The Power-Dutton/Brady Titans will host Westby/Grenora in first-round play-off action in Class C six-man football on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 1 p.m. in Power.
The Power-Dutton/Brady Titans didn’t let the fact they were banged up and injured stop them from putting up a good fight against a much bigger Big Sandy squad in the battle for the number-one spot in Northern six-man conference. In the end it was the Pioneers who captured the title with a 35-0 victory in Dutton on Oct. 26.
Titan Coach Tom Tranmer couldn’t be prouder of how hard the team played against a much bigger Big Sandy squad.
The team showed determination and grit, giving it their all despite having a couple players out with injuries and others injured and not playing at 100%, Tranmer said.
“It was an impressive defensive stand by the boys, taking into account we were playing without the additional help of one of our strongest players on defense, Ben Lehnerz out with an injury and Brady Smelser is playing with an injury,” Tanmer said. “We were about half the size of the Big Sandy players, but that really isn’t something new. We have been small in stature against other teams all season and that hasn’t stop us. “The boys just play physical and smart and used their speed to their advantage,” coach said.
Cold and snowy conditions contributed to no scoring in the first quarter from either team. The Titans also didn’t let Big Sandy have any big plays in the opening quarter, something they have become accustomed to throughout the season, Tranmer said.
Big Sandy’s Kade Strutz led the way for the Pioneers with all four touchdowns. The junior running back opened the scoring with a seven-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. On the Titans’ next possession, Strutz picked off a pass from Nicholas Widhalm and ran 43 yards to make the score 14-0 Pioneers.
“Without the pick, we would have gone into the half down only one touchdown,” Tranmer said.
Strutz scored again on the ground in the third and fourth quarters. Parker Proulx added the final touchdown on a 13-yard run.
The Titans weren’t able to get on the scoreboard in the contest. Quarterback Nick Widhalm hurt his elbow on defense in the beginning of the game, Tranmer said, adding to an already present injury.
The coach went on to say he isn’t making excuses for the team. “Big Sandy is a good team with size and talent. However, give us another change when we are all healthy, and the outcome would be closer,” he said. He could even see the Titans on top, he predicted.
Tranmer has coached 38 years, 20 at Brady and the last three years as the head coach for the Titans. “I have had some special teams over the years and this one ranks right up there,” he said. “The seniors set their goal of placing and moving on into the playoffs.”
The coach said the varsity team features a lot of the upperclassmen, but the success of the program wouldn’t be possible without the red raiders who line up for practice on both offense and defense. “They are instrumental. They give the starters the looks they need week in and week out and with the injuries many have had, to step in and play when called upon,” he added.
The junior varsity team is talented, Tranmer said. They won all but one of their games this season.
Going back to size, Tranmer said it is impressive when nine of the varsity players have been to the doctor or ended up in the emergency room over the season. “They haven’t given up, battled back and kept on winning,” he said. The Titans have had a tough schedule this year. They will have played five of the teams advancing to the play-offs, defeating four of them: Harlowton/Ryegate, Geraldine/Highwood, Denton/Geyser/Stanford and Noxon.
Their opening playoff game against Westby/Grenora promises to be a tough match. They finished third in East. Tranmer said he hopes to have a little healthier team going into the game this week. Having home field advantage is an added bonus as well.
Other match ups in the first round of playoffs are: (4S) Harlowton/Ryegate at (1W) Hot Spring, (5N) Geraldine/Highwood at (1S) Shields Valley, (3N) Denton/Geyser/Stanford at (2E) Wibaux, (4N) Rudyard North Star at (1E) Garfield Jordan, (3W) White Sulphur Spring at (2S) Bridger, (3W) White Sulphur Springs at (2S) Bridger, (4E) Richey/Lambert at (1N) Big Sandy and (3S) Roy-Winifred at (2W) Noxon.
PDB 0-0-0-0 — 0
Big Sandy 0-14-8-13 — 35
BS — Kade Strutz 7-yd. run. (Kick failed.)
BS — Strutz 43-yd. interception return. (Strutz kick.)
BS — Strutz 5-yd. run. (Strutz kick.)
BS — Strutz 12-yd. run. (Strutz pass Ryan Roth.)
BS — Parker Proulx 13-yd run. (Kick failed.)