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Potter County Battlers defeat Chargers

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On a sultry September night, the mighty Potter County Battlers traveled south to take on the Sully Buttes Chargers. The sun was setting at the start of the game, with kickoff backed off to 8 p.m. due to high heat that dropped to around 90 degrees by game time.
Both teams came into the contest with a 1-0 record on the season. By the end of the night, the Chargers were sitting at 1-1 and Coach Vern Smith and the Battlers added another notch to the win record.
On the first Battler possession of the night, the drive moved quickly for a score with a fake handoff and counter move to Mitch Hinckley that moved it 39 yards into the red zone. Quarterback Chayce Hall connected on a 21 yard pass play pulled in by Luke Vogel on a diving catch to draw first blood on the game. Another point was added to the score with a kick through the uprights by the quarterback, and the Battlers were on the board with a 7-0 lead.
The Chargers answered with a punt return by Cody Nelson, who moved across the field to just over 35 yards from the goal, but within a couple minutes they ended up punting back to the Potter County team.
At the 37 yard line, on a third and a foot, Hayden Simon punched the ball ahead three yards for a fresh set of downs. The next play netted another six points on a handoff to Tanner Heuer who bolted almost 60 yards into the end zone, followed by another point off the foot of Chayce Hall.
With 14-0 on the board, the Battlers didn’t go without the ball for long. On their own 23 yard line they recovered a Charger fumble on a big turnover. It was quickly turned into a fourth and 14 with a quarterback sack by Charger Dylan Hill. After an incomplete pass, the Chargers took over on their own 27.
Battlers took over again on the Charger 31 when the Sully Buttes punt play wasn’t put together.
Potter County pounded up the middle with a handoff to Hinckley, added another eight yards from Tanner Storer, and moved again with a pitch back to Dalton Storer. On the Charger 16, the Sully Buttes defensive stand forced the Battlers to kick a field goal, putting another three on the scoreboard. The first quarter ended with the Battlers on the board, 17 to 0.
The Sully County team got to work at the start of the second quarter, pushing their way into Battler territory and setting up a series of downs. Shiloh Perkins  gained 32 yards to the Battler 15 line.  Josh Lamb pushed his way into a first and goal position on the three yard line. A handoff to Jace Anderson added six points to their side of the scoreboard, but the Battler defense stopped them short of the two point conversion. The score stood at 17-6.
Dalton Storer returned the kick to move Potter County into good field position on their 41 yard line. On a quarterback carry, Hall side stepped a couple tackles and dived in for a first down. A penalty pulled it back to 15 yards, and Hall moved it across the 50 into Charger country. On a hand off to the big guy, Hinckly bulled his way up the middle for some nice yardage and a first and 10 on the 31.
Cody Nelson stopped the Battler drive for the Charger defense with an interception on the Sully Buttes nine yard line. With 1:32 in the half, they earned a new set of downs, fumbled on the play, which was picked up  by Chayce Hall who took it all the way into the endzone. There was no extra point, but the Battlers spread the score to 23-6.
On the Charger 43, Sully Buttes tried to put something together in the last minute of the half. With a fourth and nine on the 50, the Chargers prepared to go for it with only 10 seconds on the clock. They moved up 10 yards with a second left to play. The final pass was high and long and incomplete, so the teams headed into the half.
Starting the second half of play the Chargers took the kick and started on their own 37. They squared up and got some good blocks, moving the line of scrimmage just shy of the 50. Their third fumble of the night was picked up by Ryan Sundberg for the Battlers.
A handoff to Simon moved the ball 16 yards onto the Charger side of the field. The Battlers started driving, when the quarterback bobbled the ball a couple times and kicked it out of bounds. A time consuming drive ended with the Battlers turning over on downs at the Charger 30 yard line.
Sully Buttes tried to hold onto the ball and headed up the middle. The drive ended with a pass right into the hands of Battler Hayden Simon, who took over on the Charger 47 yard line. The quarterback handed off to his brother, Colten Hall, who put the Battlers back in business when he ran around the outside to the 16.  The ball ended back on the 21 after some nice defensive pressure from the Chargers, but the Battlers put together their counter play with Hall connecting with a wide-open Hinckley who added another touchdown to the game. A kick added to it, spreading the score 30-6.
Sully Buttes took the kick but couldn’t put anything together before the end of the third quarter.
During the final 12 minutes of football, Sully Buttes made a few connections to move the ball down field that finished with a 60 yard strike from Scott Senftner to Nelson who made it to the end zone. The extra points didn’t happen, so the score tightened to 30-12.
With 7:21 left in the game, the Battlers took over and started to run down the clock before kicking it away, way down to the Charger endzone. Pinned deep with their backs against the zone, Sully Buttes tried to keep moving forward. A late hit penalty on Potter County gave the Chargers some more yardage, but they couldn’t put together a score before the end of the game, which ended 30-12.
The Potter County Battlers host Timber Lake on Friday night for the GHS Homecoming game, with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
-Molly McRoberts
Stats
PC 17 6 7 0 30
SB 0 6 0 6 12
First downs: PC 9, SB 10
Scoring plays: PC Chayce Hall pass to Lucas Vogel 21 yds, XP Chayce Hall kick
PC Tanner Heuer 59 yd run, Chayce Hall kick
PC Chayce Hall 26 yd field goal
SB Jace Anderson 1 yd run, run failed.
PC Chayce Hall fumble recovery and return, 24 yds. Run failed.
PC Chayce Hall pass to Mitch Hinckley 18 yds, Chayce Hall run
SB Scott Senftner pass to Cody Nelson 59 yds, pass failed.
Passing: Chayce Hall 3 of 8 for 49 yds, 2 TDs, 1 int; SB Scott Snftner 6-16-105, 1 TD, 1 int.
Rushing: Mitch Hinckley 7 carries for 79 yds, – TDs; Chayce Hall 12-79; Tanner Heuer 1-59, 1 TD; team 41-321, 1 TD. SB Shiloh Perkins 9-64, Jace Anderson 14-59, 1 TD; SB team 32-136, 1 TD.
Receiving: Mitch Hinckley 1 catch for 8 yds, 1 TD; Lucas Vogel 1-21, 1TD. SB Cody Nelson 4-84, 1 TD; Lewis Hofer 1-17.
Defensive standouts: Mitch Hinckley 10 tackles, Ryan Sundberg 10 tackles, Chayce Hall 8 tackles.

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