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St. Regis-Mullan co-op holds off Clark Fork, 20-12

by CHUCK BANDEL
Valley Press | September 27, 2023 12:00 AM

Winning ain’t always pretty, but it’s spelled the same and it starts with a “W”.

That’s the bottom line for the St. Regis-Mullan, Idaho co-op Tigers as they picked up a close and possibly costly win over panhandle conference foe Clark Fork, Idaho Friday in Mullan.

The Tigers put their 4-0 season record on the line and managed to hold off a determined Wampus Cat squad as they prevailed over Clark Fork 20-12.

The win kept the unbeaten season intact for St. Regis-Mullan, but it came at a potentially steep price.

Senior two-way starter Alex Trogden suffered a knee injury that has since been diagnosed as a torn ACL and MCL of his knee and he has been ruled out of action for the year.

Trogden has been a key part of the Tigers’ offense, complimenting senior John Pruitt as part of a one-two rushing punch that has been key to the co-opers unbeaten season.

The Tigers opened an 8-0 lead in the first quarter of the game, which was played in Mullan, Idaho. Clark Fork scored in the second quarter, but their PAT attempt was no good, leaving St. Regis-Mullan clinging to an 8-6 lead at the half.

The Tigers, behind the running of Pruitt and senior Kofi Appiah, who racked up more than 200 rushing yards and two TD’s between them, overcame the loss of Trogden as they held off an upset-minded Wampus Cats team, outscoring Clark Fork 8-0 in the third quarter of the game to take a 14-6 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Both teams had touchdowns with failed point after touchdown attempts in the final quarter as the Tigers held on for the eight-point win, 20-12.

Pruitt ran for 140 yards on 10 carries, with one TD via the ground. He also caught a TD pass from freshman quarterback Conner Lulis.

Appiah, meanwhile, piled up 75 yards on the ground on seven carries. He also had a rushing touchdown.

Lulis was 6-12 passing for 193 total yards, and one TD, that one to Pruitt.

St. Regis co-coach Jesse Adams was pleased for the victory and sad for the loss of Trogden at the same time.

“Not a pretty win,” Allan said. “But a win is a win, for sure. He (Trogden) has a torn ACL and MCL and he’s out, poor kid”.

Allan said Clark Fork had all it could handle with the Wampus Cats, who he credited with dominating time of possession. But, he said, the defense was able to apply the bend but don’t break philosophy to secure the win.

“We bend but don’t break and kept em out of the end zone at the half, as well as a big takeaway with two minutes left to kind of seal it at the end,” he said.

Allan had continuing praise for the efforts by senior Pruitt this game and so far this season.

“John Pruitt again made his case for league MVP,” Allan said. “He had a big TD catch for 50 yards, and the game sealing run from 50 as well. He also had a strip fumble to stop Clark Fork’s last drive, then we scored on the next play”.

Next up for the 5-0 Tigers is a trip to Plummer, Idaho for a conference encounter with Lakeside High this Friday evening.