PHILIPSBURG – Hours before the opening kickoff, Charlo’s Landers Smith walked the Vikings side of the field with a Ziploc bag in hand. As he walked, he picked grass cuttings from the Vikings field and sprinkled them on George Mungas Field, evidently to invoke some good luck.
It clearly didn’t work.
The No. 1 ranked Flint Creek Titans manhandled a depleted Charlo quad Friday night, 52-8. The win runs the local’s record to 3-0 on the year while the No. 3 ranked Vikings fall to 2-1.
Make no mistake, the Titans are clearly the real deal. But the team Flint Creek faced was a mere shadow of what they’ve previously showed. After suffering the loss of one player for the season last week against Arlee, the Vikings lost two more to injury Thursday night and another to appendicitis Friday morning.
“It is what it is,” said Charlo Head Coach Mike Krahn. “We were just outmanned big time.”
Despite the losses, Flint Creek’s Mike Cutler knew that losses or not, his team still had a job to do.
“They were down and I’ll never take anything away from our kids,” Cutler said after the game. “They were down but we still have to come out and play football.”
And play they did.
Charlo took the first possession of the game and immediately turned it over on a fumble. The Titans recovered deep in Viking territory and capped off the brief drive with a 12-yard scoring run by senior Colby Manley for a 6-0 lead.
Just two minutes later Flint Creek had the ball back. This time it was Kade Cutler finding Jaxon Lee for a 62-yard scoring strike and the rout was on. Cutler added the conversion run and the Titans led 14-0.
Flint Creek would find its way into the end zone twice more before the end of the period. Cutler rushed one in from three yards out and Manley punched in another from the one. When the buzzer sounded the Titans held a 30-0 advantage.
Manley collected his third and final rushing touchdown of the day to open the second quarter. Cutler and Lee connected for a 50-yard scoring throw and Braden Huberg closed out the scoring for the locals with a nice 25-yard touchdown run late in the second.
From there the JV starters took over, playing well and allowing just one score late by the Vikings.
“We’ve got to continue to get better,” said Coach Cutler. “At this point we haven’t played a full game and that bothers me. We’ve got to turn the heat up in practice a little bit and put one players against ones and stuff like that.
“We were ready to play Charlo. We were dying to play them from opening day.”
With all of the offense on display, it might be easy to forget about the defense. But the tough side of the ball showed up early and often to make sure the game was well in hand. Senior Kane Hess led the Titans with seven tackles while Conley Wagner chipped in six and had a quarterback sack. Luke Holland, Wyatt Rigby and Manley all added three tackles each with Rigby also registering the Titans other sack.
Flint Creek heads back out on the road next Friday when the play at Seeley Swan. The Blackhawks lost to Arlee Friday night 64-14.
Charlo – 0/0/0/8 – 8
Flint Creek – 30/22/0/0 – 52
FC 6-0 / 11:06 / Manley 12 yard run TD. Conversion failed.
FC 14-0 / 9:07 / Cutler pass to Lee, 62 yards TD. Cutler run conversion.
FC 22-0 / 7:08 / Cutler 3 yard run TD. Cutler to Lee pass conversion.
FC 30-0 / 2:58 / Manley 1 yard run TD. Cutler run conversion.
FC 38-0 / 11:20 / Manley 9 yard run TD. Cutler run conversion.
FC 46-0 / 4:13 / Cutler to Lee 50 yard pass TD. Cutler run conversion.
FC 52-0 / 1:25 / Huberg 25 yard run TD. Conversion failed.
FC 52-8 / 0:45 / Nagy to Allik 8 yard pass TD. Nagy pass to Marquez conversion.