The Libby High School Football team smashed the Polson Pirates Friday with a 62-20 victory.
With 136 total yards -- all but 27 from rushing -- and two touchdowns, Libby freshman Aydan Williamson made his premier as fullback as one of several players to distinguishing themselves during the game.
“Going into the season, especially after our team camp down in Ronan this summer, I really felt like he was going to be our fullback,” said Head Coach Neil Fuller. “It’s taken some time, just kind of evaluating him and seeing when he’d be ready to go or whatnot, but that was a perfect night for him to get a start.”
Williamson is incredibly gifted with talent, Fuller said. Beyond his athleticism and build, the freshman fullback has “good feet, good agility, and he has soft hands.”
“The linemen were congratulating him after the game. They know how important he is for our running game, because if you have a battering ram at fullback, it can go a long way in opening up other things that we like to do offensively,” Fuller said.
But Fuller had kudos for the entire team after their performance Friday.
With three interceptions before halftime, defensive back/wide receiver Chandler Bower was a significant factor in the 28-6 lead the Loggers held going into the third quarter.
“He just had a great, great game defensively, and he did a great job kicking for us,” Fuller said.
Bower opened the second half with an onside kick that was picked up by junior Jeff Offenbecher.
“We’ve been working on this onside kick quite a bit, and we’ve got a couple this year, and he executed it perfectly,” Fuller said. “In a game like that, you don’t want to give the opponent any momentum.”
Though Polson has struggled, the Loggers still recognized what they are capable of, Fuller said.
“They’re down, like we’ve been, but they have some good athletes,” he said. “A team like that, if you give them any breathing room, they’re going to make a game out of it.”
After the early turnovers against Columbia Falls, Fuller said he was concerned about not having a repeat of similar mistakes on Friday. “If we turned the ball over against them and gave them some encouragement, that’s the type of team that could’ve gone down to the wire.”
On the field, the Loggers showed a good balance of rushing and passing, and Fuller contrasted the Columbia Falls game, where Libby had around 330 passing yards, but only 24 rushing.
“I think we ended up with 416 rushing, which is probably the most -- we’ve had some good football teams here, but we never put up numbers like that,” Fuller said.
Opening up those lanes comes back to the line, Fuller said.
“I’ve told our line all year that we rise and fall with them. They’ve done a great job on improving each game. They’ve done a great job opening up some lanes and giving our kids some space to do some things,” he said.
Sophomore tight end Dave Patterson also made major offensive strides, gaining 145 yards for the Loggers. He scored Libby’s first touchdown on a 50 yard gain after breaking away from the Polson defenders.
As Fuller began listing off other players such as senior JJ Davis, sophomore Jay Beagle and junior Chris Schedlbauer who performed well against Polson, he came back to the team as a whole.
“I have to give kudos to everybody on the team, because they all contributed and did a great job,” he said.
And there is no letting up as the Loggers head into Homecoming Week and prepare to face Browning, Fuller said.
“Browning is a very athletic team,” he said. “They’ve got a very high-powered offense.”
To win their homecoming game, Libby is going to have to make sure they keep that offense off the field as much as possible, he said.
“We’ve got to be able to control the ball and eat the time off the clock and keep their offense off the field, so our running game is huge,” he said.
The Loggers play the Browning Indians at 7 p.m. at Logger Stadium this Friday. In a change for this year, the coronation of the homecoming court will take place at halftime during the game.
Friday, September 28
Libby 62, Polson 0
L 6 22 20 14 -62
P 0 6 14 0 - 20