The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

Trojans drop heartbreaker, battle Three Forks Friday


October 5, 2016

Jack H. Smith

Whitehall's Andrew Simon goes after the quarterback in action earlier this season. The Trojans will host Three Forks Friday at 7 p.m

There is no quit in the Whitehall/Harrison High School football team.

After trailing 14-0 late in the third quarter last Friday against host Manhattan, the Trojans were able to claw their way back into the game and pulled within one with 1:39 left in the game.

Whitehall (5-1, 1-1 Southern 5B) rolled the dice and went for the two-point conversion, but was unable to connect and suffered their first loss of the season, 14-13.

Following the game, head coach Dan Lacey praised his team for fighting throughout the game.

"These guys never quit. They play so hard for each other and are so unselfish. Whether they play five snaps or 50 snaps they go 100 percent and play so hard," he said.

Lacey lauded his defensive unit for keeping the team in the game while the offense was struggling.

"Defense kept us in the game for sure. We are still struggling guarding in the secondary due to the lack of communication, but as a whole they played really well and kept us in the game," he said.

After being held scoreless for nearly three quarters, Whitehall was finally able to find the scoreboard with 2:08 left in the third quarter on a 35-yard touchdown run from senior quarterback Braden Larsen. The extra point by Andrew Simon pulled the Trojans to within 14-7.

Lacey said at the start of the game Whitehall really struggled to block the front three for Manhattan and they were able to get pressure on Larsen and stuff the run game.

"We didn't do a very good job of getting the ball out quick like we had planned during the week and their team speed is something we haven't seen yet this year and it was an adjustment for our guys to get comfortable too," he said.

Whitehall would pull within one on a one-yard touchdown from Braden Smith late in the fourth.

Lacey said he talked with the assistant coaches after they scored and they both wanted to go for two points.

"I called the timeout and told the coaches that the decision will be up to the boys that have worked so hard to get us to the point. I knew what their answer would be. I watched the two-point conversion play about 50 times at 2:00 am that night. The play was there, we were open, and it's a play we have confidence in on the goal line. We just missed it," Lacey said.

Despite the tough loss, Lacey said his team wasn't down after the game because he would not let them be.

"They gave themselves a chance to win the game and that's all we ask for out of them, and we came up a little short. We will regroup and be better than ever heading forward," he said.

Next up for the Trojans will be another conference tilt Friday night at home against Three Forks (0-6, 0-2 Southern 5B).

"We have to get better in coverage defensively and we need to block better we can't be giving up sacks when teams are only rushing three. Three Forks is going to have a difficult time stopping on passing attack defensively we need to be ready for misdirection running game and multiple trick play scenarios," Lacey said.

The game is scheduled to kickoff at 7 p.m.


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