The Power-Dutton/Brady High School Titans six-man football team is 5-1 in overall play and 3-0 in their conference following a victory over non-conference opponent Tri-Cities (Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap), 16-12, on Oct. 1 in Moore.
The PDB Titans have just three games left in regular season play. Playing in the North District, the Titans defeated conference opponents Sunburst, 44-10; Heart Butte, 53-6; and Valier, 46-0. They have also played two other non-conference opponents, defeating West District Noxon, 56-22, in the opening game of the season and losing to East District Froid/Medicine Lake, 58-22. The Redhawks from Froid/Medicine Lake were the 2020 six-man state champions and returned many of the same players to the roster this year.
This week, PDB plays Box Elder at 2 p.m. in Power as part of the Power High School Homecoming festivities. The Titans finish the season first at Rudyard Oct. 16 against conference foe North Star and then in Power on Oct. 20 against Big Sandy.
Titans head coach Tom Tranmer said he is pleased with the team’s effort, and if he were a betting man would say the North conference title is likely to come down to the final game of the season against Big Sandy. Over the past few years, it has been the battle between the Pioneers and Titans to decide who takes top hardware for the conference. “They once again have a strong team, as do we,” Tranmer said. “Hopefully we can keep healthy and no major injuries, play strong in the next few games and defeat Big Sandy in the final regular-season game to take the conference and advance to post-season play.”
Led by six seniors — Jacob Feldmann, Gavin Sealey, Kellan Doheny, Spence Lehnerz, Tyler Ellsworth and John Baringer — the Titans have been solid to date. “I just love our seniors,” Tranmer said. “They are a great group of young men that are very cohesive; they are unselfish and don’t care who scores the touchdowns. They are just great role models for the younger players, it is just fun and a pleasure to coach them,” he added.
Reflecting on the games to date, Tranmer said the team has taken care of business and learned a thing or two along the way. The scores have been a little lopsided for most of the games played but the coach said his players haven’t let up and continue to give 100% or more. Getting out to a commanding lead has allowed for many of the junior varsity players to get some playing time. “This is good for the program and the younger players but at the same time doesn’t give the varsity players as many reps as they will need down the stretch and if we are lucky enough to make it into the playoffs,” Tranmer said.
In the battle of the Titans and Tri-Cities (Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap), it came down to extra points. “We made our PATs, and they didn’t.” The PDB Titans scored their two points after during the first two quarters off touchdowns from Lehnerz and Ellsworth making both of his PAT kicks. The Tri-Cities Titans scored both of their touchdowns in the second half of the contest and didn’t make their PATs.
The coach said going into the game they knew it was going to be a good contest. “They have a quality program, are well coached and know how to win. They didn’t disappoint,” he said.
He used the example of the turnovers in the game. PDB had five turnovers, which is uncharacteristic for the team, and Tri-Cities had none. Given those numbers, Tranmer said they were lucky the outcome wasn’t different.
Tranmer praised the playing of Lehnerz in the game. “Boy, that kid had an exceptional game, not only scoring the two touchdowns but he had 20 tackles, 13 alone and assisted with seven more,” he said. “He’s just a phenomenal defensive player. … He caught some exceptional passes, one for 30 yards over his shoulder,” he added. Lehnerz isn’t a very big player, but is quick and tough.
The coach said given how hard-fought the contest was, they were fortunate to get out of the game without any major injures. They have had a few sprained ankles and a thumb, but for the most part have been able to keep the injuries down and stay healthy.
In their only loss of the season, the boys lost to a quality club, the coach said. “There is a reason Froid/Medicine Lake won the title last year and is again poised to be in the hunt this year,” Tranmer said. “They have good size and an exceptional quarterback.”
Tranmer said the Titans were missing a few players in that game, and he believes if they were to meet again in playoffs, the outcome could be different. “They were the better team that day. I’d like to have a chance to see if we couldn’t be the better team if we meet again,” he concluded.
Six-man football has 30 teams from five regions. Sixteen teams advance to playoffs with first round games scheduled for Oct. 29 and 30, quarterfinals on Nov. 5 and 6, semifinals on Nov. 12 and 13 and the championship Nov. 19 or 20.
Tranmer said they have played several of their games in summer-like weather. “We wouldn’t mind playing in a little cooler temperatures later in the fall, in fact all the way through November,” he said.
PDB 8-8-0-0 — 14
Tri-Cities 0-0-6-6 — 12
PDB — Spencer Lehnerz 8 yd. run. (Tyler Ellsworth kick good.)
PDB — Lehnerz 2-yd. run. (Ellsworth kick good.)
Tri-Cities _ Colton Parker 8-yd. run. (Kick failed.)
Tri-Cities — Rhett Patnode 2-yd. pass from Derks. (Kick failed.)