Wolves regular-season finale Oct. 18 at Big Timber
October 18, 2023
Trailing 16-0 near the end of the first quarter in last Friday's senior night matchup with third-ranked Columbus, things started to click on offense for the Three Forks High School football team. The Wolves would get right back into the game with three first-half touchdowns and pull as close as two points in the third quarter before Columbus answered with 22 consecutive points to get the 54-30 win.
Following the game, Three Forks Head Coach Connor Sullivan praised the play of the offensive unit but knows his team must do a better job making stops on defense.
"I think offensively, we came out great. We executed and put up 30 points. We've just got to get off the field on those third downs, but again, hats off to Columbus. That's a good football team and number three in the state for a reason," Sullivan said.
Down 16-0 with 2:17 left in the first quarter, the Wolves found the scoreboard on a 35-yard Shane Williams run to cut the lead to 16-8 heading into the second quarter.
After Columbus scored to take a 24-8 lead, Three Forks would quickly answer on a 38-yard Colten Hayder touchdown run to make it a 24-16 game with 9:07 left in the first half.
The Cougars would score on their next possession to up the lead to 32-16, and the Wolves would once again answer, this time with a three-yard Williams touchdown run, cutting the lead to 32-24 with 32 seconds left in the first half.
Three Forks would pull as close as two in the second half when Williams once again scored on a three-yard run. After the pass on the two-point conversion was batted down, the Wolves trailed 32-30 with 7:18 left in the third quarter.
Columbus would end the game on a 22-0 run to seal their conference victory.
Williams finished the senior night game with 21 rushes for 159 yards and three touchdowns. He was also 12 of 22 passing for 118 yards.
Hayder finished with six rushes for 55 yards, Trevor Davis had 18 yards on five carries, and Sawyer Andersen finished with two carries for eight yards.
Tallyn McCauley led the Wolves in receiving with five catches for 81 yards. Dylan Swenson had 22 yards receiving, Kanon Reichman had nine, Andersen had four, and Hayder had one catch for two yards.
Andersen finished with 17 total tackles, Hayder had 16, Cole Sloan finished with 11, Williams had eight, Reichman had six, and McCauley finished with four. Jack Hayder ended his night with three total tackles, including one for a loss, and Swenson also had three total tackles. Dylan Andersen finished with two tackles, and R.J. Pyfer, Caleb Van Vleet, and Marcus Pestel all finished with one tackle.
Three Forks (5-3, 2-2 Southern B) won't have long until they next take the field with the regular season finale scheduled for Wednesday, October 18 at Big Timber.
"There's stuff to clean up, and we will get that cleaned up and ready for the short week with Big Timber and a young, hungry team that will be ready to go," Sullivan said.
After a five-game win streak ended October 6 at Manhattan and the loss to Columbus, Sullivan said they will go back and look at the film and dissect what those teams did to them offensively and devise a better scheme to stop it.
"We've got to be ready to go," Sullivan said.
Three Forks has earned the third seed in the Southern B Division and will open the playoffs on October 28 at Malta, the second seed from the Northern Division.