strike and one a short, seven-yard toss to bring the score to 44-6 at halftime.

The offensive fireworks tapered off in the third quarter, although Bigfork did score on a long, 84-yard TD run. They would add two more running touchdowns in the final quarter, one from one yard out and the other a 24-yarder, to produce the final 65-6 score.

And post-game stats would reveal a glimmer of genuine hope in the 190 yards passing they amassed, led by the 87 yards on four catches snared by senior Eli Ratliff, who was also named Homecoming King at halftime, with Marissa McNeeley being named Queen.

This glass ain’t half empty, it’s half full.

Next on the agenda for the Blue Hawks is a road game this Friday in Florence.

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Elijah Ratliff uses a stiff arm to gain a few extra yards against the Bigfork defense Friday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Jesse Claridge gets a carry against the Bigfork defense Friday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Bryson LeCoure drops back for a 58-yard completion to Elijah Ratliff against Bigfork Friday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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