The Choteau High School varsity football team played at home against Chinook last Friday night as team members celebrating senior night stood beside offensive and defensive lineman Jacob Major, a senior whose father died earlier in the day after a brief illness.
Choteau High School recognized four senior players: Carter Morgan, Jeffery Colesworthy, Jared Selander and Jacob Major.
Jacob was walked onto the field with his mom and two siblings and a friend from their church, Carl Steed. The whole football team then escorted them to the middle of the field while volleyball players Taylor Asselstine and Bellamy Beadle held a sign in memory of Mark Major.
Coach Lucas Gunderson said the night was very hard.
“There are situations in life that you are never prepared for and Friday night was one of them,” he said. “There was a lot of emotion before and during the game. It is a lot to put the pressure of a game on the shoulders of young student athletes during a time of loss.”
He said it was great to have Jacob on the sideline with his team and able to participate in senior night. “The entire Bulldog football team is heartbroken over the loss of Mark and our thoughts and prayers go out to the Major family,” Gunderson said.
Playing without Jacob Major and wide receiver Derek Brownell, the Bulldogs were short-handed going up against an agile and quick Chinook squad led by senior quarterback Drake Berreth.
The Chinook Sugarbeeters scored on two drives early in the first quarter to lead, 16-0, when sophomore quarterback Bowen Rappold drilled a 57-yard pass to wide receiver Jacob Beattie to put Choteau on the scoreboard, 6-16. Chinook answered with another touchdown and two extra points to go up, 24-6, at the end of the first quarter.
Chinook’s line did a good job of shutting down Choteau’s running game and forcing Rappold to throw the ball. Rappold completed six of 12 passes for 76 yards and one touchdown in the game.
In the second quarter, Chinook scored again, once on a run and once on a pass, while Choteau stuck with the Beeters, scoring on a 47-yard run by senior Carter Morgan. At halftime, Chinook led, 38-12.
The Beeters held the Bulldogs scoreless in the third quarter and put up eight more points of their own, scoring on a touchdown and a run for two extra points and then kicking a 25-yard field goal.
Both teams put their subs in for the fourth quarter and Choteau’s Kellen Meyer, a freshman, scored on a two-yard run. The game ended with Chinook winning, 55-18.
Choteau had 95 rushing yards along with 76 passing yards for a total offensive yardage of 171. Colesworthy had 15 carries for 19 yards and a touchdown; Morgan had 12 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown; Rappold kept the ball himself for two carries and a loss of nine yards; Meyer had one carry for two yards and a touchdown; Nathan Gunderson had one carry for six yards; and Dillon Harrell had one carry for six yards.
In the air, Beattie had two receptions for 57 yards and one touchdown. Colesworthy had one catch for nine yards; Will Patterson had one catch for one yard; Garrett Torok had one catch for six yards and Morgan had one catch for three yards.
Jared Selander led the team in tackles with 11, followed by Morgan with 10, and Harrell had an interception.
This week the Choteau varsity squad will play their final game of the season as they are not advancing to the playoffs. They will play Chester-Joplin-Inverness at home at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15.
Coach Gunderson said CJI has a big offensive line that will challenge the Choteau boys. “They like to both run and throw the football,” he said. Rappold is continuing to do a good job leading the offense, the coach said.
Choteau will likely be playing without several key players. Beattie sustained a knee injury and Torok a concussion in the Chinook game and Brownell continues to be sidelined with a shoulder injury.
The Choteau boys finished the regular season with a 2-7 record.
Choteau 6-6-0-6 — 18
Chinook 24-14-11-6 — 55
Chinook — Drake Berreth 1-yd. run. (Pass to Toby Niederegger.)
Chinook — Berreth 15-yd. pass to Oskar Pula. (Hunter Molyneaux run.)
Choteau — Bowen Rappold 57-yd. pass to Jacob Beattie. (Run failed.)
Chinook — Berreth 50-yd. pass to Molyneaux. (Pass good.)
Chinook — Berreth 20-yd. run. (Berreth run.)
Choteau — Carter Morgan 47-yd. run. (Pass failed.)
Chinook — Tyler Schoen 33-yd. run. (Pass failed.)
Chinook — Molyneaux 15-yd. run. (Run good.)
Chinook — 25-yd. field goal.
Choteau — Kellen Meyer 2-yd. run. (Run failed.)
Chinook — 33-yd. pass. (Run failed.)