Outlaws finish perfect league season on the gridiron
Last updated 10/31/2023 at 9:57am
The Outlaws wrapped up their perfect league season with a 20-7 win at home over Harrisburg on Friday night. Prior to the contest the Outlaws honored their eight senior players; Justin DeSmet and Tony Gonzalez (running backs), Tristen Madron (receiver), Rope Chew, Scott Henderson, Dolan Pool, Jayden Vogt, and Chance Hamlington (all linemen).
Coach Gary Thorson told The Nugget that all these seniors have made some great contributions to the program both on and off the field.
The game got underway and after a scoreless first quarter, Harrisburg got on the scoreboard five minutes into the second period and took a 7-0 lead.
Sisters answered with a six-yard TD run from Ethan Eby, and Reid Woodson hit the PAT to tie it up 7-7.
The Outlaws scored early in the third quarter. The drive included a 21-yard run from Kolbi Cotner and an 11-yard run from Hudson Beckwith and culminated in a 27-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Bronson to Landon Scott. Woodson’s PAT was good and the Outlaws went up 14-7.
Much of the rest of the game was a defensive battle, as both teams stopped each other on fourth-down attempts. Finally, with 1:55 left in he game, Dawson Roberson intercepted a Harrisburg pass and ran it back for a pick-six.
The Eagles took possession, but with 1:11 left on the clock, Cotner intercepted the ball, Sisters took over, ran down the clock, and recorded the win.
On the night, Sisters rushed for 159 yards. Tony Gonzalez carried the ball 13 times for 58 yards, Eby had eight carries for 43 yards, and a TD, Spencer Davis had seven carries for eight yards and Hudson Beckwith had five carries for 32 yards.
Bronson had a good night throwing the ball and finished four-for-seven in the air for 68 yards and one TD. Scott had three catches for 41 yards and a TD, and continues to be a threat every time the Outlaws can get the ball to him. Davis had one catch for 17 yards.
The Outlaws held Harrisburg to 32 yards rushing, and 106 yards passing. The Outlaws defense had two fumble recoveries, one from Cotner and one from Kale Gardner, and three interceptions, Roberson had two (one for a TD), and Cotner had one.
Coach Gary Thorson said, “Kolbi Cotner played a great game and finished with 10 tackles, a fumble recovery, and an interception. Kale Gardner also played well and had five tackles.
“Cody Cassano played his best game on the line for us, and Kalvin Parker as well,” added Thorson. “We used seven running backs tonight and all of them did some good things, and we are blessed to have that much depth at that position.”
Thorson told The Nugget that the game was not one of the Outlaws’ better performances, but acknowledged that the team played hard and found a way to win.
“We had a pretty good week of practice heading into the game, but didn’t play with the passion we had the previous few weeks, and that was a bit disappointing,” said Thorson. “After a shaky start, our defense settled in and played very well most of the night. We had some issues in pass coverage at times, but did a great job stopping the run and forcing five turnovers was huge for us.”
“Offensively we made way too many mistakes in terms of assignments,” added Thorson. “We put the ball on the ground several times and that was very uncharacteristic for this team as we had done a very good job of ball security all season long. We are still being held back by penalties. We had several penalties that led to drives that stalled and put us out of scoring position.”
Thorson stated that the Outlaws will need to cut down on their mistakes as they head into playoffs, and need to get healthy as well.
“We’ve had a very difficult and rough season with injuries, and we are hoping to have a few more bodies healed up by next Friday night,” said Thorson. “This team has worked very hard and has earned this opportunity, and I know they will be all-in this week to get ready for it.”
The Outlaws will host the first round of the state playoffs on Friday, November 3.