Wildfire suffer first regional loss of the season

The Hettinger-Scranton Night Hawks won the first of two very important contests, as they downed previously undefeated Mott-Regent in Region 5 play by a score of 46-30.

Mott-Regent’s Josh Wallace (30) is tracked by Night Hawks defenders Seth Olson (55) and Isaiah Kludt (28) as he tries to elude them. The Wildfire fell to the Night Hawks in Hettinger and need a win next week to try and finish the season as the No. 1 seed. (PHOTO BY COLE BENZ | The Herald)
Mott-Regent’s Josh Wallace (30) is tracked by Night Hawks defenders Seth Olson (55) and Isaiah Kludt (28) as he tries to elude them. The Wildfire fell to the Night Hawks in Hettinger and need a win next week to try and finish the season as the No. 1 seed.
(PHOTO BY COLE BENZ | The Herald)

By SHELDON CHRISTENSON | For The Herald

The Hettinger-Scranton Night Hawks won the first of two very important contests, as they downed previously undefeated Mott-Regent in Region 5 play by a score of 46-30.  With the victory it gave them a shot at finishing in first place in the region.

Their final game is with New Salem-Glen Ullin on October 9.  A win gives the Nighthawks a bye in the first round of the playoffs as the No. 1 team out of Region 5.  If they lose, they will be the No. 4 team in Region 5, unless Richardton-Taylor loses their game with Grant County.  In that case the Nighthawks would be No. 3.

Hettinger/Scranton started out slow in this game, as Mott-Regent scored three touchdowns after two botched punts and a fumble by the Night Hawks.

Tanner Sanford had the lone score for Hettinger/Scranton as Mott-Regent held an 18-8 advantage with about four minutes left in the half. But the Widlfire fumbled deep in their own territory and Sanford quickly scored again for the Night Hawks.  After the Night Hawks forced Mott-Regent to punt on their next possession, Brandon Pierce scored the go-ahead touchdown for Hettinger/Scranton on a nice 37-yard run, giving the Night Hawks a lead of 20-18 at half time.

The second half was all Night Hawks as Hudson Pierce scored on a 3-yard run and Isaiah Kludt used his breakaway speed to score three times on runs of 40, 47 and 21 yards.

Quarterback Josh Wallace of the Wildfire was totaling big yards on end sweeps, and Hunter Crist was also having a good first half.  But the Nighthawks defense stiffened in the second half and after scoring the first three touchdowns of the second half, the Wildfire had to go to their passing game.

Wallace did go 11-22 for 159, but it was not enough to match the Night Hawk rushing game.

Mott-Regent did use a lot of different offensive formations to try and confuse the Night Hawk defense, but Hettinger/Scranton reacted well.  Mott-Regent also had respect for the speed Hettinger/Scranton’s two deep men on kickoffs, Sanford and Kludt, as they would not kick deep.

Kludt ended up with 148 yards rushing, Brandon Pierce had 93 and Sanford had 88.

Mott-Regent’s Wallace totaled 126 yards rushing and Crist added 89. Crist also added 85 yards on four catches and Messmer had five catches for 38 yards. The Widlfire was missing one of their best players as Brady Wegh was out with a sprained ankle.  Regular starting quarterback Braxon Yates was also out for Hettinger/Scranton with injuries.

•Region 5 Standings

Mott-Regent 4-1 (4-2)

New Salem-Glen Ullin 4-1 (5-2)

Hettinger-Scranton 4-1 (5-2)

Richardton-Taylor-Hebron 3-2 (4-3)

Grant County-Flasher 2-3 (2-5)

Beach 1-5 (2-5)

Bowman County 0-5 (1-6)

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