The Nugget

A Cat – Bear Brawl

Which Helena Team will Proceed to the Championship?

Becky deMontigny, Head Writer

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On a soggy field on the 10th of November, an intense matchup took place. It’s the Semi-Final football game, your Helena Bengals versus crosstown rival the Bruins. Making it this far in the season is an honor for the Bengals, although with this being against Capital, the crosstown intensity dialed up to 100%. The winner of this game will play Billings Senior on November 17th in the AA football championship. Stands became packed, as we prepared to cheer our Bengals to victory.

Since the 1890s Helena High has had only two state championships, while Capital has had a total of eleven since 1967. Our Bengals hope that 2017 marks the third. In addition, this year is the 5th crosstown matchup since 2000, which is making the players more and more passionate about their game. Going into this matchup, Coach Tony Arnston says, “Seth Schneider is the player we seriously need to shut down.” But this is no problem for our team, “the kids will buy into [the game],” Arnston exclaimed.

This Friday Night Lights game is the last at Vigilante for the season, and Coach Arnston wants the boys to, “go out and do what they do.” In other words, go out and make the last home game of the season a good one! Headed into the very first play Capital falls at the line of scrimmage due to our excellent defensive lineup. Arnston points out several players by name; Nash, Kanta and Shepherd. He exclaims that their coaching staff has done a great job for them, and now they have the pride to succeed. This fact was especially noticeable in the first play of this brawl. Right into the second play within’ the game’s first minute, Capital High’s McGinley gets plowed to the turf by Nash. He falls just 4 yards away from a 1st down.

One of Coach Arnston’s words headed into this game is that, “field position is what makes a winner here.” This is something that the team has focused on heavily coming into this game; and it might just give the Bengals the upper hand. Coach’s last words headed into the game was about how essential our quarterback is to the team. “Kaleb Winterburn is the top for Helena, he has progressed, and has the ‘it’ factor for this game.” This being said, the local fans are excited to see what Winterburn does with this matchup.

Four minutes into the game and the Bengals white uniform is no longer white; but brown. I suppose this is a good thing; if you’re not getting dirty then you must not be trying! But the positivity slightly turns at 2:05 in the first quarter. Capital’s Puchette makes the first touchdown of the game. Now, our Bengals go to war. At 1:54 left in the first, sophomore Logan Brown travels down the Capital sideline and goes in for the touchdown. Directly following Winterburn receives Koenig’s kick  and goes for the kickoff return. This play takes us to the end of quarter 1; Bengals lead 8-7 after a 2 point conversion.

To start off the 2nd quarter, defensive line Caden Suero comes up and hugs Capital’s offense from behind, plowing them to the ground. Capital High coach Kyle Mihelish speaks to this play saying, “we cannot give up yards like this.” Helena’s defense puts a stop to Capital’s yardage in every play; this will give Helena the advantage for the rest of the game. After our Bengals obtain the ball again, wide receiver Zach Huth runs down the middle to achieve a 1sand goal. This allows Trudeau to go in for Helena’s second touchdown. After several flags and incompletes, Helena obtains several extra points. At time 2:20 the score now lays at 16-7, Helena leads. Directly succeeding this, Kyle Tabbert makes another touchdown for Helena. There’s just 1:39 left before the half and Helena dominates at 22-7.

The two teams then began to battle through the third. As this quarter begins, it appears as if all players are dancing around the field. Not sure what they want to do except to win. In the first play flags are thrown when Capital’s Conor Quick throws Shepherd to ground to allow Schneider to move down the field. This flag lets Helena obtain the ball once again. Kaleb Winterburn moves on to shake out his defenders by faking turns, and bringing shifty moves. This allows our Bengals to gain many yards. Though Coach Arnston calls a timeout which leads to a busted play and another unsportsmanlike penalty on Capital. The score now remains at 22-7 at the end of the third.

Going into the start of the 4th quarter every player on the field had chattering feet and unleashed their dominance. Though so far the second half has been a slug fest; with no scoring yet far. It’s not the players, but more so the officials whom are dominating the game at this point. They have called 8 personal fouls on Capital and ejected two of their players. But just when things seem to stop Coach Arnston calls another timeout. However this one must have been effective as Kaleb Winterburn turned around to score another touchdown for the Bengals. After this and another two point conversion our Helena High Bengals dominate at a score of 30-7. With just 3 minutes left in the game, Coach Mihelish calls a timeout. But at this point it is useless.

At a final score of 30-7, it’s official that our Helena Bengals will be in their first championship game since 2010.

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