Battlers wins another, last regular season game Thursday
The Potter County Battlers were in second place in the conference as they headed into the game Friday night against the Stanley County Buffaloes. With a strong south wind whipping across the field in Ft. Pierre, the Battlers were in their road whites as they took to the field and kicked off to the Buffs.
On the first offensive possession, Hayden Simon picked off an interception and fumbled, with the Buffaloes falling on the ball and getting a first down. Going against the wind that was gusting up to to 30 mph, it was the last gain of the series and the Buffs were forced to punt.
The Battlers made short work of their ball handling, ending with Mitch Hinckley going up the gut for a seven yard touchdown run. It took just three plays and 25 yards in a 25 second span of time to get the first strike of the game. Chayce Hall made the extra point kick look effortless in the wind. The Battlers took the lead with 7-0. Nose tackle Denver Jost and the Battler defense came to the line to put the hold on the Buffaloes, starting out by sacking the quarterback. The next play Tanner Heuer intercepted and made a nice 35 yard run into the end zone. The kick was blocked, so the team settled for six points and the score moved up to 13-0.
The Buffs were forced to punt and the Mighty Battler offense went back to work with Tate Nafziger in the quarterback position. Three plays in, he took the ball into his own hands and rumbled into the end zone on a 27 yard touchdown run. Hall came in to put up the kick, split the uprights, and upped the score to 20-0.
The brick wall that is the Battler defense put a stop to the Buffalo offense, which forced a punt that was consequently returned 33 yards by Heuer for a touchdown. Hall put up another point, so with one score on offense, two scores on defense, and one on special teams, the score spread to 27-0 with 1:41 left to play in the first quarter.
Hall intercepted the ball on the next Stanley County possession and returned it to the two yard line before being pushed out of bounds. Caleb Meinke came in as quarterback. A handoff to Dalton Storer pushed in for another score. The two point conversion was no good, so with 45 seconds left in the first quarter the Battler lead jumped to 33- 0.
The clock ran out and the teams changed sides, so the Buffaloes had the wind at their back. It helped some but not enough. They put together a drive that ended with a loss of downs and a turnover to Potter County on the two yard line.
The Battlers put their heads down and headed into the wind. Meinke threw an interception that was picked off by the Buffs who ran back into Battler territory. In a short period of time, the ball was back in the hands of the Battlers when it was turned over on downs. The downs ran out for the Battlers and Nafziger punted it away as the clock ran out and turned into halftime.
The second half got underway with another Battler score on a four yard run by Simon. The boot was put to the ball by Hall, and the 40-0 spread put the clock in motion for continuous running.
The Battler second string got some good play time during the third and fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter, on the ninth play of the possession for Potter County, a fumble turned the ball over to the Buffaloes. They couldn’t put anything together on the drive and punted away. The teams went back and forth, until a Battler interception finished it up. That did it for the game with Potter County 40, Stanley County 0, upping the Battler record to 6-1.
The Battlers will be home in Gettysburg Thursday night for a 7 p.m. kickoff against McLaughling/Wakpala to finish up the regular season before heading into playoffs on Oct. 23.