By Tim Huether
Bennett County and Custer opened the 2018 football season Friday night in Martin, facing off in perfect weather. The Warriors could not weather the Custer offensive though and fell 40-12.
Custer set the tone early with Dathon Elmore taking the opening kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown and an early 6-0 lead. The run for conversion failed.
After the teams exchanged punts, the Warriors fumbled the ball to Custer at their own 39 yard line. Elmore ran a quarterback keeper down to the one yard line, setting the Wildcats up in excellent position. Custer punched it in for the touchdown, but the run for conversion failed, leaving it at 12-0.
Early in the second quarter, Elmore fired a deep pass to Micaiah Grace for a 50 yard touchdown with 8:34 to play in the first half. The kick after was good, making it 19-0.
Bennett County had an answer to the Wildcat’s scoring with quarterback Tee Allen finding Weston Ireland in the end zone for an 11 yard touchdown pass play with 19 seconds to play in the half. The run for conversion failed, making it 19-6.
Custer gambled a little on their final possession of the first half, throwing the ball, which was intercepted by Warrior senior Tee Allen. Allen excited the crowd as he was headed for the end zone, but was run down just short of the goal line after about 40 yards of running, ending the half at 19-6.
Custer tacked on another touchdown with 6:27 to play in the third quarter on an 8 yard run by Micaihah Grace. The kick after was good to make it a 26-6 score.
On the next Warrior possession, Tee Allen was intercepted near midfield, but he would atone for the miscue on the next play. Weston Ireland forced a Custer fumble and Allen picked it up and ran for 73 yards and a touchdown with 3:37 to play in the third. The run for conversion failed, making it 26-12.
Custer killed the Warriors momentum and hopes 24 seconds later as Grace took the ball 53 yards for a rushing touchdown with 3:13 left on the clock in the third.
The kick after made it 33-12.
On the Warriors next possession, they were forced to punt deep in their own territory and a bad snap over punter Isaiah Johnson’s head and into the end zone resulted in a Custer touchdown and successful kick after for a 40-12 score at the end of the third quarter.
Neither team scored in the fourth quarter and the game ended with Custer on top 40-12.
Both teams had numerous penalties on the night with the Warriors racking up 10 penalties for 63 yards.
Coach Tucker Risse summed up the game with his comments, “Some highlights, though young and under-sized team in some positions, the team was eager to get in on the action. Willing kids give you something to build on. Tee Allen, shows his leadership on the field as he tries to make the most out of every play, that was apparent at the game. I think Tristin Richards showed his ability to run and read blockers pretty well for a freshman. Weston Ireland has a nose for the ball on defense, he was all over the place Friday night. Jared Harris, man that kid has heart, in the weight room everyday over the summer, working hard everyday, he was all over the place as well making plays on defense. He never stopped, offensively he was a work horse as well. The offensive and defensive line as a whole, did a decent job for this early in the season. A lot of our linemen go both ways, that isn’t always the easiest thing to do for bigger guy. The offensive line showed sparks of there ability in run blocking as we put some fair drives together. Defensive line wise, we did some good things made theme run away from the middle, seen some good things from the defensive ends, when plays got outside of them they tried to extend the plays to the sideline. However, as a whole, we need a lot of work, starting with conditioning. We are out of shape. There is a lot of fundamentals to be added also, and a lot to be worked on. There will be players moved around as well to suit the team better. With this few of kids, every kid will have to expand there knowledge of various positions. I have risen the bar of expectations for this group of kids. I was proud of the kids for giving it what they could, even though, I expected more out of some. All in all, our showing Friday night was far from what it needs to be.”
Rushing: Tee Allen 15 for 83 yards, 1 fumble lost; Jared Harris 9 for 6 yards; Isaiah Johnson 1 for -1 yards; Tristan Richards 5 for 24 yards
Passing: Tee Allen 3 of 16 for 21 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions
Receiving: Weston Ireland 1 for 11 yards, 1 touchdown; Jared Harris 1 for 7 yards; Isaiah Johnson 1 for 3 yards
Defense: Weston Ireland 4 solo and 6 assisted tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble; Ty Allen 1 solo and 3 assisted tackles; Tee Allen 4 assisted tackles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 for a touchdown, 1 interception; Jared Harris 3 solo and 2 assisted tackles; Isaiah Johnson 1 assisted tackle; Gabe Fanning 1 solo and 4 assisted tackles; Titan Soderlin 4 solo and 1 assisted tackle; Sam Byrne 1 assisted tackle; Henry Johnson 3 assisted tackles; Frank Huber 1 assisted tackle.
The Warriors had 112 yards rushing as a team and 21 yards passing.
Bennett County hosts Little Wound Friday with kickoff set for 6:30 p.m.