Loggers collar Whitefish Bulldogs

by WILL LANGHORNE
The Western News | September 1, 2020 7:00 AM

The Libby Loggers kicked off their season with a 21-10 home victory against the Whitefish Bulldogs on Aug. 28.

From the second play of the game, the Loggers showed off their prowess at running the ball. Senior running back Dawson Young carried the ball 65 yards for a touchdown within the first 53 seconds of the first quarter.

Whitefish freshman kicker Ryder Barinowski scored a field goal bringing the score to 6-3 at the end of the first quarter.

In the final minutes of the second quarter, Bulldog quarterback Fynn Ridgeway completed a touchdown pass from the Logger’s 31-yard line to junior wide receiver Jaxen Schluach. The Bulldogs left the field for halftime leading 10-6 after Barinowski scored an extra point.

The Loggers rallied in the second half when junior safety Ryder Davis intercepted the ball on Libby’s 41-yard line. After senior quarterback Jay Beagle carried the ball to the Bulldog’s 16-yard line, Young powered into the end zone with seven minutes and 41 seconds left in the third quarter.

Following a two-point conversion, also scored by Young, the Loggers brought the score up to 14-10 at the end of the third quarter.

With Young, Beagle and senior running back Ryker McElmurry combining to carry the ball to the Bulldog’s six yard line, senior wide receiver and running back Colton Halvorson caught a touchdown pass from Beagle with four minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Junior kicker Aydan Williamson made the score 21-10 for the Loggers with an extra point.

Libby’s defense locked the Bulldogs down for the remainder of the game. Halvorson, playing defensive back, and Davis each intercepted a Whitefish pass in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.

After the game, head coach Neil Fuller said he knew going into Libby’s season opener that Whitefish was going to be tough. The Loggers suffered an early shock when senior linebacker and tight end Dave Patterson broke an ulna, a bone in his forearm, in the first quarter.

While Patterson was the team’s best defensive player and an asset to the Logger’s offense, Fuller said his teammates stepped up to fill his spot. According to Fuller, Patterson may return to the field this season — just sporting a cast.

Heading into the locker room, Beagle said he was proud of how the Loggers rallied.

“We had some good energy,” Beagle said. “Came out had a little adversity, but came back in the second half and had a really good performance.”

While his passing game wasn’t where he wanted it yet, Beagle said he intends to work on completing more throws like the final touchdown pass he made to Halvorson.

Young was satisfied with his performance on the field. Like Beagle, he noted the momentum shifted in the second half.

“We had that good one,” he said of the first touchdown of the third quarter. “Then we went flying and kicked it back in.”

The Loggers will go on to play Browning in another home game at 7 p.m. on Sept. 4.