Under a full Montana moon, Savage and Richey-Lambert faced off for home team Richey-Lambert’s homecoming game. Eastern Montana camaraderie was on display as the home team welcomed Savage fans to sit on their side to avoid brisk winter tinged wind.
The first quarter kicked off with the Fusion receiving after Savage defers. Blaine Frisbie received the ball and brought the ball to the 34 yard line. Hunter Watson followed up with a big run that was stopped by Savage’s Cooper Hofer at Savage’s 21-yard line.
For the first score of the night, Fusion’s Blake Lein caught a pass and ran it in for a touchdown 0-6. With possession switched to the Warriors, Gage Bloesser received the kick and was promptly stopped at their own 20-yard line. After two unsuccessful offensive attempts to break past Fusion defense, the Warriors had a turnover on downs.
The beginning pushes for the Fusion were uneventful at the Warrior 37-yard line, but after three incomplete passes, the fourth down play proved vital for the Fusion as Grady Gonsioroski caught a rocket pass for a touchdown 0-12.
The next drive by the Warriors proved fruitful as well starting at the 27-yard line after Bloesser was tackled by Lein. Sloan McPherson then carried the ball on the next play through Fusion defense to the Fusion 31-yard line. To round out their possession, McPherson launched a pass under pressure to #6 Logan Nelson for a touchdown run which brought the score 8-12 after a successful point conversion. The quarter ended with Fusion possession on third down at the Warrior 22-yard line.
The second quarter quickly saw a turnover on downs for the Fusion, giving Savage possession once again. After two plays, Nelson passed to Bloesser at the 33-yard line for third and 5. The next play, Nelson ran the ball to midfield for a first down. Unfortunately for the Warriors, their gains for this drive ended following tackles by three Fusion defenders on one play and a swarm on Nelson from Colter Carda and Hunter Watson.
After receiving possession following a turnover on downs, the Fusion were hit by the Warriors which resulted in a fumbled ball recovered by the Warriors. Celebration was short lived as a pass thrown by McPherson was intercepted by Gonsioroski at the 26-yard line. Taking advantage of this momentum, the Fusion QB passed the ball to Frisbie for a monster 40-yard run for a touchdown 8-20 ending the half.
Richey-Lambert homecoming royalty was announced during halftime. From Richey, Peyton Sodt and Neale Kelly were crowned homecoming queen and king respectively. From Lambert, Courtney Herman and Blake Lien won queen and king respectively.
The second half began with Fusion’s Lien kicking off and Bloesser receiving. Nelson attempted a scramble but was brought down by Lien. A Mcpherson run was brought down by Frisbie bringing up a quick fourth down. On the attempt, Nelson threw to Bloesser wide open which gained a first down at the Fusion 36-yard line. A 12-yard loss and a penalty resulted in a second and 31 for the Warriors but a perfect pass and impressive footwork from Gentry Conradsen resulted in the Warriors second touchdown on a 61-yard run, 14-20. On the next drive, Fusion’s Frisbie started strong with a huge run for a touchdown making the score 14-26.
On the following drive, Warrior Nelson’s pass was picked and the next play resulted in a touchdown pass to Lien, 14-34. Looking to increase their homecoming lead, Fusion opted for an onside kick which they recovered at the 35-yard line. Frisbie managed to get a first down on a sizeable run to the 18-yard line. Watson tumbled into the endzone upping the score 14-42.
Warriors come back hungry for a score on their next possession. Another scramble from Nelson brought the ball to the 36-yard line and then yet another scramble from Nelson gave the Warriors another 8 yards planting the Warriors at fourth and 1. A pass to Bloesser brought up third and 10 as time expired for the third quarter.
Savage began the final quarter of the game with a turnover on downs. The following drive resulted in the same for the Fusion. Bloesser caught a huge pass and ran to the 12 yard line while McPherson punched in the score 20-42. Savage tried to get back into the game with an onside kick attempt which was recovered by Fusion’s Carda.
A couple big plays by Frisbie and Layne Herman set up a touchdown play by Nick Engesser 20-50. The final drive of the night would come from the Warriors, but after some productive plays, time expired ending the game. The final score Savage 20, Richey-Lambert 50.