DRUMMOND – From the opening kickoff to the final siren, the Flint Creek Titans showed why they are the No. 1 ranked team in Montana’s Class C 8-Man Football. In a dominating performance the Titans defeated the Choteau Bulldogs 50-14 to advance to 10-0 on the year and into the quarterfinals of the postseason.
The Bulldogs end their season at 6-3.
Flint Creek’s second-round game will be against the Culbertson Cowboys who defeated Ennis 34-14. That game will be played at George Mungas Field in Philipsburg November 3 at 1 p.m.
In the rest lower half of the 8-Man bracket, Shelby beat Darby 56-14 and Circle upset Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap 52-12. In the upper half Scobey upset Joliet 74-50, Great Falls Central beat Alberton-Superior 57-14, Fairview blasted Chinook 70-6 and Arlee hung on to beat Centerville 36-32.
Flint Creek quarterback Kade Cutler got the locals off on the right foot with a pair of first-quarter touchdown runs. The first was for six yards at 9:14 and the second for 51 yards just three minutes later. Colby Manley ran in the conversion on the second and the Titans held a 14-0 lead.
With 18 seconds remaining in the quarter Manley ran the ball in from the 11 and added the conversion run to give Flint Creek a 22-0 advantage that they would never relinquish. His touchdown run saw him hurdle
“They execute well. You see it,” said Bulldogs Head Coach Lucas Gunderson after the game. “They don’t take plays off, they don’t miss blocks, they don’t miss assignments. When you play a team like that you have to play 100% fault free football. You have to. … They’re physical, they play hard-nosed and they execute well.”
The mistakes that Gunderson so wanted to avoid happened just 43 seconds into the second period when Flint Creek’s Jaxon Lee intercepted a pass from the Bulldogs’ Johnny Rappold and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown. That ran the Titans’ lead to 30-0.
Manley scored again for Flint Creek with 7:10 to play in the half before Lee caught his only offensive TD of the day. With just 1:13 to play in the second quarter Cutler hit Lee with 38-yard scoring strike across the middle.
Manley added a final score for the locals in the third to close out their scoring. Choteau got a pair of touchdowns against the Titan reserves in the fourth, but it was too little too late.
“It went well for us today, that’s for sure,” said Flint Creek Head Coach Mike Cutler after the win. “But Choteau is a good team. They have 11 seniors in that group and they’ve played some good teams.
“When we wanted to (pass) it was there. But we want to run the football because we know the run will set up the pass.”
Kade Cutler finished the day 2-for-4 for 35 yards and a TD. Both completions went to Lee. Manley carried the ball 15 times for 122 yards and three scores. Cutler rushed for 67 yards on the day.
Defensively Flint Creek did what it does best – play as a team. Manley had seven total tackles including five solos and a quarterback sack. Daniel Brabender has six solo stops to lead the Titans. Luke Holland had two stops and a QB sack.
NOTES – Manley’s 122 yards gives him 1,086 over 10 games this year. That gives him a 108.6 YPG average. … Senior Kane Hess had five total tackles in the game, raising his season total to 51. The Titans now have four different players with 40 or more tackles on the season in Manley (48), Wyatt Rigby (43.5) and Conley Wagner (43.5). … Flint Creek’s 10th straight victory now gives them 22 straight dating back to Week 1 of the 2017 season. That leaves them alone in 19th all-time in the state across all classes. With a win against Culbertson next week, the Titans would run their streak to 23 straight and tie them with Loyola Sacred Heart at No. 18. … Flint Creek is now 35-10 over their five-year history and 18-2 home. They are 5-3 in the postseason, winning the last five as part of their 23-game streak … The Titans only home playoff loss came during their inaugural season of 2014 to Belt (36-26) and Granite High School. … The win against Choteau marked the ninth time in 10 games this season that the locals have gotten the Mercy Rule Running Clock started on an opponent.
Choteau – 0/0/0/14 – 14
Flint Creek – 22/22/6/0 – 50
9:14 – 6-0 – FC – Cutler 6 yard run TD. Conversion failed.
6:33 – 14-0 – FC – Cutler 51 yard run TD. Manley conversion run.
0:17.9 – 22-0 – FC – Manley 11 yard run TD. Manley conversion run.
11:17 – 30-0 – FC – Lee 37 yard interception return TD. Cutler to Brabender conversion pass.
7:10 – 36-0 – FC – Manley 15 yard run TD. Conversion failed.
1:13 – 44-0 0 FC – Cutler to Lee 38 yard pass TD. Cutler conversion run.
8:46 – 50-0 FC – Manley 25 yard run TD. Conversion failed.
7:45 - 50-8 – CH – Choteau 2 6 yard run. Rappold to Crabtree conversion pass.
0:31 – 50-14 – CH – Crabtree 6 yard run TD. Conversion failed.