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Football: Loggers fall in Northwestern A opener

by Western News
| September 28, 2009 12:00 AM

Trailing 21-17 in the second quarter, the Libby High School football team found itself in a classic Northwestern A battle Friday night at Polson.

But then the turnover bug bit and the home-field Pirates pulled away for a 48-27 victory.

Although the Loggers lost by 21 points, LHS coach Neil Fuller said it was his team’s best performance this season.

“It was a great game for us but we still have a long ways to go,” Fuller said. “Polson is a very experienced, senior-dominated, very physical, well-coached team. For us to compete in a game like that … it’s a winable game but hopefully we can get those kinks worked out.”

Tim Rausch had a big game for the Pirates with 128 yards rushing and four touchdowns – three covering 20 or more yards.

“Offensively, we did better in the turnover department and didn’t turn the ball over much but to beat a team like Polson, we’re going to have to play an error-free game,” Fuller said. “Defensively, we played well but have a couple of positions where we’re not playing disciplined enough.”

The two teams were tied, 7-7, at the end of the first quarter. Libby scored on an eight-yard run by T.J. Benson, who rushed for 63 yards on 11 carries. In the second quarter, Kelly May hooked up with Kody Berget on a six-yard touchdown pass. Kaila Forster’s extra point was the difference in a 14-13 lead.

The Loggers then started to lose momentum through the rest of the half. Forster hit a 19-yard field goal but by halftime, Polson had built a 35-17 lead. Among the big plays for the Pirates was a 74-yard TD run by Vince DiGiallonardo.

In the second half, Libby scored on a 12-yard run by Benson and an 18-yard field goal by Forster.

“Our offensive line did a great job blocking so we were able to run the ball on them,” Fuller said. “May did a good job throwing the ball and we had five different receivers making catches.”

Micah Germany also saw time at QB and he hooked up with a sixth receiver. In all, Libby had 134 yards rushing and 167 yards passing.

“We did a lot better job of throwing underneath routes and hitting our short stuff and it was encouraging being able to run the ball as well as we did,” Fuller said. “We did make a few mistakes. We fumbled a snap, they reovered and scored off it … they recovered an onside kick. We made a couple of mistakes defensively but other than three or four plays, it was a great game for us.”

Libby (0-1 in Northwestern A, 1-4 overall) will play host to Columbia Falls on Friday at 7 p.m.